Formula 1

US Grand Prix Race Setup #F1

Alright, alright, alright, Austin! After not coming stateside in 2020, we're saddling up and heading to Texas for the 2021 #USGP.

US Grand Prix Race Setup #F1

There was a podium finish for Max in Austin in 2019, after battling it out with the Ferrari's and Mercedes' to the line. This year, we'll be pushing for another good performance, coming off the back of a double-podium in Turkey. This years Championship remains tight, with a few points either way swaying the lead between Max and Lewis.

A steep uphill turn one requires ample torque for rapid acceleration, with further winding curves and long straights awaiting the drivers. A shining spectacle on the F1 calendar, let's see if Honda power can add to the show as we return to the States.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
Including this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, we have just six more races remaining including this one, three in the Americas and three in the Middle East. As we come towards the end of the season, we can expect the very tough championship battle to continue. We will take it one race at a time and I expect the fight will go all the way to the last event.

The Circuit of the Americas is very popular with the teams and the drivers who can enjoy tackling a variety of corner types, many of them paying tribute to turns found at Silverstone, Hockenheim or Istanbul. The track also features a total altitude change of 41 metres, the biggest climb being from the pit straight to Turn 1. I have many good memories of racing in the States from the time I spent working with HPD on the IndyCar programme. As it’s been two years since we were last here, I’m looking forward to meeting up with former colleagues once again. Here in America, there are a lot of race fans who support Honda, particularly in IndyCar and we will be doing our best as usual in the hope of giving them a good result with both our teams.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing
It is going to be nice to be back in America. We have always been competitive in the US and have got close to some good results, so it's about converting that into a win now. We go to every track now knowing that we can fight at least for a podium now, but also a win and that is different to past years. We are focussed on doing the best we can and always trying to win the race and that will be no different in Austin. It will be another close battle this weekend and I am looking forward to that.

I don't really believe in momentum swings, we always have to nail every aspect of the weekend to optimise our performance, prepare as best we can and if we do that then we can't give anything more as a Team. We have a very competitive car but you have to compare it to Mercedes and that is always the big question mark going into any race this season. Hopefully we can fight them this weekend and keep the lead in the championship. Every single week there are new challenges which we must overcome and this one will be no different, a lot of things can happen in a race, so we will focus on ourselves and no one else.

The layout of the track at COTA is really cool, the surface being bumpy, because it is built on a swamp, adds to the excitement of the race as well. The first sector is very enjoyable, with a lot of fast corners, especially in qualifying when you go on low fuel. When you are racing going into sector two and the beginning of sector three, there are a lot of different lines you can take, so this track normally creates a lot of action and overtakes. Then away from being a great track, there is always a great atmosphere and a great crowd so that helps.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing
I feel great at the moment, I cannot wait to get back in the car again and I am massively looking forward to the weekend. Going into the season run in, we know we must maximise everything from our side. I think Mercedes have been very strong in the last four or five races and we haven't been able to match them for speed, but I believe that Austin and Mexico are going to be good tracks for us, and you will see us producing stronger performances.

We are working very well together as a group and I am looking forward to the rest of the year. This is an important race for us and I am really pumped up, as is the whole Team. Hopefully, I can be on the podium again in Austin.

Driving the show run has given me an amazing energy going into this race weekend. We live in such a small bubble during the season and it is easy to forget about what is going on outside because of your focus on your sport. When we hold events like the show run it makes us realise how much we, as Red Bull Racing Honda, mean to people and how much our sport means to them. So many Mexicans and Latinos came out to see me and I loved their support - that has ignited a fire in me for the weekend. My fans mean the world to me, they are so special and so unique so I can't wait to see more of them in Austin. The crowd brought so much energy in Dallas, they were so enthusiastic, and I just can't wait to experience that again this weekend. I have really missed the big crowds so there should be an incredible atmosphere.  I want to give everyone a great weekend of action in Austin and hopefully repeat the success we had in Turkey last time out.  

Austin feels like a second home race to me because I am always so warmly received here, I love coming to the States. There will be a lot of support for myself and the Team this weekend, so I am hoping to please a lot of people in the crowd and, of course, in Mexico. This is the most special part of the season for me, with the US Grand Prix and then my home race in Mexico. I think it will be great to have Miami next season too and that will feel like another home race for me. I have been racing in America for several years now and I can see the passion for the sport is growing here, which is great. Even five years ago it wasn't as popular as you see now, so I think Formula 1 is only going to get bigger stateside because we have a great sport.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri
What we can take away from the last race in Turkey is that our pure performance was really good and in Qualifying we were fighting within a tenth of Ferrari and Red Bull. So, I was very happy with top five in Qualifying. The race might have been even better without the penalty but finishing ten seconds off the podium behind two Mercedes, two Red Bulls and a Ferrari is really positive and it’s nice to confirm that we are back nearer the front of the field once again.
On the Wednesday after Istanbul, I had an enjoyable break from work and training, playing in a charity football match at the famous Olympique de Marseille’s Velodrome stadium. It was to raise money for Didier Drogba’s charity and UNICEF. It was an incredible experience to be on that famous pitch and play with and against some real football legends. I’m pleased to say I scored a goal!
Next round: USA. I’ve not yet had any great races in Austin, the best I did was 10th the last time we were there. In terms of driving, the track is really exciting, very fast and I particularly like the first sector which resembles Suzuka a bit. After that, the second sector is a bit slower and more technical. Overall, it’s very interesting, although I think it could be quite complicated this weekend. Having watched MotoGP a few weeks back, the bumps which were already pretty bad last time we raced there, seem even more severe now. It will require some sort of compromise on set-up, but we won’t really know until we get there. I’m not particularly worried about it, because our car is working well everywhere at the moment and we just have to avoid any problems waiting to ambush us, so that we can continue to close in on Alpine in the championship.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
I think the Turkish weekend was pretty positive for me and I had good pace right from the start, all through practice. Track conditions changed massively for Qualifying and I struggled a bit to find pace and get the right car balance, but we got to Q3 and it was good to start from P9. With the race starting in the wet, I didn’t have the disadvantage of using the Soft tyre I’d used in Q2 for the start. In the race, I enjoyed my battle with Lewis, but after my spin, tyre temperatures were very low and I struggled for pace. It was an interesting weekend. I learned a lot and it will be good experience for the future.
From Turkey onwards this season, the only track where I have driven before is the final round in Abu Dhabi, so all the circuits will be a new experience, including this weekend in Austin. After Istanbul, I spent a couple of days in the simulator and drove the COTA track. It seems to be a very interesting circuit, with many different types of corner and that steep climb to the first blind corner. That first sector is like a rollercoaster. I’m looking forward to experiencing it for the first time. I saw that the MotoGP riders were complaining about the track surface, so we will have to see if they have managed to do anything about that in time for this weekend.
It will also be my first trip to the United States and I’m looking forward to that. America has always been on the list of countries I really want to visit, so I’m excited about this trip. I’ve heard all about the barbecue restaurants in Austin and I will be keen to try that and see how it rates compared to Japanese Wagyu beef!

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