Throughout the upcoming weekend in Las Vegas, the on-track sessions
will begin nearly six hours after sunset each day. In the case of
qualifying, set for a 00:00 Saturday morning local time start, it
will be seven-and-a-half hours between sunset and the action
beginning. Now, if you consider other night races on the calendar,
such as in Abu Dhabi or Singapore, the sessions start a couple of
hours after sunset – meaning the track has not had the chance to
cool, meaning generating heat in the tyres is easier. Coupled with
the long straights that cool the tyres, it is a challenge never
before faced in Grand Prix racing. What is the Las Vegas Grand Prix
temperature “It is a step into the unknown, for everybody I
believe,” Pirelli’s Head of Motorsport Mario Isola explained to
media including RacingNews365. “Las Vegas will be cold, it’s a
street circuit, so we were working with the teams and we asked them
for simulations in advance to try to understand how much energy the
layout of the circuit is putting on tyres. “We had information from
the companies that are making the tarmac in order to understand how
abrasive the tarmac is and what is the level of grip we can expect.
“I can imagine a lot of track evolution and very low grip – so the
drivers will complain. We will manage also this situation. But it’s
a big unknown. Fast track, long straights, high speed and all
conditions that are quite difficult to manage.” The cold
temperatures found in the desert in the middle of the night will
mean that retaining heat in the tyres will be tricky. Any Virtual
or full Safety Cars will make restarts a handful as would red flag
periods, with the undercut strategy unviable owing to a driver
struggling for heat in the tyres on their out-lap, with the overcut
the preferable strategy.

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