United States Grand Prix Circuit of the Americas: Technical Analysis

United States Grand Prix Circuit of the Americas: Technical Analysis

United States Grand Prix Tyre choices will be identical as the most recent race at the Mexican Grand Prix with the C2, C3, and C4 being nominated. That said, the United States Grand Prix Circuit of the Americas is drastically different than that at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. Normally the free practice sessions leading into qualifying are deemed skippable by many Formula 1 avid supporters but if you have a chance to watch, you should this time around. This Friday’s session at the United States Grand Prix will host the a test round for the new 2020 P Zero tyres. Two sets of the next years soft compounds will be given  to each driver and may be used on the Friday free practice sessions for FP1 & FP2 ONLY.

Similar to the Mexico GP, Pirelli opted to give teams a compound combo that is a step harder than last year. If you recall, last years United States Grand Prix tyre choices were the soft, supersoft and ultrasoft tyres. What will be interesting is the management of the one-stop C2 white tipped tyre strategy given Hamilton running a mammoth stint on his one-stop strategy in Mexico. When you consider Kimi Raikkonen ran his one-stopper victory on ultra-softs last year at the United States Grand Prix, it introduces some interesting game plans.

I expect the medium C3 tipped yellows to be pushed hard for a shorter stint with low laps times and a decent stint on C2 pushed incredibly hard. The Circuit of the Americas is anti-clockwise and hosts all types of twists, turns, and corners. The uphill hairpin of Turn 1 is known as the Austin, Texas signature corner. 

United States Grand Prix Tyre & Circuit Characteristics Analysis

Tyre Stress

Lateral Loads

Asphalt Grip

Asphalt Abrasion

Downforce

All ratings are based on a scale of 0-100. Source: Pirelli

Judging the information above, you can see wear and degradation falls in about the average range for the 2019 F1 schedule. This is likely why Pirelli elected this mid-level compound. But fast times can still be expected. Lewis Hamilton holds both race and overall lap records at the Circuit of the Americas. The weather in Texas can be extremely variable at this time of year. It can be hot, humid, and sun-filled. Or we can see typhoon-like conditions similar to what we saw in Japan that have cancelled entire sessions in the past. So be on the lookout for changing dynamics and shifting strategies. 

Mario Isola commenting on the US Grand Prix tyre compound selections

Austin has always been renowned for putting on a great show, both on and off the track. This year, it is particularly significant, as it is where the teams will get to sample next year’s tyres for the first time, during free practice on Friday. This of course is just an initial taste of the 2020 C4 soft compound, before teams get to test the full homologated range of next year’s tyres at the two-day test in December following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as usual. Austin contains a bit of everything in terms of different types of corner, with quite representative asphalt as well, so it should be a good place to try out these new tyres for the first time.

 
 

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