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GP Week : Issue 213
37 GPWEEK.com // 37 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> USA PARTNERS: TECHNICAL advantage provided by the Option compound. Vettel was unable to try this choice, as his car in low downforce configuration, would easily destroy the softer compound tyres due to continuous sideways oversteer sliding at the exit of corners, and understeer under braking, putting pressure to the front tyres’ sidewalls. The secret to this race was in fact finding the right balance to make the tyres last longer, especially the softer ones, but at the same time keep a consistent pace throughout the race stints – notwithstanding the tyres compound used at that time. Mercedes of course was the best performer in this respect, but a key difference between Rosberg’s setup and Hamilton’s one was a relevant part of the Briton’s success. If we take a close look at the sector analysis we can see how the setup chosen by Hamilton was much more in the direction of a low downforce configuration, compared to the one chose by his team-mate. Regardless, he was able to manage his tyres in a way that kept them alive in each stint, longer and more efficiently compared to Rosberg. The German driver in fact started complaining after a few laps about the wear ratio and graining of the left front tyre, the one most put under pressure on this track. Even though his race pace was undoubtedly very good, and for sure unbearable for all the other teams drivers, it was not rally a blistering pace. On the other hand Hamilton was able to pass him and then control the race without losing too much ground, being able to rely on a perfectly set up car, that according to Lewis’ engineers, was able to generate a more uniform wear ratio on each set of tyres used by the Briton. The only other driver who was capable of managing tyres in such a way was Daniel Ricciardo. Of course, the Australian driver, unlike his team-mate, didn’t have to cope with the handicap of starting from the pitlane, so his setup choice was much more an average one – his car sported a sort of efficiency not at the level of the Mercedes ones, nor of the Williams’, but he adopted a very clever tyre management strategy, using an aggressive driving style only with the harder compound and then relying on the inherent performance provided by the softer one without putting these tyres under too much pressure. Ferrari too showed throughout the weekend a consistency never seen before. The rear suspension geometry change, adopted here as a test of next year ’s car ’s rear suspension, provided additional grip at the corner exit, that helped the Ferrari drivers also in terms of tyre management in the race. The aero development was a further slight help in terms of car balance improvement. RACE SECTOR ANALYSIS SECTOR T2 Time analysis RANGE 40,092(VET) – 41,086(MAG) 40 40.3 40.6 40.9 41.2 ALO RAI VET RIC MAG BUT MAS BOT HAM ROS T2 T2 RACE SECTOR ANALYSIS Sector T2 Speed analysis range 182,3 kmh(RAI) – 191,8Kmh (MAS) 182 184 186 188 190 192 ALO RAI VET RIC MAG BUT MAS BOT HAM ROS SPEED 2 SPEED 2