Friday will see the beginning of a new season with brand new rules that are among the most revolutionary in recent history.
Added to tyres that are 25% wider and cars around five seconds per lap faster (compared to 2015) is a new tyre philosophy for 2017: less degradation and fewer peaks of temperature, allowing Formula 1 drivers to push hard during every stint.
There are new rules governing race starts (where the drivers will have more clutch control) and re-starts after safety cars in wet conditions (from the grid).
From Australia to Spain, teams will have identical tyre allocations: seven sets of the softest compound available, four sets of the middle compound, and two of the hardest compound. In Australia, these are ultrasoft, supersoft and soft (in order).
Pirelli will be taking their ultrasoft compound to Australia for the first time.
“The teams completed 7427 laps of Barcelona during pre-season testing, using all the compounds but concentrating on the medium and soft tyres, which were the ones best suited to Montmeló,” explained mario Isola, head of car racing at Pirelli. “In Melbourne, it's going to be interesting to collect more data on the ultrasoft and supersoft compounds, which we’ve not been able to fully assess up to now.”