"Our data simulation work has proved to be extremely accurate, with both the compounds performing exactly as we expected, although we also have to take into account the high degree of track evolution that could certainly affect the strategy on Sunday. We're seeing a performance gap of around half a second per lap between the two compounds, which gives the teams plenty of scope to try to gain an advantage through the timing of their pit stops. Nonetheless, as this is a completely new circuit with a number of potentially unknown factors, we deliberately opted for a conservative tyre choice here.”
Mercedes' Norbert Haug, meanwhile, admitted that there could be no complaints laid at Pirelli's door given the step into the unknown that the latest USGP venue provided.
"We have to have an understanding for Pirelli in this case," the German insisted, "Of course, it's easy to say if you would have brought softer tyres, but I think they just didn't have enough data about the circuit, so they didn't exactly know how challenging this track would be. They went on the safe side and I think that's understandable."