One-stop race tipped with “ultra-conservative” tyres

2013 United States Grand Prix Friday practice analysis

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Drivers found more grip at the Circuit of the Americas on their second visit to the circuit but as in 2012 should only need to make one pit stop for tyres.

“Compared to last year, the track conditions seemed better,” said Fernando Alonso, who added he had no concerns about his back following today’s running.

“For the first Grand Prix here, it was too new and there was a bit of oil on the track, while now there’s a lot more grip,” Alonso explained.

“As expected, there was very little degradation today as Pirelli’s choice of the medium and hard compounds here in Austin are an ultra-conservative choice.”

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery concurred with Alonso’s view. “From what we can see so far, we could well be looking at a one-stop race for most runners, as was the case last year, although some may try two stops if they feel it offers a speed advantage.”

There was no indication that Red Bull’s advantage in recent races has been diminished by any of their rivals. But Lewis Hamilton is at least feeling happier with his Mercedes after a fault was diagnosed in his previous chassis.

“After we changed the chassis yesterday, the car felt better to drive,” said Hamilton, “particularly on the long run when it was pretty consistent, so that’s a positive for me”.

Daniil Kvyat made his first appearance in an official F1 session ahead of his race debut next year but was one of several drivers to be frustrated by limited running in the first session.

“I enjoyed every single moment of driving the track even though there was a delay because of the fog and then a red flag,” said the Toro Rosso driver. “We didn’t do the full programme of course because the session was shortened, but we still did 20 laps which is important mileage for me and we also managed to do some aero measurements.

“Of course I’ve never driven here before and I think the track is very nice. It was good to go out there to try and find the limit of the car and the brakes.”

Here’s all the data from Friday practice for the United States Grand Prix:

Longest stint comparison

This chart shows all the drivers’ lap times (in seconds) during their longest unbroken stint:

Sebastian Vettel103.273102.935103.069103.513103.065103.191103.759103.062103.016104.919104.407103.137103.801109.996101.981
Mark Webber102.561103.761110.973101.914102.549105.04103.017104.495102.976102.032102.261
Fernando Alonso104.433104.043103.667104.154104.024103.598
Felipe Massa104.928104.731106.511104.69107.671104.614104.26104.706105.425107.157106.687104.071104.128
Jenson Button104.937104.405104.485109.73103.954103.856103.738103.733103.833105.296106.279106.426106.552103.815103.661
Sergio Perez105.696105.008104.807106.062107.475105.831105.424105.183104.586104.572
Heikki Kovalainen105.603104.631104.908104.939104.455104.714105.206104.319104.667104.816103.769103.843103.847
Romain Grosjean104.434104.294103.757104.019103.634103.356104.209103.358103.958104.248113.749109.818
Nico Rosberg104.044103.969103.886103.549104.958104.452104.465104.138103.306102.598
Lewis Hamilton105.167104.763108.777104.309105.59104.409104.178103.883104.423104.094103.943103.784106.916109.345108.23104.38111.247105.064104.187
Nico Hulkenberg104.14104.267103.664103.852104.154104.583104.56103.855103.992104.225104.714104.025
Esteban Gutierrez104.587104.283104.302104.713105.512104.343104.26104.169104.301104.145104.451103.505
Paul di Resta105.205104.66104.465104.809104.4106.799
Adrian Sutil107.442106.126106.999105.897105.271104.438
Pastor Maldonado107.147106.62106.269106.152105.901106.412105.64105.049106.285106.392105.855106.515105.789106.048105.164
Valtteri Bottas105.467105.221105.139104.995104.631104.842104.515104.592105.682107.764106.862106.317
Jean-Eric Vergne104.762104.669105.261108.782107.471106.29105.001105.385105.079
Daniel Ricciardo105.638105.281110.54109.414105.005104.828104.42104.594
Charles Pic107.502107.197106.582106.888109.175107.443106.893107.162106.613106.23106.639106.269106.607
Giedo van der Garde109.915106.628106.564106.329107.054109.614106.589106.455106.097111.231
Jules Bianchi109.128110.88109.047
Max Chilton107.641107.775108.394108.387106.482106.536106.775

