COTA’s bumps have got significantly worse since last race – Ferrari

2021 United States Grand Prix

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The bumps at the Circuit of the Americas are even worse than the teams expected before this weekend’s event, says Ferrari’s sporting director Laurent Mekies.

The circuit owners have repeatedly tried to ease the bumps which have developed at the venue since 2015. Further milling was done on the most badly affected sections after Moto GP riders complained about the surface during their event last month.

Mekies said the team’s drivers lacked confidence in their car’s handling during Friday’s practice sessions due to the surface.

“I think everybody started a bit on the back foot with the bumps,” he said. “Certainly we did with the high level of bumps on-track.

“We were all expecting it and we all have tried to anticipate it. But it’s one thing to think about it and try to anticipate, it is something else when you actually hit the track here. It was certainly making life for our drivers quite a bit more difficult than what we would have hoped.

“Therefore we worked during the day to try to see how we can restore some of the confidence that they were losing on these more difficult conditions. So that was a little bit of an additional factor compared to the standard Friday programme.”

F1 did not race at the Circuit of the Americas last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. One of Ferrari’s cars retired during the last race in 2019 with a suspension problem linked to the bumps.

Mekies said the quality of the track surface has deteriorated since that race. “I think it’s worse than 2019, yes, by quite a large bit.

“Here there has always been some attention given to the bumps because they has always been a lot of work to be done on the track, to keep it as flat as possible. So we have had that in the past, I don’t think to that extent.

“So it was quite a lot more difficult today at least for us. But as I say, nothing that will stop the car from running, it’s just a new challenge that we have to deal with from a set-up perspective and from a driver perspective, more so for these guys.”

Charles Leclerc, who spun in the high-speed sequence of corners at the beginning of the lap where some bumps have developed, said the track surface changes “makes it makes it challenging for us.”

“It’s a very bumpy track so it is very tricky to be as precise as we normally are,” he said.

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2021 United States Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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4 comments on “COTA’s bumps have got significantly worse since last race – Ferrari”

  1. Hi website owner and writers
    I love this website and frequent it daily for my F1 news. The content is excellent and better than most main stream sites such as the BBC and Sky F1.
    Please please please fix up the errors on your articles tho, there’s at least one in every one I read. Above it says via LeClerc makes it makes it challenging….it’s a simple duplicated couple of words but it’s all too common.
    As I said, I love the website and you do a great job but just a tiny tiny piece of constructive criticism

  2. Jose Lopes da Silva
    23rd October 2021, 12:43

    F1 tracks in Southern North America, like Dallas and Mexico City, are traditionally bumpy. It’s good to see the traditions to be cherished.

  3. There is bumps and then there is this. Tracks used to be bumpy, cars would look nervous and twisty, with today’s limousines, the cars look like they are going through elevations changes rather than just bumps, like the track has gained new crests and drops.

  4. Good! It adds some character and excitement to these normally sterile F1 tracks.

Comments are closed.