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Big guns go conservative for Austin

NEWS STORY
22/10/2019

Other than Charles Leclerc, the Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull drivers take just 8 sets of the red softs to Austin for next weekend's United States Grand Prix.

While Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Alex Albon take eight sets of the red-banded rubber, Leclerc will take nine.

The Toro Rosso pair also take eight sets, while Renault drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg are alone in taking the full complement of ten sets.

Bottas and the Bulls lead the way in terms of the mediums, each taking four sets, while Hulkenberg takes just one.

Nobody takes more than two sets of the white-banded hards, Bottas one of nine drivers taking just one set.

Last year's race was won by Kimi Raikkonen, who, like the other eleven leading finishers, was on a one-stop strategy.

Starting on ultrasofts, the Ferrari driver subsequently changed to softs, while second-place Lewis Hamilton started on softs and changed to supersofts and third-placed Max Verstappen started on supersofts and changed to softs.

The anti-clockwise Circuit of the Americas contains a wide variety of very different corners, consequently the right set-up is invariably a compromise.

The most notable feature is the uphill and then downhill hairpin that forms Turn 1, which means that getting the braking right is extremely challenging.

While the three long straights can cool the tyres, keeping them in the right operating window is essential.

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