The first free practice session of the United States Grand Prix was dominated by Carlos Sainz, this second day will be a little longer, as it will be dedicated to testing the Pirelli prototype tires for 2023.
The session will not last 60 minutes, but 90 minutes! A session wanted by Pirelli to test the 2023 Prototype tires and all the drivers will have to ride with these throughout the session. Apart from the incumbent drivers who had to hand over the wheel this morning to the Rookies. Thus, Bottas, Ricciardo, Leclerc, Magnussen and Latifi will be able to drive 45 minutes with conventional tyres, the rest of their session will also be dedicated to Pirelli Prototype tyres.
United States, EL2
At the time of taking the track, the ambient air is at 30°C, the tarmac displays 37°C. Leclerc on Soft tires set a first benchmark in 1’38″856! And despite the Prototype tyres, Sainz did better than Leclerc in 1’38″763. The times are exchanged at Ferrari, Leclerc takes the best mark in 1’36″810. At Haas, Magnussen started with Prototype tires, probably replaced by Giovinazzi and not a Rookie, which would not allow him to split his session in two between the classic rubbers and those of 2023.
Moreover, at Haas, we pay tribute to one of the team members who tragically disappeared the day before this Friday, a message is attached to the muzzle of the single-seater. Bottas moved his Alfa Romeo into second place 0.715 behind Leclerc’s time, Ricciardo was 0.8 behind the leading Ferrari. Pirelli requested qualifying simulations in 2 laps with the Prototype tires and long stints over 5 laps.
The drivers fitted with Prototype Pirelli tires evolve on different programs and relays, with laps beyond 2 seconds of the best lap times achieved with the 2022 specifications. color on the sides of the latter.
The Prototype Pirelli tires are a hard specification, and they will be softer in Mexico, as there will also be another extended practice session to test them again. 30 minutes from the checkered flag, the hardest on track are Albon in the Williams (26 laps), Vettel in the Aston Martin (25 laps), Norris and 26 laps in the McLaren, but Ricciardo was able to complete 29!
In this Austin paddock, we obviously see a plethora of VIPs, Brad Pitt goes from pit to pit, and was entitled to a track baptism in a Ferrari with Charles Leclerc as a driver. The famous producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Jours de Tonnerre, Les Experts…) also surveys the garages of the stables. We know that Brad Pitt is working on a film where Lewis Hamilton is also involved in the production which should be released on the Apple TV+ platform.
A somewhat blind session for the teams without knowing how to interpret the degradation on tires still being developed by Pirelli. Charles Leclerc is the last on the track accompanied by Valtteri Bottas. It was the Monegasque who kept the best time in a session specially dedicated to the 2023 tires from Pirelli, a little blind. Thus, we find Bottas in second place ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.