Sector times and ultimate lap times

PosNo.DriverCarS1S2S3UltimateGapDeficit to best
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault26.474 (1)39.038 (2)31.793 (1)1’37.3050.000
22Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault26.585 (6)38.807 (1)32.003 (2)1’37.3950.0900.025
39Nico RosbergMercedes26.514 (3)39.062 (3)32.209 (9)1’37.7850.4800.000
410Lewis HamiltonMercedes26.494 (2)39.172 (4)32.126 (8)1’37.7920.4870.166
511Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari26.656 (9)39.271 (6)32.123 (7)1’38.0500.7450.204
68Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault26.601 (7)39.393 (8)32.064 (3)1’38.0580.7530.197
77Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault26.711 (11)39.264 (5)32.098 (6)1’38.0730.7680.000
85Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes26.749 (12)39.312 (7)32.085 (5)1’38.1460.8410.123
912Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari26.686 (10)39.452 (11)32.079 (4)1’38.2170.9120.012
103Fernando AlonsoFerrari26.576 (5)39.438 (10)32.264 (10)1’38.2780.9730.183
1115Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes26.916 (17)39.424 (9)32.379 (11)1’38.7191.4140.000
126Sergio PerezMcLaren-Mercedes26.635 (8)39.778 (15)32.388 (12)1’38.8011.4960.140
134Felipe MassaFerrari26.554 (4)39.851 (17)32.486 (13)1’38.8911.5860.047
1419Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari26.794 (14)39.576 (12)32.775 (17)1’39.1451.8400.101
1514Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes26.769 (13)39.666 (14)32.718 (16)1’39.1531.8480.257
1617Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault26.850 (15)39.811 (16)32.672 (14)1’39.3332.0280.179
1718Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari27.043 (18)39.663 (13)32.706 (15)1’39.4122.1070.167
1816Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault26.855 (16)39.969 (18)32.877 (19)1’39.7012.3960.083
1920Charles PicCaterham-Renault27.069 (19)40.299 (20)32.836 (18)1’40.2042.8990.172
2021Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault27.357 (20)40.293 (19)32.913 (20)1’40.5633.2580.000
2123Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth28.873 (21)42.061 (21)35.035 (21)1’45.9698.6640.257
2222Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth29.180 (22)42.218 (22)35.326 (22)1’46.7249.4190.285

Complete practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2Total laps
1Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’40.6621’37.30556
2Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’39.0831’37.42054
3Nico RosbergMercedes1’38.6571’37.78559
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’38.9791’37.95859
5Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’39.4871’38.07359
6Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’38.5321’38.22958
7Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1’39.1581’38.25457
8Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’39.2381’38.25546
9Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’38.3711’38.26959
10Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’38.3431’38.46149
11Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’38.3881’39.51254
12Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’39.6991’38.71946
13Felipe MassaFerrari1’39.0051’38.93854
14Sergio PerezMcLaren1’39.2561’38.94148
15Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’39.2001’39.78448
16Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’39.8631’39.24647
17Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’39.8361’39.41049
18Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’39.57936
19Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’40.06520
20Charles PicCaterham-Renault1’42.0541’40.37658
21Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’40.56335
22Alexander RossiCaterham-Renault1’41.39921
23Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1’41.6051’46.22650
24Rodolfo GonzalezMarussia-Cosworth1’43.71617
25Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1’47.98720

Speed trap

#DriverCarEngineMax speed (kph)Gap
114Paul di RestaForce IndiaMercedes315.1
215Adrian SutilForce IndiaMercedes314.11
317Valtteri BottasWilliamsRenault313.61.5
46Sergio PerezMcLarenMercedes313.41.7
510Lewis HamiltonMercedesMercedes313.12
612Esteban GutierrezSauberFerrari313.12
716Pastor MaldonadoWilliamsRenault3132.1
819Daniel RicciardoToro RossoFerrari312.62.5
95Jenson ButtonMcLarenMercedes312.32.8
102Mark WebberRed BullRenault311.73.4
111Sebastian VettelRed BullRenault311.14
129Nico RosbergMercedesMercedes310.94.2
1318Jean-Eric VergneToro RossoFerrari309.95.2
147Heikki KovalainenLotusRenault308.86.3
153Fernando AlonsoFerrariFerrari308.46.7
164Felipe MassaFerrariFerrari307.97.2
1720Charles PicCaterhamRenault306.98.2
1811Nico HulkenbergSauberFerrari306.88.3
1921Giedo van der GardeCaterhamRenault306.88.3
208Romain GrosjeanLotusRenault304.810.3
2123Max ChiltonMarussiaCosworth301.513.6
2222Jules BianchiMarussiaCosworth297.917.2

2013 United States Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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27 comments on “One-stop race tipped with “ultra-conservative” tyres”

  1. I like one stop races. They still involve staregty, but allow the guys to push.

    1. Agree, but I also did enjoy Spain (when this year’s championship still actually seemed up for grabs) when Ferrari committed to a four-stop with Alonso and just attacked it for the win.

