Las Vegas, 2022

Pirelli pick softest tyres for “super-cold” Las Vegas Grand Prix

Formula 1

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Pirelli will bring its three softest tyre compounds for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, which will take place at night and in cold temperatures.

The C3 tyre will function as the hard compound choice, with the C4 as the medium and the C5 as the soft. The practice sessions will take place late in the evenings of Thursday and Friday, with qualifying potentially held in even colder conditions since it starts at midnight on Saturday morning. The race begins at 10pm local time later that day.

“The temperature and the asphalt is quite smooth, according to the information I have,” said Pirelli’s motorsport director Mario Isola. “So the level of grip will be very poor. I can anticipate this.”

“I can imagine that with these cold conditions, super-cold conditions, and a circuit that is not generating a lot of energy into the tyres, the warm-up will be tricky,” he added.

Williams driver Alexander Albon says the cooler temperatures could lead drivers to spend a significant amount of the qualifying session warming up their tyres rather than going on push laps.

“It’s clear that it’s very high speed. It feels extremely quick when you’re driving on the simulator,” he said of the new Las Vegas Strip Circuit.

“A lot of the corners are even flat still. So there’s not so many corners, which obviously favours us. Should be four degrees, five degrees [Celsius] I think, which will be interesting.”

Albon suggested driver might need to do “three or four prep laps for qualifying” to get their tyres up to the correct temperature before starting a flying lap.

Pirelli has also confirmed that the same three compounds will be brought to the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina.

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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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27 comments on “Pirelli pick softest tyres for “super-cold” Las Vegas Grand Prix”

  1. That means more pitstops in the race right?

    1. More likely they’ll all start the race with the plan to nurse the tyres, because having to make up an entire stop on pace is just not worth the gamble given the risk of a safety cars or even red flag.

      But if the seemingly inevitable safety car comes out later on in the race it could indeed prompt an flurry of pitstops.

    2. I anticipate any crash more than a nudge against the wall, could lead to a red flag for barrier repairs, so likely few racing pit stops, and loads of free tyre changes.

  2. Poor grip and cold temps and few corners mean that a lot of cars are just not going to get their tires in the window and qualifying will be a lottery. Same may happen in the race. I also worry about brakes for the same reason. Not a lot of corners and fast straights may mean trouble there too.

    1. @dmw It looks like a test session in Barcelona maybe it goes snowing :)

  3. Spectating is going to be a chilly experience with a high temperature (during the day obviously) of 20° (70° F) and lows below 10° C; better wear a jacket or sweater and pack the gloves. I don’t understand the timing of this race at all. For us in the U.S. it’s not watchable as it begins at 1:00 am Sunday morning on the east coast; Europe will be mid morning. The prices asked for tickets and lodging for this race are ridiculous; I’d rather spend less and go to Spa for a race and then take a holiday in Europe….

    1. The timing is solely about viewers in Europe & not exactly mid-morning in UTC+2, for example, & those timings are identical to Australian & Japanese GPs anyway.

    2. I don’t understand the timing of this race at all.

      It’s in Las Vegas, and they want to race in the dark. But for whatever reason they missed the most obvious solution to this: race in the morning. Not the late evening. Sunrise in Las Vegas this time of year is around 7:00. So say they start the race at 6:00. That puts every other major market from Brazil and the Eastern US to Europe and even East-Asia in a comfortable Sunday viewing time.

      1. Do you really think a 6:00 am race start will draw any spectators, especially in Las Vegas where they will all be sleeping off hang overs? Austin drew something over 400,000 over the weekend; 6:00 am in Vegas would draw 5,000 freezing, tired souls. FOM is paying themselves for this race, so any gate receipts go to them, not some promoter. Typical race fees are in the $25 to $30 million range plus on track advertising that goes to FOM; at an average ticket price of $1000 they would need at least 30,000 through the gate just to make the equivalent fee, then they have all the race expenses to cover including track and pit construction, etc. etc. 6:00 am Sunday morning sounds pretty ……..

        I’m an avid U.S. based F1 fan and have been for years and I would not even consider attending an event like that; newbies even less so IMHO.

      2. Yeah, that’d go down well with about no one. And pre-dawn morning is by far the coldest time of the day. So, instead of helping with track conditions, it’d be much worse.

    3. The prices have come down to about half of face value now. And still more expensive than European races, which are already vastly overpriced due to the Drive To Survive effect.

      All that guff about “Limited tickets” and the “Pre Sale” and they’re having to slash prices. Serves them right.

      1. How many tickets are left though and where are they located? There’s been so much media about how expensive the tickets are, it’s probably scared a lot of potential attendees from each checking.

  4. Three weeks to go, and it’s never too early for the excuses and whining to start.
    I hope the whole event is a disaster.

  5. Graining could be a big problem for the teams in those temperatures. Maybe the teams which traditionally stress their tyres more than their opposition – Ferrari, or even Haas, will benefit from these conditions.

    1. That’s a very reasonable assumption

    2. They should have the advantage and the team kind to their tyres Red Bull/Mercedes/McLaren will struggle with those temperatures ….

      1. If AM reverts to their older specs, their cars also seemed to go well in cool temps. Maybe an opportunity to be have decent.

  6. Good thing, as Pirelli has usually tended to bring the hardest compounds to wholly new circuits.
    However, I still don’t get the temperature exaggeration because if the highest ambient were in the 15-17 range, the late-evening ones would be a bit above 10 with mid-single digits during actual night hours, i.e., the coolest phase.

    1. I don’t think they have a choice. This is probably them being as cautious as possible on the other side of the spectrum.

  7. By far one of the worst build ups to a new race ever. Fury from locals who hate the constant disruptions for months, taxpayer money funding it even further, tourists can’t walk around/see sights like before, several workers have died, local businesses are upset only big casinos profiting & being blackmailed to pay up money as their venues overlook tracks, event is selling poorly with prices of hotels & tickets crashing & yet the f1 media acts like everything is fine lol. Keep Austin, srap Miami & Vegas, awful gimmicky ideas.

    1. Agreed. Awful everything just for the initial hype factor. Hopefully it will disappear in a few years, never to return.

      1. I agree, but remember FOM is financing this whole thing themselves, so it’s not a race promoter who would eat the cost. I seem to recall FOM actually bought a piece of property and built the pit complex, spending a rather large sum of money, so they are planning for long term; it won’t just vanish like the car park race fortunately did.

    2. Awful build up for an awful city and an awful track.

  8. I fly into Vegas at Thanksgiving and Christmas to visit family, always funny to hear some in the airport shocked how cold it is. They assume Vegas is always hot, but the winters are cold, it’s in the 30s and they didn’t bring a coat!

    1. They think Desert hot but forget in the nights it can be very cold. I remember a trip in the Sahara which i fried in the day to wake up in my tent freezing my balls off and actually seeing ice in the sand….
      Now the Nevada desert is colder then the Sahara but i am not familiar around those November.

      Is snow possible?

      1. And Vegas is freezing during the day in winter too.

      2. Yes, infrequently. I’ve been there seeing a inch or less fall twice at Christmas in the last 20 years.

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