Lewis Hamilton says managing the revised Pirelli compounds isn't too different to last year but explains it is still a balancing act with the new Mercedes W07.
After running his entire pre-season testing schedule on just the medium and soft Pirelli tyres Hamilton is confident he is race-ready having completed the highest number of laps of any driver (673).
The defending F1 world champion has described managing tyre life and extracting the maximum 'like balancing a knife on its tip' but he is happy Mercedes has given him the tools to make continual adjustments.
“The tyres aren't hugely different when you warm them up and then start lapping,” Hamilton said. “The only way I can describe it is it is like balancing a knife on its tip. We have thousands of things we can change in order to keep it balanced and finding if we're in the right ballpark is what we're trying to find first.
“Then me discovering those tools, I've got to reach out and come in and say 'I need this, I need that, more front wing'. All those things, all those little details, that fine-tuning, that's what we need. But that's what we'll do in the simulator, the guys will do that through simulation, we will do that on track and I'm sure we'll get there.”
Mercedes disguised its full potential over a single lap during the entire pre-season tests by not opting for the softest tyre compounds and preferred to collect a mountain of data to make small tweaks and step-by-step gains with the W07.
“I've done about three or four laps in the lower attacking mode in terms of fuel,” Hamilton said. “I've just done loads of mileage on race runs, so I'm super ready for the race, no problem in terms of doing the distance, managing the tyres, fuel, systems and all of that stuff. It's really just trying to understand the car on a knife-edge.”
Ahead of the 2016 season opener Hamilton has picked an aggressive tyre choice by only opting for one set of mediums over the entire Australian Grand Prix race weekend in order to maximise his allocation of softs and super-softs (both six sets). His team-mate Nico Rosbeg went one step more conservative with two sets of medium compounds.