Formula One returns to the United States next week with the penultimate round of the 2012 season taking place at the Circuit of the Americas.
Austin is the 10th venue for a F1 race in the USA (after Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Phoenix, Riverside, Sebring and Watkins Glen). Simulations suggest the circuit has more corners over 250 kph than Spa and more below 100 kph than Hungary. A qualifying lap time of around 97 seconds (1:37) and a race lap time around 102 seconds (1:42) are predicted.
Michael Schumacher: My wife and I have been big fans of the USA, and also of Texas, for many years so I'm particularly looking forward to the race in Austin. I'm really excited to see what kind of track we will find and to see if the American fans will embrace our sport. From the pictures and layouts of the circuit that I have already seen, everything looks very good. I think Formula One will put on a good show at the Circuit of the Americas, and naturally I will be giving my best to be a part of that.
Nico Rosberg: It will be very exciting to race in the USA again and I'm really looking forward to our visit. The United States Grand Prix should be a great event and a real show for our American fans. I can't wait to drive on the Circuit of the Americas track for the first time in practice next Friday. I spent some time practising on the simulator at the factory this week so I know what to expect and, as a team, we are as well prepared as we can be from our simulator work. The track looks cool with a great double S section to begin the lap and it looks like there should be some good opportunities for overtaking. We really want to end the season on a positive note so we'll be aiming to score some points next weekend.
Ross Brawn: We are very pleased to see Formula One returning to the United States for the first time since 2007, and the team are looking forward to visiting Austin and the Circuit of the Americas next week. Visiting a new circuit for the first time is always a significant engineering challenge, and we have been working hard at the factory to prepare for the weekend. The team have done over five race distances on the simulator to assess the layout, gradients and G forces. The track layout looks quite varied with a high-speed twisting section in the first sector, elevation changes with an uphill approach to the crest of turn one, and a slower, more technical section at the end of the lap. Nico was in the sim yesterday to complete our preparations and his feedback, along with that of our other sim drivers, will be used to prepare for the Friday practice sessions next week.
Norbert Haug: It is five years since we last visited the United States and there is a great sense of anticipation in Formula One to be returning to a custom-built, state of the art venue at the Circuit of the Americas. A new circuit offers a new challenge for the teams. The circuit will provide a real test for the cars and drivers: it's not a bland venue but rather a demanding layout with significant elevation changes. It contains an extremely demanding first sector, with a challenging series of high-speed corners and, throughout the lap, you can feel echoes of other great tracks around the world. Our sport has always enjoyed a very dedicated audience in the USA; their knowledge is impressive and they have always given Formula One a very warm welcome. It is an important step to return to the United States for our sport and its image. The USA is the biggest market for Mercedes-Benz cars in terms of sales and a race in the USA belongs in a world championship. The circuit looks to have exactly the right ingredients for an exciting weekend and we look forward to delivering a great race for the American fans.