Max regarding bumpy Circuit of the Americas: 'Sometimes off the ground'
Published on 02 November 2019 by Mike Motilall
Coming Sunday, the Grand Prix of the USA will get underway. The race weekend in Austin will also see Max Verstappen drive his 100th race there. In Ziggo’s Formula 1-café, the Dutchman talks about the track in Texas where the pinnacle of motorsports has been featured since 2012. According to him, it’s one of the better circuits on the race calendar: “Absolutely. Especially the first sector is extremely fast, you turn into most of the corners there flatout. And there are a few right after each other, causing the G-forces to last a bit longer.” The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing-driver really enjoys himself driving his RB15 in this part of the track: “It is unbelievable to drive a Formula 1-car there.”
Standing out on the Circuit of the Americas are the many bumps. A reason for many drivers to get vocal about. A thing that has gotten worse over the years, according to Max: “The first corner is now a meter-and-a-half lower than when the track was built, so that’s an indication of how much movement there is. You see, I don’t think there is anything wrong having some bumps. That’s all in the game, especially on street circuits.”
The situation is somewhat different this weekend: “You’re almost airborne when braking for Turn one. Turn two is flatout, but even there you’re also almost off the ground. Negotiating Turn nine there is also an enormous bump, where you will hit the limiter if you don’t shift gear on time. These are things we need to look at. It’s actually too extreme.”
Verstappen also tested Pirelli’s 2020 prototype tyres during the first free practice: “We immediately used them because I had no intention in running on them too long”, Max explains. “The first feel was not really there, but that is also quite difficult to say because of the still dirty track.”
Max concludes by reviewing the first two practices: “Personally I am not quite happy with my long runs. I think we are falling short there compared to Ferrari and Mercedes, so we have some work cut out there.” Regarding the pace, that seemed to be quite fine: “I think that compared to Ferrari we are running somewhat short, but all in all it didn’t look too bad.”