F1's new official supplier Pirelli has copped a barrage of criticism for the extreme degradation seen in winter testing, but the tires did not wear so badly during the three hours of practice under cool and cloudy skies as the 2011 season finally kicked off.
"They need at least a lap to get up to temperature, but I did a long run without any problems, because there are so few fast corners," said Force India driver Adrian Sutil, according to Auto Motor und Sport.
Tacticians had travelled to Australia this week expecting at least three pitstops, and possibly four.
"Two stops may be possible," said Sutil, "as you lose a lot of time here in the pits. So it may well be that some try to do two."
Pirelli has said consistently that its P-Zero product would work better in higher temperatures, with boss Paul Hembery confirming that "Our rubber is working better" at Albert Park than at recent tests.
"We will definitely not see a ridiculous race with five stops (per car) or something," said Sutil.
Williams' technical director Sam Michael explained: "Melbourne doesn't have the high speed corners of Barcelona or Jerez, so the tire has a simpler task."