F1 drivers have positive first impression of COTA

2012 United States Grand Prix

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F1 drivers gave the Circuit of the Americas the thumbs-up after arriving at the new home of the United States Grand Prix.

“We did some simulator programme already after Singapore,” said Fernando Alonso, “and then a little bit more intense last week and yesterday also did two laps on the bicycle and plan to do some more this afternoon. So we are more or less ready.

“The track seems spectacular, very, very nice. It will be challenging for us drivers and engineers as well. “I think will be a good show for everybody and hopefully some good overtaking as well, opportunities around the track. So it can be a very good weekend.”

Championship rival Sebastian Vettel said he is looking forward to driving it properly for the first time tomorrow: “We also prepared in the simulator but apart from that I haven’t seen much yet. I will walk the track this afternoon and I think we have to wait until we get out to have a judgement on how the circuit feels.

“By the looks of it it looks quite interesting but it’s always the feeling you get inside the car which I think is most important so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Lewis Hamilton said he found the track more challenging than others after driving it in McLaren’s simulator: “It’s quite an interesting track. It’s quite difficult to learn initially but it looks fantastic to drive.

“I really started to enjoy it once I got used to it which took perhaps a little bit longer than some of the other circuits to learn. But, yeah, it’s going to be very interesting this weekend.”

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Pedro de la Rosa also endorsed the new circuit: “I’ve just been doing a lap, walking around. I don’t know much apart from this lap and apart from what I’ve been able to see from the internet, the lap that Jerome [D’Ambrosio] did in the Lotus.

“It looks a very difficult track with great, very big gradient changes and very challenging because most of the corners, the apexes are blind. So let’s see tomorrow but it’s one of those tracks which you can say is going to be difficult and challenging.”

However Sergio Perez has not had the advantage of being able to drive a virtual lap of COTA: “I haven’t done any simulator, we don’t have one with Sauber. I’ve seen some video of the track, I walked the track and it’s amazing I think it will be very enjoyable for all the drivers.”

Kimi Raikkonen hasn’t driven the track in a simulator either: “I’ve only seen the video from when they did the demo run here. I haven’t seen the circuit itself, I will see tomorrow how it goes.”

Asked if he planned to walk around the track later Raikkonen joked: “Not walking. If I find golf cart or something…”

2012 United States Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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27 comments on “F1 drivers have positive first impression of COTA”

  1. Raikkonen joked: “Not walking. If I find golf cart or something…”

    Classic Kimi.

    1. Yeah I was just about to say that!..haha typical..not bothered with simulators or video games…Kimi would have been just fine had he raced in the 70s and 80s!

      1. Even the other drivers enjoy Kimi’s answers. Check this from the thursday press conference. Odd enough, Kimi was polite in his response.

        Q: (Pierre van Vliet – F1i Magazine) Lewis and Kimi: if you have a winning package this weekend – if after qualifying you realise you have a chance, what can you do not to disturb the world championship battle between these two?
        LH: Go for it Kimi, I would love to hear what you have to say.


        1. Oh man, that’s absolutely brilliant. Classic Kimi! I bet he was all like “I don’t give a **** about anyone, or any championship, if they get in my way I’ll put them in the barrier!”. Really told them where to go, in classic Kimi fashion! Then lit a cigarette and did a sweet kickflip on his skateboard. Yeah, awesome stuff, classic Kimi!

          We try to do the best that we can as a team in the race, and wherever we end up, if we take some points out of either of them, that’s racing, that’s life. We don’t try to disturb anything, we’re just doing our normal race and see what happens. I’m not looking who is there or if I’m taking points from them or somebody else. We just try to win, if not, score as much as we can.


          1. Yeah, I would have expect something like that. In first place I think the question was a little insulting. “What can you do not to disturb?” WHAT??? They are racing for winning.

      2. go get ur **** fit inside a simulator now Kimi………………..

