The Circuit of the Americas has made another attempt to ease bumps at the track ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.
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.
2017 United States Grand Prix
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- New kerbs at COTA in response to Verstappen’s corner-cutting
- Controversial pass on Raikkonen was “not correct”, Verstappen admits
- Whiting defends ‘absolutely clear’ Verstappen penalty decision
- Ricciardo: Verstappen was penalised because he cut the corner