Fernando Alonso believes the changeable grip levels expected throughout this weekend’s Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix will provide a challenge for all the drivers.

F1 is returning to Vegas for the first time in 41 years on a brand-new high-speed street circuit which accommodates a 1.9km long straight down the city’s famed Strip stretch.

The venue using resurfaced public roads has prompted concerns regarding grip on a slippery surface, even accounting for Pirelli bringing its softest available tyre range.

Alonso suggests that the drivers who can master the evolving track conditions the best will stand to gain an advantage, particularly with no support races scheduled to run.

“A street circuit, very low downforce, just getting that confidence into the car, the braking areas. That will be, I think, very important,” Alonso explained.

“And I think with the condition on the track and not having any support races, I think the amount of track evolution during the weekend, it’s going to be bigger than normal. So that, you know, will challenge everyone, I guess we will not have two laps the same on the weekend.

“Every lap of the track will be a little bit better than the lap before. From P1 to the last lap on the race. So, we will have to adapt to that changeable grip, so it’s going be a challenge for everyone.”

The test awaiting the drivers in getting the tyres up to an ideal operating range, especially in qualifying, will be heightened by the colder track temperatures anticipated.

Alonso believes the cooler conditions could favour the teams who notoriously struggle with tyre degradation while hampering those who experience issues with tyre warm-up.

“I think we have to run first and then see how the car behaves and the tyre behaves,” the two-time World Champion contended. “I think it could be that with this long straight, the tyres, they lose a little bit of temperature.

“So, we’ve been facing a little bit of tyre overheating on the last three events. And maybe here it’s a little bit the opposite.

So, maybe some cars that they’re struggling on long run pace, here they are good because they can keep the tyres in the window and things like that. So, I think tomorrow we will have some answers.”

Circuit atmosphere – on track at night. 14.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Las Vegas Grand Prix, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Preparation Day

While Max Verstappen criticised F1’s latest track configuration, Lewis Hamilton believes the Las Vegas circuit should be given a chance before any opinions are formed.

“Maybe the track will be good, maybe it’ll be bad,” the Briton expressed. “It was so-so on the sim. It’s definitely not Silverstone. I think don’t knock it until you try it.”

Meanwhile, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was also more enthusiastic about the difficulty posed by the track’s abundance of tight corners.

“I think Turns 1-2-3, I think it’s a good combination,” the Spaniard, who won on F1’s last visit to a street circuit in Singapore, commented. “I think it’s long corners.

There’s two corners that stand out a bit to the rest of the track, that is more like 90° angles, or shorter apex corners. I think there’s a very long combined braking. I think it’s Turns Six, Seven, that in the simulator was actually quite tricky to get right with the braking.

“And yeah, apart from that, obviously, it’s all going to be about the long straights, the big braking zones, being confident, getting close to the walls. Also, on the exit of the corners.

“But apart from that, just getting confidence with a low downforce car on such long straights. With high peak braking getting confidence is going to be the key.”

Source:  Read More 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *