Leafield Technical Centre, UK – 8th November 2013
Race Laps: 56
COTA is a Tilke-designed circuit, introduced in 2012
The circuit is characterised by a number of elevation changes (esp. T1 which is uphill and has a blind apex, and also the section from T3 to T9 which includes some adverse camber corners)
Front left tyre is prone to graining
Due to the low temperatures & track texture, tyre warm-up was an issue in 2012 on both compounds
In terms of average speed, Austin is very close to Barcelona with a good mix of high speed corners (all the way from T2 to T10) and a long back straight
S3 is a technical section with low & medium speed corners
Braking & high speed stability are important
Circuit was confirmed as medium-low in terms of brake demand in 2012
First gear not used on track
Air/Track temp ( C): 19 / 28
Pitlane altitude (m): 152
ATM Press (HPA): 1010
Hum (%): 25
Wind (kph): N 1.4
P1: VET (1:35.657 Q3)
P2: HAM (1:35.766 Q3)
P3: WEB (1:35.174 Q3)
CF1T best: P21 PET (1:40.809 Q1)
P1: HAM (1:39.709 L55)
P2: VET (1:39.347 L56)
P3: ALO (1:39.672 L56)
CF1T best: P17 PET (1:42.824 L55)
Overtaking chance: low – T1, T16
Ride height setting particularity: low ride height possible
Aero eff ratio: medium-low
Safety car history: 2012 – none
Track grip evo during w/e: very high
Aero settings: high
Brake wear severity: medium / low
Brake cooling necessity: low
Alexander Rossi (driving FP1): “I very much look forward to the US Grand Prix week starting. This is an important time in my career and the sport for America and another major step forward for me, to drive FP1 in my home country, in front of my own friends, family, supporters and fans. It means a lot to me that the team is giving me this opportunity, while trusting me with the responsibility and I want thank everyone who’s helped make this possible.
“It’s obviously going to be a very busy week, but I’m totally prepared for it all. I have a full plate of media appearances before we even get to the track, the FOTA Fan Forum event downtown on Wednesday evening, and then a karting event straight after that. I will have a good chance to meet fans and tell the local Austin media all about our sport, but then on Friday morning it’ll be time for the real work to begin on track.
“I’ve already driven COTA several times, including in a classic Grand Prix car, so I know the layout well, but driving a current-season F1 car is a bit different altogether and on Grand Prix weekend it’s a very important responsibility. With the amount of F1 testing I’ve already done over the last few years, I’m fully prepared to do the best job for the team in FP1. As it’s an official practice session it’s important that I help the team as much as possible to set the car up right for the rest of the weekend, while, for me, this is another chance to use the session to continue to learn, develop and progress towards the next step up to being the next full-time F1 race driver.”
Giedo van der Garde: “Austin was a fantastic experience last year and I think I speak for the whole paddock when I say everyone’s excited about getting back there. This year will be my first time driving the track, and as I’m sitting out FP1 it’ll be even more important we get maximum track time on Friday afternoon and for the rest of the weekend, but after the race I had in Abu Dhabi, I’m ready for anything.
“I really was pleased with how the Abu Dhabi race went. The car felt great all weekend and I could just push for the whole race without mashing up the tyres. That’s an amazing feeling in the car, when it all just clicks, even when you’re racing for the sort of positions we are right now, and it’s even better as I’d had a couple of tough weekends before that race and it was good to bounce back in such strong style.
“The focus in Austin will be the same as it has been all year. Keep ahead of the team we’re fighting with for tenth and keep our fingers crossed for a bit of luck. I think we’re due it – if luck was the reward for hard work and effort I’m sure the whole team would have had a load by now, but even without that, we just have to do the best job we can and grab anything that comes our way.”
Charles Pic: “After a tough race in Abu Dhabi it’ll be good to be back in the car again in Austin. We had a setup issue in Abu Dhabi that held us back all weekend but the guys in the factory have been looking into it in detail and it’ll be fixed for Austin so I’m sure we’ll come back fighting there.
“COTA is a great track to drive an F1 car around – it has huge elevation changes, some really technical sections and it’s and one of those very special Grands Prix where there’s an amazing atmosphere all weekend, on and off track. I think that last year, when we went for the first time, we all expected the organisers to put on a great event, it is America after all, but I don’t think anyone realised the whole city of Austin would embrace F1 like they did. I think this year it’ll be even bigger and better – I know all the boys in the garage are looking forward to it as one of the great races of the year, and when you find a race like that, it’s very special.
“It’s also the home race for a couple of our main partners, Dell and GE, so we’ll have a lot of guests in over the whole weekend. That’s one of the challenges of being an F1 driver, being able to focus on the main goal despite everything else going on around you – I’ve always been good at that so, no matter how much off track work we have to do, I’ll be ready to seize any opportunities that come our way on race day.”