The Key Strategic Moment of the US Grand Prix was the Virtual Safety Car on Lap 31, which was triggered by Max Verstappen stopping out on the circuit with a gearbox problem. Ultimately this hurt his Red Bull Racing team mate Daniel Ricciardo the most, as it gave Nico Rosberg, against whom he was racing, a ‘free’ pit stop that kept the German out of his reach, meaning Ricciardo could only finish third.
Haas thrive at home
How did they perform in Austin?
We picked the Haas F1 Team for the US Grand Prix weekend and it ended positively with a 10th place finish for Romain Grosjean and a World Championship point on the team’s home debut. The Frenchman started 17th on the grid but he got off to a good start and did a two-stop strategy, with the supersoft, soft and then a long stint on medium tires. He was fortunate that none of the cars he was racing against were able to benefit from the Virtual Safety Car on Lap 31, as they all had just made their pit stops.
Race Strategy Briefing
A great racing track
Circuit of the Americas features corners styled on other iconic tracks, but above all it is a great circuit with good overtaking opportunities.
The 10th time this tire combination has been used and it will lead to two-stop strategies. Some drivers may try to qualify on
High top speeds
The cars will hit speeds of around 335km/h on the 1km main straight leading into turn 12.
A good track for overtaking
Turn 1 is a great overtaking corner due to the variety of lines that are available. Typically there are around 40 overtakes per race in dry weather.
Track temperatures will be decisive
The soft and medium tires have a very different working range depending on the track temperatures.
United States, Austin
October 23 | 14:00 local time, 21:00 CET
Formula 1 has been searching for some time for a suitable permanent circuit in the USA and in Austin it has found it. In only its fifth year, the American Grand Prix in Austin has rapidly become a favourite with both fans and F1 teams. Once again designed by Hermann Tilke, this undulating circuit takes characteristics from some of the best corners in racing, including the Maggots-Becketts section at Silverstone and the famous Turn Eight in Turkey. Austin’s first race was a thriller as Lewis Hamilton made use of DRS to complete a move around the outside of Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages for race victory. And in 2013 the move was replicated by many others, making use of the long back straight into a heavy-braking hairpin. Lewis Hamilton had been victorious twice in the last two years and sealed his third world title with the win in 2015.
Circuit length 5.513 km
Race distance 308.405 km
Race winner 2015 Lewis Hamilton
Pirelli allocation Supersoft/Soft/Medium
Austin is always a cat and mouse game at the front and we have seen overtakes for the lead in the closing stages on several occasions. It is also a track that rewards aggressive strategy; the undercut (pitting a lap earlier than the car in front) is particularly effective here. Last year’s race featured a number of surprises due to the weather, as teams were forced to improvise on strategy. But the race was ultimately decided in Lewis Hamilton’s favor when Nico Rosberg made a mistake and slipped off the road.
In collaboration with James Allen