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Austin preview – Ross: “The team have done over five race distances on the simulator to assess the track layout”

Austin preview – Ross: “The team have done over five race distances on the simulator to assess the track layout”

Formula One returns to the United States of America next week with the penultimate round of the 2012 Formula One World Championship to be held at the purpose-built Circuit of the Americas on Sunday 18 November.

Austin is the 10th venue for a F1 race in the USA (after Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Phoenix, Riverside, Sebring and Watkins Glen).

Simulations suggest the circuit has more corners over 250 kph than Spa and more below 100 kph than Hungary. A qualifying lap time of around 97 seconds (1:37) and a race lap time around 102 seconds (1:42) are predicted.

“We are very pleased to see Formula One returning to the United States for the first time since 2007” says Ross, “and the team are looking forward to visiting Austin and the Circuit of the Americas next week. Visiting a new circuit for the first time is always a significant engineering challenge, and we have been working hard at the factory to prepare for the weekend.

The team have done over five race distances on the simulator to assess the layout, gradients and G forces. The track layout looks quite varied with a high-speed twisting section in the first sector, elevation changes with an uphill approach to the crest of turn one, and a slower, more technical section at the end of the lap. Nico was in the sim yesterday to complete our preparations and his feedback, along with that of our other sim drivers, will be used to prepare for the Friday practice sessions next week.”

Norbert reminds that “it is five years since we last visited the United States and there is a great sense of anticipation in Formula One to be returning to a custom-built, state of the art venue at the Circuit of the Americas. A new circuit offers a new challenge for the teams. The circuit will provide a real test for the cars and drivers: it’s not a bland venue but rather a demanding layout with significant elevation changes.

It contains an extremely demanding first sector, with a challenging series of high-speed corners and, throughout the lap, you can feel echoes of other great tracks around the world. Our sport has always enjoyed a very dedicated audience in the USA; their knowledge is impressive and they have always given Formula One a very warm welcome. It is an important step to return to the United States for our sport and its image.

The USA is the biggest market for Mercedes-Benz cars in terms of sales and a race in the USA belongs in a world championship. The circuit looks to have exactly the right ingredients for an exciting weekend and we look forward to delivering a great race for the American fans.”

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