2022 United States Grand Prix - Saturday
THE ROAD TO POLE
- Carlos Sainz headed a Ferrari one-two in qualifying, with all the drivers using the P Zero Red soft tyres from start to finish. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished third but will line up alongside Sainz tomorrow – who claims the third pole position of his career – due to a grid penalty for Charles Leclerc.
- Weather conditions were warm and dry, with ambient temperatures of 32 degrees and track temperatures of 39 degrees at the start of qualifying. There were very strong gusting winds all day, which affected the aerodynamic balance and caused some big slides. Similar conditions are expected tomorrow.
- Red Bull’s Max Verstappen went fastest in FP3 this morning, which was a more important session than usual as yesterday’s 2023 tyre test during FP2 meant that the teams were limited in their experience of the 2022 tyres here. Verstappen used the soft tyres to set his best FP3 time (1m35.825s) right at the end of the session.
- The Pirelli Pole Position Award at the Circuit of the Americas was given to Sainz by a fellow Spaniard: last year’s Indycar champion Alex Palou. Palou, who had his first taste of 2022 Formula 1 machinery yesterday with McLaren, was second-fastest of the five guest drivers in FP1, underlining the increasing profile of Formula 1 in America. The 25-year-old is also a former race winner in GP3 and previously competed in Formula 2.
The best strategy for the 56-lap United States Grand Prix is likely to be a two-stopper, using the P Zero Yellow medium tyres and the P Zero White hard tyres – owing to the high degree of degradation on the soft.
The fastest way seems set to be one medium stint followed by two stints on the hard: although medium-hard-medium could be a good way forward too. As always, the tyres that each driver has left in their individual allocations will influence the strategy.
A three-stopper is not to be excluded: especially because there is only a short pit lane time loss in Austin and plenty of possibilities to overtake.
Pirelli’s race to road philosophy is perfectly encapsulated by the Pirelli Hot Laps programme, which puts racing drivers into roadgoing supercars to give lucky guests an unforgettable experience around five grand prix circuits this year. Many of the best cars in the world are represented in the Pirelli Hot Laps programme on P Zero tyres, with Palou taking the wheel of the McLaren 720S used at the Circuit of the Americas.