Williams are confident of a good performance at the Circuit of the Americas after making good progress in Abu Dhabi.
Pastor Maldonado: Austin is one of the better new circuits and it's a challenging layout that I enjoyed last year. Turn 1 is particularly spectacular with its very steep climb and the atmosphere last year was one of the best of the season. The track is quite hard on the tyres because of the many high speed corners and it is a long lap so getting on top of this will be a key focus during the practice sessions. The weather can also be quite varied in Texas with strong winds common and swings in temperature so this is another challenge for the teams. We made a positive step forward with the car in Abu Dhabi and its feeling better to drive, so hopefully we can continue making progress this weekend and manage to finish in the points.
Valtteri Bottas: I did not drive this track in FP1 last year so this will be a new experience for me but one I'm really looking forward to. I talked to some of the drivers last year and they were very positive and mentioned how challenging the Circuit of the Americas was. There are lots of different types of corners so you will need a well balanced car to get a good laptime. You need a car that changes direction well and doesn't feel too soft as it needs to be very responsive when turning from one corner to the other. There is also a very long back straight so you need to find a good compromise between the level of downforce and drag. Turn 1 looks especially fun to tackle but the main excitement for me will be sector 1 in
general because it has a lot of flowing high speed sections. The fans in Austin were so passionate and loud last year as well, that is my overriding memory, and it will be great to return to the US for a second year.
Xevi Pujolar, Chief Race Engineer: The United States Grand Prix returns this year, for only the second time at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas. Another Tilke designed track, this one takes some of the best features from some of the classic F1 racing circuits and combines them together to make a challenging layout. There are corners that are strongly inspired by the 'Senna S' from Interlagos, the Becketts-Maggots sequence from Silverstone, Motordrome from Hockenheim and the multi-apex Turn 8 from Istanbul. In total, these corners add up to give the circuit a mid- level average corner speed and below average turn angles.
Pirelli have chosen the same compound combination as last year, bringing the hard and medium compounds, and they are expected to last for a relatively long number of laps with a low level of degradation. It is likely to be a one-stop race if the tarmac's roughness remains the same as last year. The current weather forecast is changeable for all three days with cool temperatures and a chance of rain throwing other elements into the mix. After showing improved pace in Abu Dhabi, we are looking forward to getting out to Austin and pushing hard for the final two races of the 2013 season.