Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2016

COTA tries to reduce its bumps again

2017 United States Grand Prix

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The Circuit of the Americas has made another attempt to ease bumps at the track ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.

Circuit of the Americas
Circuit of the Americas
The Austin track has become increasingly bumpy in places since it was built in 2012. In advance of this weekend’s race the FIA confirmed its surface has been ground to remove the bumps at several points between turns 10 and 12. The same work was also done 12 months ago in preparation for last year’s race. Further work has been done to reduce a bump at the apex of turn 18.

COTA’s bumps were blamed for both Williams cars retiring from the 2015 race after they suffered rear suspension failures.

Moto GP riders have complained the high downforce produced by Formula One worsens bumps at tracks like COTA, which both championships race on. Rider Dani Pedrosa likened the track to a Supercross circuit when the series raced there in April. Some complained it will be impossible for them to race at the track next year if the problem isn’t addressed.

World Endurance Championship racer Sebastien Buemi also said the track had become bumpier over the last 12 months when the series raced at COTA in September.

Other changes have been made to the track for this year’s race. Turn nine, a corner where drivers often run wide, has a new double kerb at the exit. More TecPro barriers have also been added at turns one, four, six, 12 and 19.

Additional man-made bumps have been installed off the track at the exits of turns 11 and 20 to discourage drivers from abusing track limits.

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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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  • 6 comments on “COTA tries to reduce its bumps again”

    1. Artificial bumps off the racing line, like sleeping policemen? That’s harsh.

      1. I was going to say I watched a sports car race there this year and track limits just didn’t exist. It was insane where drivers went in the run-off areas to effect a pass. I’m glad they’ve addressed it as it just could have been completely unsafe with cars coming at you from every angle, but I’m not sure speed bumps are the way to go.

        1. @baron Probably the IMSA weathertech series who have the attitude that cutting the inside of the corners isn’t allowed but that drivers are able to use as much runoff on the exit of corners as they like.

          Thinking behind it last I heard was that by leaving it upto the drivers to figure out how much runoff they can get away with using it allows them to explore & push the boundaries as they found in testing that not everyone gained time by using the runoff & that even those that did found that behind a certain point they actually lost time by having to take a tighter turn back onto the track.

    2. (With heavy Texas accent) Them Europeean folk ain’t have no idea how it works in Texas. They wuz complaining ’bout sum itty bitty bumps… they clearly ain’t ever been on the back of a buckin’ steer!

    3. I remember when the Albert park track was made they were very thorough, they went to the extent of walking a crane around dropping a 50 ton block thousands of times over every piece of dirt before the track was sealed. the tremours even caused damage to a lot of homes in the area. That track has remained unchanged for over 20 years. I bet nowadays that kind of construction cost is still charged, but goes into someones pocket instead!

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