The Key Strategic Moment of the 2015 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX came on lap 27 when Sebastian Vettel switched to the medium tyres under the first safety car. This move let the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS and Infiniti Red Bull Racing cars know that he was going to try and finish on those tyres, so they had to build a 22 second gap over him in order to pit and retain position. It nearly paid off, however further safety cars gave his rivals a chance to pit without losing position to him and forced Vettel to pit again.
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 which 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, as teams were forced to improvise on strategy. Many teams were proposing a race tyre plan of soft-soft-medium, but in the end few runners went for the soft in the second stint and those who did, did not come out of it well.
In collaboration with James Allen
United States, Austin
October 25 | 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 third 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 8 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. Sebastian Vettel won last year’s edition.
Circuit length 5.51 km
Race distance 308.405 km
2014 winner Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)