Tyre tactics played key role in US Grand Prix

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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton stormed to victory at the United States Grand Prix when a wide range of tyre strategies made the race an exciting spectacle.

Hamilton used a two-stop tyre strategy to climb from second place on the grid to overtake team mate Nico Rosberg, who crossed the line in second place. It was the British drivers 32nd victory, which means that he is now fifth on the list of all-time winners, equalling Fernando Alonso, and has the highest number of Formula One wins of any British driver.

Hamilton started on the soft tyre and then completed two stints on the medium tyre to win the race by four seconds: a strategy that was echoed by his team mate. All the drivers apart from Nico Hulkenberg (Force India), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) started on the soft tyre, with Vettel in particular hoping that a diverse strategy would help him make progress following a pit lane start.

A safety car on the opening lap prompted a number of drivers to come into the pits, changing their strategies, including both McLarens. The most interesting tactic was from Vettel, who did only one lap on the soft tyres under the safety car – potentially allowing him to run all the way to the end of the 56-lap race without stopping again. He climbed from the pit lane to finish in seventh place using his innovative tyre tactics.

Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli tyres, commented: “We’ve seen some very close racing all the way from the front to the back of the grid, putting on a great show for the crowd here in the United States. That’s been helped by the tyre choice, which has been exactly right in terms of degradation and grip, allowing a wide range of strategies and plenty of entertainment from the start all the way to the very end.

“Tyre performance obviously changed compared to yesterday because of the warmer temperatures, which led to some quick calls on the pit wall. Lewis Hamilton was able to use his tyres perfectly to gain an advantage when it mattered most over a very strong team mate. Congratulations to Mercedes for winning the drivers’ championship – now we just have to wait and see with which driver!”

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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