Daniel Ricciardo hopes starting on the Supersoft compound in the United States Grand Prix will give him an initial advantage as the Red Bull Racing driver qualified third on the grid on Saturday.
The Australian is the only driver in the top four to be starting on the Supersoft, with Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Max Verstappen all starting on the Soft tyre after gambling on making it through Q2 on the slightly harder compound.
Ricciardo knows the Supersoft tyres will not last as long as the Softs so he will have to make the most of them early, but is still hopeful that this strategy call will enable him to fight at the front of the field.
“I’m happy with qualifying for sure,” said Ricciardo. “It was pretty much the best we could do today, good progression and we got quicker and quicker.
“We start on the supersofts and the guys around me are on softs so I hope that works out well for me. We suspected that would be the case and I was happy to do it, hopefully it gives me a little bit off the start and we can challenge the first lap.
“The supersofts probably won’t have as much range as the softs so you want to try and get at least a handful of laps out of them, but ideally it puts me in a better position off the start and hopefully I can dictate my own pace as opposed to fighting in traffic.”