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United States GP: Race team notes - Pirelli

NEWS STORY
03/11/2019

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas won the United States Grand Prix with a two-stopper, while his team mate Lewis Hamilton claimed his sixth title after finishing in second place with a one-stopper. As has often been the case at the Circuit of the Americas, there was a wide variety of strategies seen all the way down the field today, with a tense tactical battle between the top three that came down to the final few laps.

Bottas started from pole but slipped behind his team mate after making an extra pit stop. The Finn subsequently took advantage of his fresher tyres to claim the lead close to the end of the race.

Hamilton was one of five drivers in the top 10 of the grid to start on the medium tyre, but he completed a longer opening stint than his rivals before switching to the hard for a one-stopper, which required perfect tyre management.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was locked in a tactical battle with Bottas for most of the race on a similar medium-hard-medium two-stop strategy, but he could not get past Hamilton at the finish and ended up third.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who finished fourth, adopted a different two-stop strategy, using all three nominated compounds. During his final stint on the soft, he gained the extra point for fastest race lap.

Behind him, Red Bull's Alex Albon finished fifth, having been last after his early pit stop on lap one following some contact. He completed a three-stopper in the end: the only driver to do so.

In total, there were five different strategies in the top six: underlining the multiplicity of approaches in evidence at the United States Grand Prix.

Weather conditions for the race were similarly warm to yesterday, which had an effect on tyre behaviour by favouring the harder compounds.

Mario Isola: "The final few laps in particular were extremely tense, as we all waited to see if Lewis Hamilton could make a one-stopper work to win the race, against drivers on much fresher tyres behind him. He didn't quite make it to the top step of the podium but it was still a spectacular fight where strategy was all-important, so big congratulations to Lewis for a very well-deserved sixth title after a thrilling grand prix. Congratulations of course to Valtteri as well for winning the race with a completely different strategy. In the end, the relatively warm conditions, after a very cool start to the weekend, meant that it was a close call between one and two stops using the harder compounds: with two of the three podium finishers eventually opting for a two-stopper. However, we witnessed a wide variety of strategies all the way down the grid with close competition from start to finish, which is exactly what we all want to see."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Austin, here.

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