Anticipating Austin

“I’ve got a lot of people who want to come to Austin, and they think it will be the best race on the calendar," said England’s Jenson Button, a McLaren driver who was the 2009 F1 champ.

Germany’s Sebastian Vettel, who is pursuing his third consecutive world title, said, “I’ve never been to Texas before. I need to buy a cowboy hat before I go."

Hard track, hard tires

Formula One teams will have an extra set of hard tires to use during Friday’s practice sessions.

Italian manufacturer Pirelli supplies eight types of tires for F1: six dry tires with no grooves and two grooved tires for rainy and wet conditions.

Before each race, Pirelli designates two types of dry tires, and teams must use at least one of each compound in the race. In Austin, teams will use the hard and medium tires.

“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," said Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director.

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