United States Grand Prix Preview
Formula 1 heads to Austin for the first race of an American double-header, with Mexico following just one week later.
The three softest tyres in the range have been selected for both: P Zero Yellow soft, P Zero Red supersoft and P Zero Purple ultrasoft. However, to support the Susan G.Komen foundation – which will be a key feature of the United States Grand Prix – the ultrasofts will be coloured pink for this weekend only.
As has been the case for many races this year, this nomination is one step softer than 2016, which – in combination with the new 2017 regulations and wider tyres – is likely to lead to another lap record being broken, as has also been the case on recent tracks. The Circuit of the Americas borrows elements of other famous venues in its layout, making it universally popular among the drivers. Contrary to most circuits, it also runs anti-clockwise.
The Circuit From A Tyre Point Of View
- Turn 1 forms a unique challenge: an uphill then downhill hairpin, where braking is hard to judge. There are several overtaking opportunities, which means that race strategy options to gain track position are quite open. With three long straights, drivers have to take into account the effect this has on cooling the tyres on each lap.
- Weather can be quite variable in Texas, ranging from bright sunshine to heavy rain. Last year, Lewis Hamilton’s winning strategy was a two-stopper, while Sebastian Vettel was on the podium with a three-stopper.
Mario Isola - Head Of Car Racing
“For America, we’re once again taking a softer range of compounds that we have done for previous races there, with the ultrasoft available in Austin for the first time: but in pink
as a one-off, to highlight the brilliant work of the Susan G.Komen foundation. This should bring lap times down, continuing the trend we have seen over the course of the season. Austin though is one of the hardest tracks to predict, also due to variable weather, and we’ve seen quite a variety of pit strategies there in the past. These could involve all three compounds this time, with the soft being a good potential option for the race as well”.
- The ultrasoft tyre appears at the Circuit of the Americas for the very first time: only this time coloured pink!
- Carlos Sainz makes his debut for Renault, and will use Jolyon Palmer’s tyre nomination. Daniil Kvyat, replacing Sainz at Toro Rosso, will use Sainz’s choices. This year’s Le Mans winner Brendon Hartley, driving the ex-Kvyat Toro Rosso, will use the tyre choices originally made by Kvyat.
- The championship frontrunners have made slightly different tyre choices for America, with Lewis Hamilton selecting three sets of soft (the only driver to do so, along with Pascal Wehrlein).