Tyres, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Midfield teams prefer ultra-softs for US GP

2017 United States Grand Prix

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McLaren and Williams have been the most aggressive with their selections for the United States Grand Prix, choosing nine sets of the ultra-softs for each of their drivers.

Championship contenders Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have made broadly similar tyre compound choices for the race at the Circuit of the Americas.

All the drivers from the top three teams have chosen seven sets of the ultra-soft tyres for the race. But Hamilton has a slightly more conservative selection than the others have picked three sets of soft tyres. The rest have four apart from Kimi Raikkonen, who has chosen five.

2017 United States Grand Prix tyre selections

DriverTeamTyres
Lewis HamiltonMercedesSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Valtteri BottasMercedesSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Daniel RicciardoRed BullSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Max VerstappenRed BullSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Sebastian VettelFerrariSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Kimi RaikkonenFerrariSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Sergio PerezForce IndiaSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Esteban OconForce IndiaSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Felipe MassaWilliamsSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Lance StrollWilliamsSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Fernando AlonsoMcLarenSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Stoffel VandoorneMcLarenSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Carlos Sainz JnrToro RossoSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Pierre GaslyToro RossoSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Romain GrosjeanHaasSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Kevin MagnussenHaasSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Nico HulkenbergRenaultSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Jolyon PalmerRenaultSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Pascal WehrleinSauberSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre
Marcus EricssonSauberSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyre

2017 United States Grand Prix

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Author information

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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Posted on Categories 2017 F1 season, 2017 United States Grand Prix

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  • 18 comments on “Midfield teams prefer ultra-softs for US GP”

    1. Why would you want 3 sets of soft tyres? I’m seeing a 1 stop race, US/SS or S if it’s a hard 1 stop. Therefore take 2 softs to be safe, 3 SS to be safe and the rest US, if you are a middle to bottom team, you won’t be quick enough to use SS in qualifying as a result you don’t need 3 SS, you can, rather like Alonso, go for 2 SS, that said if the race is a definite 2 stopper, you are going to be short on SS.
      Ham’s going safe 3S is too many. I can’t see S1 really destroying the tyres since s1 in suzuka didn’t, then the traction demanding stadium section is going to benefit from ss and US traction, long straights don’t ruin the tyres so, it’s understandable that some teams went for 2/2 and 2/1 soft tyre allocations.

      1. @peartree
        I remember a few occasions when Mercedes have used a harder tyre when a softer one seemed more appropriate, there are a lot of reasons it could make a better race tyre outside of simple grip and wear.

      2. Ham’s going safe 3S is too many

        He effectively has 2, Ham will burn 1 set in practice while Bottas will burn the extra SS he has, leaving them both with 2 S and 3 SS. It is a pattern they have repeated during the year.

      3. The third set of soft for Hamilton is for direct comparison to fourth set of supersoft for Bottas. The rest of the tyres are mirrowed for each driver and are for seeking performance / qualifying / racing.
        Mercedes has this stagger in tyre selection for every race. I am not sure why keith said Hamilton will have a more conservative choice than Bottas when we take those comparison sets out the two drivers effectively have the same selection.

        1. I am not sure why keith said Hamilton will have a more conservative choice than Bottas

          Yeah there are frequently problems with Keith’s articles. As you say (and as I had above) Bottas and Hamilton effectively have the same tyre choice once you take the split practice work into account. Anyway:

          But Hamilton has a slightly more conservative selection than the others have picked three sets of soft tyres. The rest have four apart from Kimi Raikkonen, who has chosen five.

          This part of the article basically makes no sense. For starters I guess that should be having not have in the first sentence. Secondly it implies that everyone has 4 sets of softs (except kimi) which is also wrong.

      4. What about race simulations and a run on them for q2

    2. Interesting to see that Renault’s Jolyon Palmer has the same choice as Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz!

      1. :D :D :D :D :D no one noticed that’s sharp… JP is no more with renault Keith.

    3. Is McLaren midfield now? :o

      1. They’ve made Q3 in 5 of the last 6 GP’s!

        1. I know – it’s tragic. As a Mclaren fan of many years… I’m having a lot of trouble adjusting to this.

          They have the DNA of a leading team. It’s not that long ago that they were contending for championships!

          1. Definitely noticed the upward swing in performance :) They’re still 9th in the WCC but then again, i guess apart from Sauber there are no real backmarkers this season, the midfield seems to be relatively well matched

          2. I know – it’s tragic. As a Mclaren fan of many years… I’m having a lot of trouble adjusting to this.

            They have the DNA of a leading team. It’s not that long ago that they were contending for championships!

            He didn’t say midfield in a derogatory way but as a massive improvement.

            And they haven’t really seriously contended the championship since 2012! That is a long time ago dude.

    4. Why isn’t anyone going with just one set of the hardest compound available?

      1. Grosjean, Stroll and Raikkonen are…

        1. @akshay-it @phylyp I see. Previously all the drivers were shown having at least two sets of soft, so that must’ve been an error.

      2. @jerejj – if you mean why no team is going with just one set, they always prefer having one of their drivers with an extra set of the hardest compound. The driver that has the extra set trials that compound in FP to decide if its race-worthy or not, and that information is used for both drivers.

        As Akshay pointed out, there are 3 teams that have one driver with such an approach, and many more teams with a staggered approach.

    5. So 26 sets of tyres per team, 4 tyres per set: just over 100 tyres.
      Sometimes swapped for wets and inters – I wonder how many? Probably about the same numbers.
      10 teams -> 1,000+ tyres per race.
      20 races per season -> 20,000 tyres per season.
      Although I guess they don’t always use all the tyres, so it’ll be less than 20k in all probability.
      Still, wow.

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