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Mercedes go aggressive as Australian GP tyre choices revealed

Written by  Mar 14, 2018

Pirelli has released the tyre choices for the season-opening Australian GP with Mercedes opting for the most aggressive strategy of the top three teams.

The Italian supplier will take the Ultrasoft, Supersoft and Soft compounds to use on the streets of Albert Park, with the layout much different challenge from the test venue in Barcelona and not always a great barometer of the year to come.

2018 has also seen Pirelli alter their tye philosophy with each tyre a step softer to increase degradation and pit-stops with two-stop strategies the aim at each race.

During the pre-season though, the new rubber has still looked durable with most teams able to push for several laps, there have also been problems with blistering, however, with Mercedes particularly struggling on the softer compounds at the rear.

That makes their decision to take nine sets of the Ultrasoft quite interesting and certainly, they will be hoping the new tarmac and cooler conditions in Spain were the cause of the overheating.

There is a small diversion within the Brackley-based team with Lewis Hamilton taking three sets of Supersoft and a single Soft, while Valtteri Bottas has two sets of the alternative compounds.

Ferrari has been the most conservative of the frontrunners with just seven sets of the purple-striped tyres at their disposal with three of the other two compounds. Red Bull is the intermediary with an extra set of Ultras in place of a set of Softs.

Indeed, having eight sets of the fastest tyre is the most popular with 10 drivers choosing it. Only Charles Leclerc in that category has taken three Softs and two Supersofts as opposed to the other way round.

Here is the full allocation:

 

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