After a winter of disintegrating Pirelli tyres, Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen was the kindest to the tyres in Melbourne, and the Finn duly won – but the fastest car down under was the Red Bull RB9 but was not as kind to the rubber on offer.
“For me, making two stops was impossible,” Ferrari’s Felipe Massa is quoted by Brazil’s Totalrace.
According to teammate Fernando Alonso, who finished second, “I don’t know how they (Lotus) did that.”
Indeed, among the top six finishers, Raikkonen was the only one on a two-stop strategy.
Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel started on pole, but ‘Hungary Heidi ate the tyres’, German newspaper Bild wittily surmised.
Admitted Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko: “The tyre wear was enormous.”
Australia, however, was much cooler than was expected by the European circus, and so team boss Christian Horner is looking ahead with curiosity to Malaysia.
Indeed, Kuala Lumpur should be hot this weekend, but it also could be wet.
“Let me answer with a question,” said Vettel in Melbourne late on Sunday. “Have you ever been to Malaysia? It rains every day!”