      1. I absolutely loathed Spain: I thought it was one of the worst races of the Pirelli era as it was perhaps the race most dominated by tyre conservation in many, many years.

    2. Yep, should be good. Some drivers doing one stop and some doing two, with enough of each to race amongst themselves, is the best for me. Maybe an extra stop for Vettel (puncture or something) to give the others a chance…

      It’s a nice change to see a new F1 track being used properly throughout the year (sportscars, bikes and other racing) and to hear that this actually makes the track better!

  2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    15th November 2013, 23:53


    Means we’ll get to see them race flat out.

    1. And then everyone will complain that they can’t pass.

  3. Invariably though, the Red Bull’s look comfortably fastest. 8th win is looking pretty handy.

  4. Normally the Sauber has a high speed trap but thats quite a difference between the two drivers.

    1. @bosley the Red Bull’s are fairly high too, and the Ferrari’s pretty low interestingly (considering it’s unlikely the former will have to overtake much and very likely the latter will).

      1. @vettel1 It’s all over the shot, who knows who will be the moving blockade on sunday.

      2. Newey has pulled one out of the box AGAIN!
        Earlier Red bull were no where near the top of the speed trap,but now they are.
        They now have downforce and even good straight line speed. o_0
        And to make everything interesting we have (*Sarcasm*) Pirelli and their great contribution to F1 since 2011.

        1. @svarun indeed: since Belgium I think this has been the best Red Bull ever, with the best Vettel ever driving it. It’s been a formidable pairing.

    2. Today it was palpable how much faster Vettel was getting out of turn 12 compared to anyone else. The second best looking was actually Button who was able to break later than anyone. Very cool

      1. Were you in the stands @chaddy or just reasoning from armchair observations like myself?

        1. In the stands! I was just chatting with a McLaren mechanic at the hotel and he said he wasn’t surprised Jenson was breaking so late because he really has the feel down on the tires (although he had a nasty lockup in p1). And he probably pronounced it ‘tyres’.

          1. @chaddy you lucky chap!

            I recall seeing the lock-up, although they are pretty common in FP1 so I would say the mechanic’s comments are probably representative. On for a good points finish do you reckon then is Jenson?

          2. Yeah I vote on a solid race for McLaren despite expectations. Too bad about the red flag penalty, that was a joke

  5. Michael Brown (@)
    16th November 2013, 2:29

    This is a welcome change

  6. Lotus no longer doing the longest stint anymore. but seeing this as one-stop race, this might be sensible. Red Bull has found sweet spot between straight line speed and downforce, maybe more to come (man, that’s sound scary for others). and everyone stuck behind Force India will have a bad time. if Mercedes ever learnt their lesson, it would be good. Vettel will storms away at start if he got good traction and gear shift, will unlikely to be touched. One stop strategy will potentially produce another grand chelem for him.

    what will be more fascinating: battle for 3rd, sadly.

    1. “Battle for 3rd.” as long as it is a real battle without tyre worries who cares about RBR, anyway Webber will probably have some sort of problem to make it a 3-4 way battle for 2nd, 3rd, 4th.

  7. If the race was in San Francisco, we would have ultra-liberal tyres.

    1. LOL!

  8. Bad news. Last year’s race was not that good because of the ultra-conservative tyres :(

    1. Erm, wasn’t last year’s race really good?!

      I seem to remember it being one of the best of the season..

      1. I agree best dry race in the past few years

  9. looking at the race pace and if all goes to plan, should be a one stopper. but also Vettel looks to have the quickest race pace so once again another boring procession; not racing and gonna be a lot of booing. I think they r actually losing money cuz of Vettel and he doesn’t really care. so what does that say about him and his love for F1, looks like his love is really just for winning even if it were(hypothetical) to drive F1 into the ground.

    1. And what do you suggest would adequately show his love for F1? Intentionally driving more slowly?

Comments are closed.