Pirelli outlines United States Grand Prix strategy options
Pirelli has outlined that a one-stop strategy will be the quickest approach for Formula 1’s United States Grand Prix
Last year’s event was won by the one-stopping Kimi Raikkonen who was able to fend off the charging pair of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
For Sunday’s race, the top five starters will be on the Medium tyres while the other five - including Red Bull's Alexander Albon - will start on the Softs.
The remaining drivers will have free choice of starting tyres for the 56-lap Grand Prix.
Pirelli believes a one-stop strategy on the Soft/Medium compounds would be the fastest way to approach the race, stopping between laps 22-25 to switch to the Mediums until the chequered flag.
The second fastest route to the finish is through the Medium/Hard compounds, making a stop between laps 24-27 to make the switch to the Hards.
Going from Soft to the Hard compounds is claimed to be the third fastest strategy, pitting from laps 19-22 and going moving to the white-marked Hard tyres.
A two-stopping strategy has been laid out as the slowest way to complete the race, completing two stints on the Softs ranging from 15-18 laps and then running the Mediums until the finish.
Pirelli has noted all four strategies are said to be very close.
"Unusually, conditions in qualifying are unlikely to be completely representative of the race, as the grand prix takes place three hours earlier.
Today's warmer conditions suited the tyre range better: the result being a new track record. With more rubber being laid down, we also saw a high degree of track evolution.
The tactical battle has already begun with Mercedes, Ferrari and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen choosing to start the race on the medium tyre, ahead of those on the faster soft, which should make the first few laps interesting tomorrow.
Theoretically, the quickest race strategy is a one-stop using soft and medium, but there's really not much in it.
Finally, it was a huge honour for us to have Mario Andretti present the pole award here in America today: a genuine legend of our sport."
The rough asphalt mixed with the increasingly heavy bumps and lower than average temperatures for the time of year could prove to be a challenge for the drivers to manage.