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United States GP: Pirelli Qualifying Review

By Courtesy of Pirelli
October 21 2018

 
 Pirelli United States GP Qualifying Review
 
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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will start the United States Grand Prix from pole position: one of four drivers in the top 10 of the grid (along with his team mate Valtteri Bottas, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo) who will begin the race on the supersoft tyre. Hamilton’s ninth pole of the season means that he will end the year with more poles than anyone else, claiming the overall 2018
Pirelli Pole Position Award.

Today was the first day of dry running, which meant that teams had to concentrate their preparations for qualifying and the race into the hour-long FP3 session this morning. The teams are likely to align their race pace to a one-stopper tomorrow: however, without a full complement of dry running data, and much warmer conditions for the race, nobody knows for certain how exactly to run this strategy.

MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF CAR RACING
“In the end today was completely dry, which meant that we saw quite a lot of track evolution in FP3, and the teams headed into qualifying with just one hour’s worth of slick tyre data after free practice this morning. The compounds here seem quite closely matched, with around half a second between each one in terms of lap time. However, with no real long runs completed, the full picture in terms of wear and degradation is yet to fully emerge, which keeps a few intriguing question marks for the race. We’ve already seen variations in strategy throughout qualifying, so it will be interesting to see how this
pans out tomorrow. Starting on the supersoft might allow more strategic flexibility, but this also depends on track conditions. With supersoft and ultrasoft lining up alongside each other in P1 and P2 tomorrow, it's going to be a fascinating start to the grand prix.”

HOW THE TYRES BEHAVED TODAY
SOFT - Not run at all today, but all three compounds are viable options for the race.
SUPERSOFT - Four drivers used them in Q2, including Lewis Hamilton on pole.
ULTRASOFT - Around 0.5 seconds faster than supersoft, on the front row with Kimi Raikkonen.

 
FREE PRACTICE 3 – TOP 3 TIMES
DRIVER 		TIME      COMPOUND
Vettel 		1m33.797s ULTRASOFT NEW
Raikkonen 	1m33.843s ULTRASOFT NEW
Hamilton 	1m33.870s ULTRASOFT NEW

QUALIFYING TOP 10
DRIVER 		TIME 	  COMPOUND
Hamilton 	1m32.237s ULTRASOFT NEW
Vettel 		1m32.298s ULTRASOFT NEW
Raikkonen 	1m32.307s ULTRASOFT NEW
Bottas 		1m32.616s ULTRASOFT NEW
Ricciardo 	1m33.494s ULTRASOFT NEW
Ocon 		1m34.145s ULTRASOFT NEW
Hulkenberg 	1m34.215s ULTRASOFT NEW
Grosjean 	1m34.250s ULTRASOFT NEW
Leclerc 	1m34.420s ULTRASOFT NEW
Perez 		1m34.594s ULTRASOFT NEW

MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND SO FAR
COMPOUND 	DRIVER 	  		  LAPS
ULTRASOFT 	Bottas, Raikkonen, Vettel 11
SUPERSOFT 	Gasly 			  19
SOFT 		Hartley 		  17

BEST TIME BY COMPOUND SO FAR
COMPOUND 	DRIVER 	  TIME
ULTRASOFT 	Hamilton  1m32.237s
SUPERSOFT 	Vettel    1m33.079s
SOFT 		Ocon 	  1m36.856s
 
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