Free Practice 2
F1 2021
Round 17

Encouraging Signs In Austin For Honda Power As The #USGP Weekend Begins

us Circuit Of The Americas

An encouraging start to the United States Grand Prix weekend saw Sergio set the pace for Red Bull Racing in Austin.

Encouraging Signs In Austin For Honda Power As The #USGP Weekend Begins

Both Red Bull and Scuderia AlphaTauri were carrying the Acura name on their rear wings at Circuit of the Americas, and the two teams got down to work on a warm and humid Friday with plenty of running in FP1.

Max was third quickest ahead of Pierre in sixth and Sergio in seventh, with the Mexican being caught in a misunderstanding with Mick Schumacher that saw light contact at Turn 12. That incident didn’t hamper Sergio’s running too much, and both drivers were cleared of any wrong doing after the session.

No driver completed more laps than Yuki in FP1 as he got up to speed with what is another new circuit for him and he improved by a full second in the afternoon session as he moved up to 16th in the final classification.

On that occasion Yuki was just four places behind Pierre in 12th, with Max eighth quickest after a number of his laps were interrupted by traffic. But Sergio topped the times in FP2 by over a quarter of a second, leading the way at the end of F1’s first day of running in Austin since 2019.

With plenty of data from all four cars we will now work to find further gains overnight ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session, with temperatures forecast to climb even further over the remainder of the weekend.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
It’s the first time we have raced here since 2019 and it was good to see a big crowd, even on the Friday, cheering the drivers and creating a nice atmosphere. I’m pleased that Acura is represented here with our two teams, on the drivers’ visors and race suits and, for the first time ever, on the cars themselves. It’s good to see, as Acura is such an important brand in the States. It was hotter and more humid than usual for this event and in practice we worked on optimising our PU settings for these conditions and everything went smoothly. Once again this weekend, our closest rivals for the championship look very strong, so we will have to do our best, working on every small detail to get the most out of our package to be as competitive as possible.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing
Today was a good day and FP2 was promising, but it’s going to be very tight in qualifying tomorrow. Mercedes were certainly very strong so let’s see what they have when it counts. I think we have to find a couple of tenths and put everything together to be in the mix for pole. There’s a lot to be done now with the engineers to try and improve the car, I think there is some margin to improve our long run pace and our tyre degradation, but all in all it was a positive Friday.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing
Overall it wasn’t easy out there today, the track is quite bumpy and to find the right compromise on the car hasn’t been the easiest but there are a few positive things to look at and we’ll continue to work on that overnight. In FP2, we didn’t manage to put the lap in on the soft tyre and it was also just a bit of a mess with the traffic. Hopefully everything will come together tomorrow so we can get a good lap in qualifying.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri
It’s been quite a difficult afternoon for us, the car just didn’t seem to click at all, so we’ve got a lot of work to do ahead of tomorrow. I think this is the toughest FP2 we’ve had this season, it’s very strange as up until now we’ve been competitive everywhere, but it’s been very difficult here in Austin today. We’ll work hard tonight, I’m sure we definitely have more pace to find, and I’m confident we can be more competitive come Qualifying.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
It was a really enjoyable first day running here in Austin, this is obviously another new track for me but I think I’ve found a good approach quite quickly and it’s been fun to drive. However, there are lots of things for us to work on tonight, as the pace of the car so far isn’t quite there, and I’ve also struggled with track limits at Turn 19. We’ll analyse all the data and I believe we can be back to our strong performance again tomorrow.

Published on