2022 United States Grand Prix - Friday
WHAT WE LEARNED
- The second free practice session in Austin went as planned, with 90 minutes dedicated to slick tyre development for next year. The run plans and prescriptions were identical for all the teams in order to collect the first batch of data that will be used to define the harder compounds in the 2023 range.
- Five teams (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Haas, McLaren and Williams) did not run their usual line-up in FP1. This meant that they were allowed to carry out their own pre-race preparations with their regular drivers for the first part of FP2 before doing the Pirelli test for the remainder of the session, following an earlier agreement.
- Conditions were dry and warm all day as expected, peaking at 31 degrees centigrade ambient and 39 degrees on track during FP2. This enabled relevant data to be collected on the harder 2023 compounds throughout the test, held in ideal conditions on a track like Austin that features lateral loads as well as traction and braking.
- The test meant that the usual routine of data collection from FP2 was different to normal. As a result, the work done in FP3 tomorrow will be vital in establishing the performance gaps between the three compounds. The weather conditions in FP1 were similar to FP2, with Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz setting the fastest time of FP1 (1m36.857s) on P Zero Red soft.
“We were finally able to get the first part of the 2023 testing programme completed following the wet weather that cancelled the planned session in Japan. The work we did in FP2 here will allow us to analyse valuable data collected on the harder compounds, just as next weekend’s FP2 session in Mexico City will give us some useful information on the softer compounds. It was an important day, where a different style of FP1 and FP2 will put the emphasis on FP3 tomorrow to help formulate the best strategy for the race. The windy conditions and bumpy surface also underlined today how the Circuit of the Americas remains one of the most interesting circuits for drivers and engineers.”
THE BIG NUMBER: 2823
This was the total number of kilometres covered by the 2023 prototype tyres during today’s FP2 session, involving 20 cars and all 10 teams. That’s the equivalent of 513 laps: close to 10 grand prix distances in total.