Pirelli believes the Las Vegas Grand Prix will be a “major
technical challenge” owing to a lack of running at the track – and
the fact that the Strip will be open to the public during the day.
Part of the 17-turn track features a 1.1-mile blast down the famous
Las Vegas Strip, with new asphalt being laid in places with drivers
also having to contend with the usual street surfaces. Cold
temperatures are expected in Nevada, with sessions taking place at
least six hours after sunset every day meaning the low
temperatures, coupled with long straights will make tyre warm-up
difficult. To combat this, the softest tyres in the Pirelli range
will be available as the Italian manufacturer highlighted the rare
situation of the track being open to the public as a potential
issue. Pirelli’s Las Vegas preview “It will also be a major
technical challenge for both the teams and us, as we head into this
race with no real references apart from simulation,” explained
Pirelli’s Head of Motorsport, Mario Isola. “Nobody has ever
actually driven the 6.12-kilometre Las Vegas Strip circuit before,
which is second only to Spa in terms of overall length this year,
characterised by three straights and 17 corners. “The surface will
be a mix of the usual street asphalt, especially on the actual
Strip, as well as other parts that have been completely
re-asphalted for the occasion; adding another unknown element.
“There won’t be any support races and the track will be opened
again to normal traffic for long chunks of the day, which means
that the surface won’t rubber in as usual and deliver improved
grip. “We’ve selected the trio of softest compounds for this
weekend: C3, C4, and C5, which should guarantee good grip. “Minimum
tyre pressures should be 27 psi at the front and 24.5 psi at the
back, due to the expected low temperatures as well as the track
layout. “In cold conditions, the gap between cold tyre pressures
and normal running pressures is greatly reduced – so when the car
is moving, tyre pressure will increase a lot less than on other
circuits due to the low asphalt temperatures. “As a result, we
think that running pressures will still be lower than on other
circuits that are tough on tyres, such as Baku for example.”

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