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Mat Coch writes:
Drivers starting from an odd-numbered grid slot face a distinct advantage ahead of today's United States Grand Prix.
The newly opened Circuit of the America's is hosting Formula One for the first time, it's freshly laid tarmac still gaining grip. Lap times across the weekend have dropped progressively as more rubber is laid on the racing line, which runs down the right hand side of the start/finish straight.
However drivers who qualified for an even-numbered grid slot will start from the left hand side, which has received next to no running and therefore provides little grip.
"The left hand side of the grid will be a joke," said Mark Webber on Friday. "You want to be on the right hand side if you can."
"This morning I did a start on the left and I was slower than in the wet," lamented Ferrari's Felipe Massa after qualifying. "I think it will be the biggest difference you ever saw in our starts."
Ironically Massa will benefit from a grid penalty imposed on Romain Grosjean, promoting the Brazilian from seventh on the grid to sixth. Championship leader Sebastian Vettel will enjoy the clean side of the grid starting from pole while rival Fernando Alonso will line up eighth.
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