Vettel: COTA will be even better this year

Vettel: COTA will be even better this year

Formula 1

Vettel: COTA will be even better this year


As Formula 1 teams prepare for their second appearance at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin in next week’s United States Grand Prix they are looking to expand upon the knowledge gained from Year 1. For Red Bull’s world champion Sebastian Vettel, who looks to stretch his current winning streak to eight in Austin, it’s an opportunity to avenge one that got away last year, as he was passed for the victory by Lewis Hamilton (ABOVE), then with McLaren. Vettel expects COTA to be even more conducive to racing this time around.

“Last year we were all sliding quite a lot because the tarmac was still so new, especially on the tight and twisty bit toward the end,” he said. “It was sometimes almost more rally style than Formula 1, because it was so slippery! The section after the steep hill at the beginning is particularly challenging. Last year it took me quite a while to get my bearings and to position the car correctly.”

Hamilton said the win was just part of his great memories of the inaugural USGP in Austin.

?Personally I had a great time there last year. I had some family there and overall it was a really nice weekend,” said the Mercedes driver. “We went out to dinner each night, which is very rare for me. The food was great. The atmosphere felt nice in the city — it felt a bit like Montreal in terms of a good group of people being in town. And they put on a great show.

“The track was nice once you got used to it, and once it started to ?grip up’ it was fantastic to drive. I am looking forward to going back. What a turnout we had last year! It was one of the best races of the whole year. To come in on the first year and be one of the best races of the year was pretty spectacular.?

Red Bull’s Mark Webber agreed the track had impressed him, too.

It is an incredible racetrack,” enthused the Australian. “It looked good on paper and lived up to expectations. It’s really stimulating to drive, with lots of fast corners and some big undulations.

“There were some initial worries about the length of the first sector, because it’s long and has a lot of consecutive corners. But I think it’s OK; it’s very challenging because it’s fast and you have to be very precise because it’s very difficult to regain lost momentum if you make a mistake.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso added, ?I think the circuit was really nice to discover last year. It is a nice circuit to drive. The atmosphere is great because the American culture is a little bit more open for contact with the fans and to experience a little bit how they enjoy the weekend. And also the city, which that weekend is full of Mexicans that support F1 a lot. There is a good mix of cultures there.?