    2. Apparently everything Raikkonen says is “classic Kimi”.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys, exactly! and this is getting utterly annoying, try visiting autosport forum Kimi’s page.

        1. @vickyy – Yeah, I know. I used to post over there, but I realised that the moderators actually forbade anyone from speaking ill of Raikkonen. Not becaue they were rabid Raikkonen fans, but because they knew the actual Raikkonen fans would make life difficult for anyone who did not like him, which would invariably spill over into the rest of the forum. So rather than deal with the actual problem, they instead decided that the best thing to do was to prop up the rabid Raikkonen fans.

          1. wow, nice accusation over there huh??

            If you intend to speak ill of Kimi, just spill it.

            Lmao, how envy can drive someone crazy. No people force you to like Kimi Raikkonen. At the same time, you cant stop others people from liking him either.

            And i cant even figure out why a simple interview like these can draw basher on drivers.

          2. @prisoner-monkeys – I had the same experience, some time back I sarcastically referred Kimi as “the god Kimi” and no wonder, it was deleted 15 minutes later. I revisited forum rules but left perplexed wondering where did I hurt “the sentiments”.

      2. Yeah, I’m tired of reading about “classic Kimi” things Kimi says. He might be a pretty handy driver but he also comes across as rude, anti social, and a bit of an **** (as Mark Webber would say).

        There, let the gunfire begin.

        1. and a bit of an **** (as Mark Webber would say).

          I’m told Webber is far too refined to use language deserving of asterisks.

          1. An aussie that doesn’t swear? That would be a scientific discovery!

        2. @pault – It wouldn’t actually surprise me at all to learn that Kimi had a mild form of Asperger’s Syndrome. I can see parallels in his demeanour, his attitude and his narrow range of emotions when compared to some students that I’ve had in the past with Apserger’s.

          1. Kimi had a mild form of Asperger’s Syndrome. I can see parallels in his demeanour

            What? In my opinion, he’s just a typical Finn. Moreover, I agree with Derek Warwick:

            Maybe he’s cleverer than we give him credit for; he’s found a niche in the market that some people love

          2. In that case all Finn’s got it! They’re men of the deep woods!

          3. @girts

            What? In my opinion, he’s just a typical Finn.

            I said I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he has it, not that he actually does.

      3. I don’t see why some people finding certain things that Raikkonen says as funny, winds up others. If they like what Raikkonen has to say, why should it bother anyone else?

        1. @slr Well they say it so much it becomes tiresome I suppose? That and PM likes starting arguments.

  2. Unfortunately, drivers having a good first impression of a track doesn’t automatically mean we will see a good race. India was the most recent example of that – the circuit was widely praised before the races both this year and last, yet Vettel strolled to victory in both of them. I fear the same thing will happen here; it looks like a track that will suit the Red Bull, particularly the Silverstone-inspired section. The slow corner – long straight – slow corner combination will probably fail to produce as much overtaking as it is intended to.

    1. Yeah, when was the last time drivers actually said something bad about a track? I can’t remember anyone really even criticising Abu Dhabi, although it’s horrible as a race track; usually everyone just praises the surroundings and tries to avoid answering the question that way.

      1. @Kaiie Webber has criticised Abu Dhabi and Valencia in the past, I think it was Valencia he called a car park? I think some of the drivers have criticised Singapore, although I cant remember what they said, I’m sure there are some others too.

  3. Didn’t sound like De La Rosa got a shot in a simulator but I’m sure he did, didn’t he?

    I’ll be keeping an eye on Sauber, will be interesting to see them attack the circuit with considerably less experience than everyone else.

  4. De La Rosa’s car IS a simulation of an F1 racer! (Ok, sorry, too easy.)

    If Sauber doesn’t have a simulator, you can bet HRT doesn’t. But you would think that every driver at least take the opportunity to do a few laps on F1 2012, just to get a sense of the flow. (The “snake” section is a blast!)

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