Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel has taken his 12th win of the season and his first in the United States with a one-stop strategy using Pirelli tyres.
The German racer started on Pirelli tyres P Zero White medium tyre and then changed to the P Zero Orange hard on lap 27. His victory marks another record for Vettel who is now the first man in Formula One history to win eight consecutive races in the course of a season. Now, Hungary is the only grand prix left on the calendar that the newly-crowned champion is yet to win.
According to Pirelli tyres, the biggest challenge facing the drivers throughout the Austin weekend was hugely variable track temperatures, ranging from 18 degrees centigrade on Friday to a maximum of 37 degrees centigrade for the race on Sunday. This had an obvious effect on tyre behaviour, making it very difficult for teams to predict wear and degradation – and therefore the strategy.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli tyres, said: “The variation in temperature we saw over the course of the weekend was quite remarkable, meaning that the drivers encountered different track conditions in every session. With such a wide spread of asphalt temperatures, you would ideally need more than just the two compounds stipulated in the regulations, but these were highly unusual circumstances and that was obviously not an option! As a result, the teams did not really have a proper read on the wear and degradation rates heading into the race. Nonetheless, most drivers chose a one-stop strategy as we expected, helped by the safety car period at the beginning of the grand prix, which then led to a race with less strategy and fewer variables than we have been accustomed to recently.”