2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix: Race Tyre Analysis – The Las Vegas Strip Circuit really lived up to the city’s reputation for thrills and excitement tonight and, as usual this year Max Verstappen came out on top. However, the three times world champion had to fight hard for this one. Alongside him on the spectacular podium was the indomitable Charles Leclerc in second place and the other Red Bull driver Sergio Perez, third.
This was Verstappen’s 18th win out of the 21 races so far this season and it sees him join Sebastian Vettel in third place on the all-time winners list on 53. Ahead of them are only Michael Schumacher (91) and Lewis Hamilton (103).
For the start, the majority of drivers (15) went with the Medium, while Stroll and Tsunoda preferred the Soft, with Hamilton, Piastri and Zhou opting for the Hard. The first Safety Car saw several drivers take the opportunity to switch immediately to the C3 to try and move up the order, thus mixing things up with those who chose to stay out on track. The second Safety Car, following the collision between Russell and Verstappen which left debris strewn on the track, then saw the advantage swing in favour of those who had pitted very early on and had not yet made a second stop, as it minimised time lost in pit lane.
As for tonight’s longest stints, Sargeant did 35 laps on a set of Hards and Bottas did 26 on the Medium tyre and also noteworthy, considering the fuel load at that point, was Leclerc’s 21 laps on the set of C4 he used from the start.
Mario Isola – Pirelli Director of Motorsport
“That was 90 action-packed and spectacular minutes of racing which must have pleased all the spectators here in Las Vegas tonight and those watching on television or on-line. Overtaking, collisions, safety cars, mistakes and great feats of driving: the best of what this sport has to offer was all there condensed into 50 laps. It was the best possible advert for Formula 1 in the United States, a perfect combination of the racing side and the show, as exemplified in the prize giving ceremony.
Coming onto the technical summary of the evening, we saw that our predictions prior to the race in terms of strategy were proved right: there wasn’t much difference between a one-stop and a two-stop. The Hard proved to be the most effective race tyre, even if it suffered a bit from graining. The Medium, chosen for the start by three quarters of the field, behaved reasonably well, although it needed to be treated a bit more carefully, especially in the early stages. In fact, even those fighting hard for the win, like Leclerc, were able to extend the first stint almost to half distance. The Soft, used only by Stroll and Tsunoda for the start, delivered a nice advantage off the line, but was clearly less competitive over a long distance. Again today, we saw how track conditions had reset due to it being reopened to normal traffic overnight, which made cleaning up the graining on the tyre surface more difficult.”
2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix: Race Tyre Analysis