Pirelli will give the teams an extra set of prime tyres during Friday practice
Paul Hembery admits race will be step into the unknown
Last Updated: 12/11/12 4:28pm
Pirelli will give the teams an extra set of the hard compound tyre for Friday's practice sessions at the United States Grand Prix.
The Circuit of the Americas will be the first step into the unknown for the Italian tyre manufacturer this season with no previous data to fall back on - they had previously tested in Bahrain, whilst they had GP3 data from Hockenheim.
Pirelli are expecting "a lot of energy through the tyre structure, particularly the outside tyre that has to withstand the majority of the cornering forces," and this characteristic, coupled with high temperatures, means they have opted to take the two hardest available compounds to Austin - the white-marked mediums and silver marked hards.
The teams will also be in the dark heading into the weekend and Pirelli hope the additional rubber will allow them to get valuable extra track time on Friday, stating: "Teams will be aiming to collect as much tyre data as possible on both full and empty fuel tanks and the extra set of hard tyres should enable them to maximise their running."
"So in many ways America will be the biggest challenge for us of the year, but stepping into the unknown is a situation that we are used to: last season the majority of tracks were completely new to us," Pirelli's Motorsport Director Paul Hembery said.
"We've chosen the hard and the medium compounds as we think it will be quite a demanding track, based on the asphalt samples and simulation data we have gathered.
"Naturally we've leaned towards a slightly more conservative choice in order to cover every possibility at a brand new circuit, but the tyre choice in Abu Dhabi was also conservative and yet we saw one of the most exciting races of the year.
"We're all absolutely delighted to be returning to America with Formula One: it's a crucial market for us as well as being the home of many of the most enthusiastic fans out there. We've felt a huge buzz about this race, and with the championship so finely poised it couldn't come at a better time."