The Circuit of Americas will make its Formula One debut this weekend and Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has warned teams that they could be in for a bit of a shock
The Formula One circus will head to Austin for the first time and as is the case with all new tracks, it is always difficult to predict how the rubber will perform.
Pirelli will take their medium and hard compound to Texas while teams will also have an extra set of hard tyres for Friday practice.
Hembery admits the surface is not one of the smoothest and some teams could find it tricky.
“I think it will always catch a few people out, a new circuit,” he told ESPN.
“Certainly from the layout it looks very interesting, and from the surface data we have it’s certainly not in the group of circuits with a smooth surface - the Korean, Indian and to an extent Abu Dhabi are all in that ballpark - but it should enable us to get back to a two-stop race.”
After several complaints earlier in the season that the tyres are playing too big a role in the outcome of races, teams have found the tyres are a lot less challenging recently.
Hembery admits they haven’t been too aggressive with their rubber choices.
“You can never please everyone, so we just try to do what we feel is the right balance,” he said.
“Maybe we could have been a little bit more aggressive but at the end of the day we’ve only got four compounds to choose from. It’s a combination of the last three circuits being - in terms of surface - quite comfortable from a compound point of view and the teams and drivers at the end of the season having obviously worked really hard to minimise degradation and wear.
“So it’s a combination of many factors, but equally we’re at the business end of the season. I don’t think anybody wants us all to be talking about tyres at this point of the season, it’s the wrong balance. It’s all about cars and drivers now.”