• Austin, Friday – Norbert: “This challenging circuit has the potential to become one of the best race tracks in the world”

The Circuit of the Americas made its Formula One debut today with the first two practice sessions taking place at the 5.513 km purpose-built track in Austin, Texas.

Michael and Nico completed a total of 119 laps, over 650 kms, of the circuit in the two ninety-minute sessions today. The team’s programme focused on acclimatisation to the new venue, along with tyre and set-up evaluations. Ambient conditions were chilly in the morning session, with a lowest track temperature of 15°C.

“We’ve had a very useful first day here in Austin and have enjoyed discovering the intricacies of the Circuit of the Americas” said Ross after the second practice session. The track has changed a lot over the course of the day.

The cold ambient temperatures this morning combined with the fairly conservative tyres meant that it took a little while to get temperature into the tyres.

This should improve throughout the weekend. The circuit has a very exciting track layout which is a challenge for the drivers and engineers, and should create some great racing opportunities.

All credit to the organisers for their hard work, and I am sure that the United States Grand Prix will be a fantastic addition to the Formula One calendar.”

For Norbert, “this race is certainly a milestone in the history of Formula One and, first of all, we have to congratulate the organisers and Bernie for getting this event and the United States Grand Prix on the calendar and for building such a unique race track.

This challenging circuit has the potential to become one of the best race tracks in the world. Our programme today went as we had planned and, whilst our lap times looked consistent during our long runs at the end of the second session, we do not think that our competitiveness is different compared to the last races.

Having said that, we still have room for improvement which we will try to use tomorrow.”