McLaren has selected contrasting tyre picks for the second race running for the United States Grand Prix.

While its F1 rival teams opted to stack up on the Ultrasoft compound at the Circuit of the Americas, McLaren has edged its compound picks towards the Soft tyres with Fernando Alonso opting for six sets of the yellow-banded tyres and Stoffel Vandoorne taking five. The next nearest drivers have just three sets of the Soft tyres.


A similar situation occurs for the Ultrasofts with both McLaren drivers taking just five sets of the softest compound available from Pirelli at the United States race, the fewest of any F1 drivers, with fellow Renualt-powered team Red Bull the closest taking six sets each for Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

During the Japanese Grand Prix McLaren conceded it had expected its MCL33 car to work better with harder compounds at ‘very high Gs’ tracks, only for sporting director Gil de Ferran to concede the team made the wrong call.

“I think earlier in the year, there was a general understanding that our car was working better with harder compounds, and particularly on this type of track, with very high Gs and a lot of sequence of corners, that it would be a more suitable choice,” sporting director Gil de Ferran explained at Suzuka.

“I think quite frankly as it transpires, we got it wrong, and we have been spending the whole weekend trying to deal with a non-optimal choice that we’ve made. That’s all there is to it.”

With the United States GP track sharing characteristics with Suzuka, due to a series of high speed corners sequences, it appears the same situation could have occurred.

According to FIA rules, Pirelli selects its three compound options for flyaway races 15 weeks in advance with teams and drivers needing to make their selections 14 weeks before the event – effectively giving them one week to confirm selections.

If a team fails to meet the deadline the FIA will make the choice for the team with selections remaining secret until two weeks before the race.

McLaren’s de Ferran moved to quash rumours the team missed the deadline to select its Japanese GP tyres which coincided with the same weekend as the Belgian GP.

Full United States GP tyre picks: