Tyre Me Out

Let’s address the big news of the weekend. Pirelli is coming in hott with pink tyres. The Italian company has decided to switch out the purple color on their ultrasoft tyres for this weekend’s United States Grand Prix. It is part of the sport’s push to help breast cancer awareness. I think it is a great move, and has me thinking Pirelli should be doing more with their tyre colors. Who wouldn’t want to see a red, white & blue themed tyre this weekend? Some food for thought.

So who is going to be rocking the pink sidewalls and when? The 2016 United States GP featured medium, soft and super soft compounds. Most teams opted for a traditional two stop strategy while a few drivers gambled with the three stopper. The 2017 version of the United States Grand Prix features the soft, super soft and ultra soft compounds.  As we have heard about all year, the 2017 compounds are more durable. So what kind of strategy can we expect?

Let’s start with the obvious. The teams and drivers that are gunning for top grid spots will be setting their Q3 fast laps on the purple pink¬†ultra soft tyres. Which means those drivers will be starting the race on the same tyre. Logic would dictate teams then switch onto the super soft during their first pit stop. Things become interested on the second and mostly likely final stop. Judging by tyre selection, I would say many teams are going to switch back to the ultra soft and finish the race setting fast laps. COTA is fairly tough on tyres, however, so anything could happen. Could we see the soft compound and a one stopper? Look for at least one team to mix it up and gamble on a lucky outcome.

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