Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: On the back of a good result in Abu Dhabi the whole team is really looking forward to the last two races of the season. We will be pushing hard right to the end with further updates in order to try to secure seventh position in the constructors championship. As this is a new track, with no historic database of information to call upon, it places even more importance on one’s circuit simulation tools and simulator to ensure that we’re fully prepared in terms of both car set-up and proposed run programme. Pirelli bring their hard and medium tyres and as normal for any new track one will need to be careful on analysing the track versus the tyre evolution when making strategy predictions.
Pastor Maldonado: After a good performance in the last race in Abu Dhabi I’m looking forward to getting in the car again and seeing what we can achieve in Austin. The team has worked very hard to get the car back to the sort of pace that can consistently challenge for points and that is what we will be looking for in this race. The track is new so it will be challenging to get the right set up, but that is the same for all the teams. It looks like a fun and challenging track to drive from the work we have done in the simulator and the American fans should bring a really good atmosphere as well.
Bruno Senna: I’m excited to go to Austin because I’m hearing lots of good things about the track. It has both high speed and technical sections so it will be tricky to learn for all the drivers and it’s always interesting to see how drivers cope with a new layout and new corners they haven’t driven before. The weather can be very varied in Texas as well, with lots of wind and drops in temperature so that could be a factor. The car has definitely come on a lot in the past few weeks so we take good momentum into this race.
Rémi Taffin, Head of Renault Sport F1 Track Operations: Austin looks like it will be a very interesting circuit. It has replicated some of the most challenging corners we have visited, including the Suzuka Esses and Turn 8 from Istanbul. There are also several gradient changes over a lap, particularly in sector one, which features a blind apex that will really push the drivers. Going to a new track requires a lot of simulation on the dyno in advance, more than double the amount of time we would spend for a ‘standard’ race, but we may even spend longer than this, as with such variety of corners, we expect that the RS27 will be given a full workout.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director: For our first visit to the circuit of the Americas we are bringing the P Zero Silver hard tyres and the P Zero White medium tyres. Based on the track inspection we carried out recently, and the simulation data we have generated, these compounds should be best suited to the unique demands of the Circuit of the Americas. We’re anticipating quite a high-speed circuit that will put plenty of energy through the tyres, while getting good traction will also be another important consideration. The weather at this time of year should be warm and dry but rain is certainly not unheard of so we will have the Cinturato Green intermediate tyre and Cinturato Blue full wet as well. Coming to a new circuit certainly presents its challenges for us but last year nearly every circuit was new to us, so it’s not something that we are worried about at all.