Max Verstappen makes US Grand Prix demand with ‘rally car’ jibe issued

Thomas Maher
Max Verstappen and Lando Norris race during the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.

Max Verstappen and Lando Norris race during the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.

Max Verstappen believes the track surface at the Circuit of The Americas is no longer fit for purpose for Formula 1.

The track surface at the Circuit of The Americas has been explained as a factor in the excessive wear on the underfloor planks of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc, resulting in the post-race disqualification of the two drivers.

The abrasive and bumpy surface of the COTA track is in stark contrast to the exceptionally smooth tarmac layers at many modern F1 facilities, and Verstappen believes it’s time the issues are rectified.

Max Verstappen calls for COTA resurfacing

While officials at the Texas venue have employed various methods over the years to smoothen out the track surface of the bumpy tarmac, including diamond grounding and resurfacing, the fundamental issue is the porous surface on which the venue is built.

But Verstappen believes the issues are so severe that it’s unsuitable for F1 use.

“Yeah, it needs to be redone,” Verstappen said in the post-race press conference.

“Because, at the moment, it feels like it’s better suited to a rally car. I’m jumping and bouncing around. In an F1 car, probably you don’t even see it as much because we are glued to the ground because of the downforce, but the bumps and jumps that we have in some places are way too much. I don’t think it’s F1 level.

“I love this track, honestly, the layout is amazing. But we definitely need new tarmac and it needs to be a lot smoother for the coming years because we have already asking for this for quite a few years and it’s not really been done.” recommends

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Hamilton himself addressed the excessive bumpiness, having not yet found out about his impending disqualification for his excessively worn plank, explaining that he agreed with Verstappen.

“I like some of the bumps because it adds character to a circuit, but there are way too many,” he said.

“As drivers and the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers’ Association), we’re open to discussing with them and helping them like maybe not doing the whole thing so it costs a fortune.

“From the last corner to the start line, for example, that’s smooth, but then the rest of it is bumpy. But there are other areas that they could patch up.”

Lando Norris, who was promoted to second in the wake of Hamilton’s disqualification, said the situation could be vastly improved just by putting down fresh, smooth tarmac in the braking zones.

“It would be helpful if they did put tarmac in a braking zone as well,” he said.

“They resurfaced some places and they could start the tarmac at the 100-metre board into Turn 12, which is where we brake. So just little things they could do. From what I heard, they’re resurfacing the first sector or something next year.”

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