Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest lap in the first race of new 2018 F1 season in Australia with four-tenth advantage, but Kimi Raikkonen was the second fastest with eight laps older tyres, driving the longest stint of the race.

For 2018 F1 season, Pirelli developed softer tyre compounds to make sure that in most races teams use two stop strategy, but judging on the first race of the season, they did not succeed.

For the first race of the season, Pirelli brought ultrasoft, supersoft and soft tyres, the second softest choice of tyre compounds (softer would be hypersoft, ultrasoft and supersoft), but it turned out that the tyre wear was too low to force the teams on two stop strategy.

Thirteen drivers started the race on ultrasoft tyres, ten of them finishing the race and eight of them used soft compound to the end.

The Red Bull drivers were driving in Q2 on supersoft to start the race on that tyre, but due to the VSC and SC, the advantage of longer opening stint was neutralised because they stayed on track just as drivers on ultrasoft.

The longest stint in the race was driven by Kimi Raikkonen in Ferrari (39 laps or 67.24% of the race), which is also the longest stint on soft tyres, while Vandoorne and Bottas (32 laps) went longest on supersoft.

The longest stint on ultrasoft came from Brendon Hartley in Toro Rosso Honda who replaced his 21 lap old soft tyres with new set of ultrasoft.

AUSTRALIAN GP – FASTEST LAPS

Ricciardo was the fastest, but Raikkonen was the second fastest, four-tenths behind, despite having eight laps older soft tyres.

Eight laps of tyre age, depending on track and tyre components, are worth about half a second per lap, so according to such a correction Raikkonen is near or in front of Ricciardo.

The first nine fastest laps are separated by only 1.1 second, which includes five teams (Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Renault).

If Haas did not have a bizarre double retirement due to loose wheelnuts, we would have six teams within 1.1 seconds when it comes to the fastest laps in the race. Haas’ fastest lap 1:28.805 is not representative because Grosjean set it in the lap 23, the lap before he retired. Fastest laps are usually set near the end of the race with low fuel levels.

Five slowest laps are from drivers that haven’t finished the race.

FASTEST LAPS

Driver Team Time Gap Lap
1 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1:25.945 54
2 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:26.373 0.428 57
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.444 0.499 50
4 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:26.469 0.524 53
5 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1:26.880 0.935 54
6 2 S.Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1:26.958 1.013 57
7 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1:26.978 1.033 57
8 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:27.019 1.074 54
9 27 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:27.081 1.136 57
10 31 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1:27.600 1.655 57
11 11 Sergio Pérez Force India/Mercedes 1:27.633 1.688 51
12 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:27.944 1.999 51
13 28 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1:28.176 2.231 57
14 18 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1:28.511 2.566 55
15 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1:28.759 2.814 56
16 8 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:28.805 2.860 23
17 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:29.534 3.589 21
18 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1:30.649 4.704 13
19 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1:32.210 6.265 4
20 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1:32.573 6.628 3

FASTEST LAPS – TEAMS

Driver Team Time Gap Lap
1 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1:25.945 54
2 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:26.373 0.428 57
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.444 0.499 50
4 2 S.Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1:26.958 1.013 57
5 27 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:27.081 1.136 57
6 31 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1:27.600 1.655 57
7 28 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1:28.176 2.231 57
8 18 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1:28.511 2.566 55
9 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1:28.759 2.814 56
10 8 Romain Grosjean* Haas/Ferrari 1:28.805 2.860 23

*Haas didn’t set a representative time due to early retirements for both drivers

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