2021 United States Grand Prix - Sunday
- Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won an intensely tactical race with a two-stop strategy, having started from pole. After losing the lead to Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton at the start, Verstappen made his first pit stop from P Zero Yellow medium to P Zero White hard on lap 11, with a successful ‘undercut’ to gain the lead from his rival, who stopped three laps later.
- At the second round of pit stops, the Dutchman again stopped before Hamilton: who went eight laps longer to have much fresher hard tyres at the finish and race the Red Bull driver hard over the final laps, closing to within less than a second at the flag.
- Verstappen and Hamilton both adopted the same medium-hard-hard strategy, while Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in third (who only had one fresh set of hards available) did two stints on the medium followed by just one on the hard.
- Wear and degradation were quite high and at the same significant levels seen in free practice at the demanding COTA track: noted for its bumps, aggressive surfaces and very fast first sector.
- Despite some drizzle earlier in the day, conditions were warm and dry for the race, but with some wind too. The race got underway with 31 degrees centigrade ambient and 39 degrees of track temperature.
- All the drivers began the race on the P Zero Yellow medium tyre, with the exception of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda on the P Zero Red soft (which they had used to set their best Q2 times on Saturday).
- As expected, it was a two-stop strategy for everyone, with just two drivers stopping three times.
HOW EACH TYRE PERFORMED
- HARD C2: The main compound used during the race, with the majority of drivers completing two stints on the white tyre and managing its relatively minor degradation in these demanding race conditions. Verstappen’s final stint on this compound lasted 27 laps, while Hamilton used it to claim the extra championship point for fastest lap.
- MEDIUM C3: Chosen by nearly everyone at the start. Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll completed the longest first stint on these, with 18 laps, while his team mate Sebastian Vettel did the longest middle stint on the mediums: 21 laps. As expected, this tyre needed more management in race conditions.
- SOFT C4: As per expectations, Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz completed a 11-lap stint at the beginning of the race on this compound, having been one of just two drivers to start on it. Both he and Tsunoda finished in the points after a short opening soft stint followed by two longer stints on the hard.
MARIO ISOLA – HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING
“Tyre wear was high as we expected on this hot and abrasive circuit, which led to nearly everyone choosing the medium to start the race on and then focussing on the hard as the main race tyre. This stood up extremely well to the demands on it, with some long stints that helped to set up a thrilling finale to this race between the championship protagonists. Both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton had exactly the same tyre allocation left before the race but used it in very different ways, with Hamilton making the most of his younger tyres at the end, and Verstappen capitalising on the track position gained by his ‘undercuts’. The result was a fantastic strategic duel that led to a thrilling finale between two drivers absolutely on top of their game, managing their tyres perfectly.”
|BEST TIME BY COMPOUND|
|LONGEST STINT OF THE RACE|
|PIT STOP SUMMARY|
|CAR||DRIVER||START||PIT 1||PIT 2||PIT 3|
|33||VER||C3u||C2n (10)||C2n (29)|
|44||HAM||C3u||C2n (13)||C2n (37)|
|11||PER||C3u||C3u (12)||C2n (30)|
|16||LEC||C3u||C2n (12)||C2n (32)|
|3||RIC||C3u||C2n (11)||C2n (30)|
|77||BOT||C3u||C2n (15)||C2n (34)|
|55||SAI||C4u||C2n (11)||C2n (29)|
|4||NOR||C3u||C2n (10)||C2n (30)|
|22||TSU||C4u||C2n (9)||C2n (32)|
|5||VET||C3u||C3u (17)||C2n (38)|
|99||GIO||C3n||C3u (8)||C2n (26)|
|18||STR||C3n||C3n (18)||C2n (34)|
|7||RAI||C3n||C3n (12)||C2n (31)|
|63||RUS||C3n||C2n (9)||C2n (31)|
|6||LAT||C3n||C2n (5)||C2n (25)|
|47||MSC||C3n||C2n (11)||C3n (34)|
|9||MAZ||C3n||C2n (1)||C3n (24)||C3u (37)|
|14||ALO||C3n||C2n (7)||C2n (28)||C3n (39)|
|31||OCO||C3u||C2n (3)||C3u (25)|
C2 = Hard C2 | C3 = Medium C3 | C4 = Soft C4
n = new | u = used