• United States Grand Prix

Teams get extra tyres for COTA

ESPN Staff
November 12, 2012 « 'I've got big shoes to fill' - Perez | Force India to announce drivers at end of season »
With a new circuit to learn, the teams will get an extra set of hard tyres for FP1 and FP2 © Circuit of the Americas
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Pirelli has confirmed it will supply the teams with an extra set of hard compound tyres for Friday practice ahead of the United States Grand Prix.

This weekend's race is the first to be held at the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and comes at a crucial time in the championship with Sebastian Vettel able to take the title in America. With neither the teams nor Pirelli having run on the circuit before, an extra set of hard tyres has been allocated to help them to learn the track.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says the race "will be the biggest challenge for us of the year" but thinks the conservative choice of hard and medium tyres won't necessarily meant a boring race.

"Austin is one of just three new tracks for us in Formula One competition this year, alongside Bahrain - which we've tested at previously - and Hockenheim, where we previously raced in GP3," Hembery said. "So in many ways America will be the biggest challenge for us of the year, but stepping into the unknown is a situation that we are used to: last season the majority of tracks were completely new to us. We've chosen the hard and the medium compounds as we think it will be quite a demanding track, based on the asphalt samples and simulation data we have gathered.

"Naturally we've leaned towards a slightly more conservative choice in order to cover every possibility at a brand new circuit, but the tyre choice in Abu Dhabi was also conservative and yet we saw one of the most exciting races of the year. We're all absolutely delighted to be returning to America with Formula One: it's a crucial market for us as well as being the home of many of the most enthusiastic fans out there. We've felt a huge buzz about this race, and with the championship so finely poised it couldn't come at a better time."