2016 United States Grand Prix – Preview
The 2016 Formula One World Championship season continues this weekend with Round 18, the United States Grand Prix, from Austin, Texas
- Nico: “The fans give us such great hospitality that they deserve an exciting show”
- Lewis: “It’s just about hitting every race weekend as hard as I can”
- Toto: “We have a responsibility to the drivers and will not let anything distract us”
- Paddy: “In its short history to date, this track has always produced exciting races”
- Vital Statistics: Austin
It was a great week, heading back to the U.K. with the Constructors’ Championship in the bag and celebrating with all our colleagues at Brackley and Brixworth. They’ve worked so hard and really deserve this moment. It’s job done in that battle for this year – but I know they’re already focused on 2017. We’ve got four more races left of this season for everyone to hopefully enjoy some great action on track – starting of course in Austin this weekend. It’s a great circuit, with some really challenging sections and a few good opportunities for overtaking. The city itself is awesome and I’m sure everyone in the paddock looks forward to this one. Last year this race obviously didn’t work out so great for me, so I’m looking forward to getting back out there and doing my best to get it right this time. Hopefully we won’t have the same weather as last year – that was pretty crazy! Mostly I hope it stays dry for the fans: they were amazing waiting out in the rain last time, so they’re owed a nice dry weekend I think! They give us such great hospitality that they deserve an exciting show, so we’ll do our best to provide that.
Seeing all the guys and girls at the factory last week really brought home just what we’ve achieved together this year. They’ve worked so damned hard to give Nico and me this great car and you can see how much it means to them. We’ve got four races left to make the most of it and that’s exactly what I plan to do. It’s just about hitting every race weekend as hard as I can, going all out for every win and seeing what happens from there. I’ll be holding nothing back out there. First up, we’re back in the States – which is like a second home race for me these days. I love the country, the culture, the people and the track, so I can’t wait to get started. I’ve got some great memories from Austin, with three wins from four races and, of course, the title win last year. That was one of the highlights of my career, no doubt. It’s almost like the American fans have adopted me as their own, so I’ll try to channel all of that positive energy into this weekend.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
Last week was a fitting way to mark a great achievement by the hundreds of men and women who made this triple Championship a reality. But that was last week. We now look only forwards and our priority over the coming weeks is to give both our boys the best possible chance of winning the remaining four races. The title is purely between them, which is fantastic news for the team as we can be happy whatever the final outcome. However, the pressure is on to ensure that their battle is decided man-to-man, and hopefully wheel-to-wheel, on the race track. We may already have celebrated our Championship success as a team – but we have a responsibility to the drivers and will not let anything distract us from the job at hand. Likewise, we have an entirely new challenge to prepare for in 2017. While we savour these moments, it’s going to be a long, hard winter ahead. There is much work to be done in the coming weeks and months – but also plenty of excitement on the way I’m sure.
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
Looking ahead to Austin, we’ll be hoping for some drier weather than last year – which won’t be difficult, given the torrential rain which simply didn’t stop until Sunday last time around! The weather conditions in 2015 have also had a knock-on effect in that we actually have very little up-to-date data from which to establish the performance of the car and the tyres at this circuit. Teams will therefore have to work on the basis of records from 2014, which is an unusual challenge heading into a race weekend. We have the Medium, Soft and SuperSoft tyre compounds available this weekend, which will likely produce some quicker lap times than those previously seen at this circuit. It’s a great track, with interesting elevation changes, tricky sequences of corners providing a good all-round test of power and cornering, with some prime overtaking opportunities too. In its short history to date, this track has always produced exciting races – not least last year, which saw multiple changes of the lead. There are plenty of enthusiastic fans who come from all across Northern and Central America, which is great to see. We know how dedicated they are, having seen them standing out in the rain last year waiting until the bitter end for the show to continue. We look forward to going back to Austin and putting on another great event in this very welcoming city.
2016 United States Grand Prix Timetable
|Session||Local Time (CDT)||Brackley (BST)||Stuttgart (CEST)|
|Practice 1||10:00 – 11:30||16:00 – 17:30||17:00 – 18:30|
|Practice 2||14:00 – 15:30||20:00 – 21:30||21:00 – 22:30|
|Practice 3||10:00 – 11:00||16:00 – 17:00||17:00 – 18:00|
|Qualifying||13:00 – 14:00||19:00 – 20:00||20:00 – 21:00|
|Race||14:00 – 16:00||20:00 – 22:00||21:00 – 23:00|
Weather.com Forecast (Accurate as of Monday 17 October)
|Thu||14 – 25°C||Storms||40%||33mph N||68%|
|Fri||11 – 26°C||Sunny||0%||14mph N||39%|
|Sat||13 – 28°C||Sunny||0%||07mph SW||37%|
|Sun||14 – 29°C||Sunny||0%||11mph SSW||41%|
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