MAX VERSTAPPEN HITS FIFTY
Max Verstappen secured his fifteenth win of the season, thus equalling the record he set last year. It was also the three times world champion’s fiftieth career win and today he really had to extend himself to fight his way to the front from sixth on the grid. Once in the lead after passing Lando Norris, Max had to fend off Lewis Hamilton who, in his final stint used his tyre compound advantage to close on the leader, although he never got the chance to attempt a passing move. The podium therefore featured two Englishmen, the Mercedes driver ahead of McLaren’s.
MARIO ISOLA - PIRELLI MOTORSPORT DIRECTOR
“On one of the most probing tracks of the season, we witnessed a very closely contested race, with exciting duels both on track and between the strategists. On the topic of strategy, the way the race played out confirmed that a two-stop was the quickest option, especially because the one-stop alternative would require very careful tyre management thus making it difficult for a driver to push hard for many laps, while those on two stops were able to do so. That was the case with Leclerc who, although he did not see a drop in performance towards the end due to degradation, found his pace was not strong enough to defend from several drivers who chose to pit twice.
Looking at tyre performance in general, the Medium proved to be the most suitable compound, because it offered more grip than the Hard, but its degradation did not result in much slower lap times. The Soft was hardly used – only by AlphaTauri in the closing stages – and looking at Tsunoda’s performance it showed it was a great tyre over a single flying lap, but not really an option over a long distance on this Austin track with today’s temperatures. Finally, it’s worth noting that even in the race there was no graining.”
THE DAY ON TRACK
The vast majority of drivers preferred to start on the Medium tyres, the only exceptions being Lance Stroll and Nico Hulkenberg, who started on Hard from pit lane alongside their respective team-mates Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen. As expected, the quickest strategy was a two stop, running Medium and Hard. Two drivers tried to run the whole race making just a single pit stop: Charles Leclerc, who extended his first stint to lap 23 before running the remaining 33 laps on a set of Hards, and Daniel Ricciardo who, on lap 47, probably aborted his attempt to get to the chequered flag on the Hards, switching to Softs for the final laps. His AlphaTauri team-mate, Yuki Tsunoda did the same, making a third stop on the penultimate lap, attempting and succeeding in taking the additional point on offer for setting the fastest race lap as he rounded off the top ten.
NEXT UP FOR OUR F1 TYRES
Next stop is Mexico City: the circuit named after the Rodriguez brothers will host the 20th race of this year’s Formula 1 World Championship from 27 to 29 October. The compounds available there are the C3 as P Zero White hard, C4 as P Zero Yellow medium and C5 as P Zero Red soft. This trio is therefore one step softer than those used last year.
Jessica Edgar made the most of the pole position she secured on Friday in the third and final race in Austin. The English girl, driving for Rodin Carlin, fended off attacks from Marta Garcia to keep the lead all the way to the flag. The Prema Racing driver eventually finished third as she was also passed by her fellow Spaniard Nerea Marti (Campos Racing.) Garcia still had something to celebrate as her Prema Racing team clinched the teams’ title. The inaugural season of the Pirelli-shod all-women’s series is now over, while the Jeddah circuit will host the opening round of the 2024 championship from 7 to 9 March as part of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend.
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.