United States GP: Marussia previews Austin
9 November, 2012
Nov.9 (Marussia) F1 has been Re-‘born in the USA’ as Round 19 of the FIA Formula One World Championship next weekend sees the sport return ‘stateside’ for the first time since 2007. A brand new racetrack – ‘The Circuit of The Americas’ – has been constructed in Austin, Texas, which is in some way, familiar territory for many of F1’s elder statesmen, who will have interesting memories of going racing at the Dallas Grand Prix of 1984, won by Keke Rosberg.
The circuit is the first purpose-built F1 facility in the US; the last time the sport raced here the host venue was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana. The 5.5km (3.4 mile) track was designed, naturally, by architect Hermann Tilke and, much like the Buddh International Circuit, it draws inspiration from a collection of the best circuits around the world. Another strong parallel can be found in the dramatic elevation changes resulting from the site’s natural topography; at some points those changes differ by as much as 40 metres.
Timo Glock, Driver #24:
“Going to Austin is a really big thing for the sport and everyone involved. The first race back in the US will be quite something for us. It’s a new track for all of the teams, and already it looks awesome on the simulations we have experienced and the images we’ve seen. I’m really looking forward to it a lot and I hope the organisers and fans have a great first race bringing F1 back again; I know we will enjoy being back in the US. I can’t wait to arrive early next week and have my first real view and walk of the track. Should be an amazing weekend.”
Charles Pic, Driver #25:
“The US GP is high on the list of races I have been most looking forward to in my debut season. From what I have seen, the track is spectacular and the layout seems very interesting from a technical point of view. We spent some time in the US – in New York actually – in the summer after Canada, helping to promote the new race. The reaction amongst the fans and media was overwhelming and although I didn’t get to race in the States before, they certainly look happy to have F1 back. It will be great to be a part of that. As for our objectives, there is a lot to think about as this is a new race, but we need to keep pushing hard to maintain our current momentum versus Caterham – in qualifying and the race – and ensure we leave town with 10th in the Constructors’ still firmly in our grasp. Should be a great weekend.”
John Booth, Team Principal:
“The whole team is looking forward to what, for us, will be our very first US GP. It’s a landmark race and we’ll embrace every minute of the experience, hopefully finding a little bit of time along the way to soak up some of the Texan sights and sounds. The Circuit of The Americas promises to provide a fantastic racing experience for the drivers and the fans. The attention to detail with the preparation of the track is evident and the organisation has so far looked second to none. From our simulation work we can see the parallels with some of the features of other great tracks on the calendar, so we are confident that it’s a circuit the drivers will enjoy racing at and the engineers will find a pleasing challenge. The ‘unknown quantity’ factor will be very exciting for us, as no one will have the advantage at the start of FP1 on Friday, so it will be all about how good a job we all do from there onwards. This track represents a significant challenge for Pirelli, as they have had only asphalt samples and simulations with which to calculate wear rates and the effects of likely ambient temperatures. Last weekend’s race in Abu Dhabi had us on the edge of our pitwall seats at various points, as it reminded us that to hold on to 10th in the Constructors’ Championship, we cannot control what happens further up the field, ahead of our own private duel with Caterham. We have to continue closing that gap and find the momentum to get ahead of them on track. We’ve come very close in recent races, despite their KERS-advantage, and we’ll remain in dogged pursuit of this objective right up until the chequered flag in Brazil.”
Subbed by AJN.