Charles Leclerc will start Sunday afternoon’s United States Grand Prix from pole position. For the Scuderia Ferrari driver it’s the third time he has secured the number one grid slot this year, all of them on the Friday of a Sprint weekend, the two previous occasions being in Baku and Spa. It’s the Monegasque’s 21st career pole and the 247th for the Scuderia.


Another Sprint weekend, the fourth of the season and the second in a row after Lusail. It means that, on a track that is particularly demanding for the tyres, the teams only had an hour of free practice to set up the cars for the rest of the weekend and to evaluate tyre behaviour over a long run. The track proved to be in good condition right from the first session, with times tumbling down gradually as the cars put in the laps and, despite very high temperatures, with the track reaching 45°C, times were a second quicker than in the same session last year.


The Sprint weekends always pose an additional challenge for everyone, because there is less time to evaluate car and tyre performance before the teams have to tackle qualifying. That is also true for us, because, objectively, we have far less data with which to predict tyre behaviour over the rest of the weekend. However, today we still managed to gather sufficient information relating to all three compounds, especially the Medium and Hard, with which the teams did pretty representative long runs, both with a full fuel load in race trim as well as with a medium fuel level. Both compounds seemed to work well in terms of performance and consistency. As was easily predictable, the Soft seems to be only viable for a short stint, so its use in the races would only be possible in certain situations, for example a Safety Car period towards the end.

One important aspect is that none of the three compounds showed any signs of graining despite the very high temperatures, with the track comfortably exceeding the 40 °C mark. Tomorrow we can expect a particularly busy Saturday with the Shootout kicking things off, followed by the Sprint over a distance of 19 laps. A fortnight ago in Qatar, the choice of which compound to use for the Sprint was pretty well balanced, with twelve drivers starting on the Medium and eight on the Soft, the latter taking a risk on the Saturday to try and gain an advantage in the following day’s race and this is a scenario that could be played out again tomorrow afternoon.”


For the first time ever, the young women competing in the F1 Academy were able to race each other on the same track and in the same conditions as their Formula 1 colleagues. COTA is actually hosting the seventh and final round of the inaugural season of the women’s series, for which Pirelli is the sole tyre supplier. Marta Garcia (Prema Racing) took pole position in the first qualifying session, while that honour fell to Jessica Edgar (Rodin Carlin) in the second one. The first two races of the season finale take place tomorrow, Saturday, the first over 12 laps (maximum 30 minutes + 1 lap) and the second over 8 laps (maximum 20 minutes +1 lap).


Founded in 1872, Pirelli is a company with deep Italian roots now recognised all over the world for its cutting-edge technology, capacity for innovation, and the quality of its products. Motorsport has always played an important part in Pirelli’s strategy, following the ‘race to road’ philosophy. The company has been engaged in motorsport for 116 years and today supplies tyres to more than 350 championships on both two and four wheels. Pirelli pays constant attention to the most efficient use of natural resources and energy, aiming to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. 
Pirelli has been Global Tyre Partner of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship since 2011. The company also supplies championships including FIA Formula 2, FIA Formula 3, Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, FIA World Rally Championship and GT World Challenge, alongside numerous national series.