(Pirelli Motorsport Media)
Yeee-Haaa Texas here we come. This weekend Formula One heads to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas for the United States Grand Prix. The circuit has a mixture of long straights combined with slow corners along with medium to high speed corners.
This year Pirelli will bring the yellow walled Soft and white walled Medium compound tyre to the Grand Prix the same compound that was used last time out at the Sochi circuit for the inaugural Russian Grand Prix. It is the third race in a row that the Medium compound tyre will be used.
The load on the tyre's will vary over the course of a single lap as due to the different demands placed on the tyre from heavy braking zone on T1 and the sweeping section of T2 and T3. Speaking ahead of this weekend's race Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery commented by saying:
'As is the case for every automotive manufacturer, America is a key market for Pirelli. So we are very pleased to be heading back to Austin, which is a great city to spend time in as well as a fantastic place to race. With the track surface now three years old, it has become more mature and should theoretically offer better grip than previous years.
The medium and soft tyres are expected to put us on track for a two-stop race, although we will have to confirm our projected data after free practice. A lot will depend on the weather. Even though tbegins to hhe race takes place in November, warm but variable conditions are still likely, so thermal degradation will be an important factor. How much that influences wear and overall degradation with the new generation of cars this year – and therefore the race strategy – is something we will only find out when we get there.
On both previous occasions, the winning strategy has always been a one-stopper: also because the race comes relatively late in the season, by which time most teams have developed a good understanding about how to get the most out of the tyres.'
The race in Austin this weekend is the first Grand Prix of the final double header of the season as the teams will have a very quick turnaround as they will be racing in Sao Paulo Brazil just one week later as the sport heads towards what is expected to be an extremely dramatic final race in Abu Dhabi next month.
Speaking ahead of this weekend's race in Austin, Pirelli consultant Jean Alesi stated:
'Austin is above all a really exciting circuit for drivers. There are good possibilities to attack and to overtake under braking for Turn 1, and also through the esses, where a number of different lines are possible. Plenty of overtaking opportunities normally ensure a good grand prix; this track is far from boring.
The variation in temperatures is another important factor: last 2 years it was definitely cold in the morning, but hot when it came to qualifying. That makes getting the tyre into the right operating window an additional challenge for the drivers and teams in America.'
© Ben Johnston 2014