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United States GP: Preview - Red Bull

NEWS STORY
20/10/2021

You finished third the last time we raced in the United States, in 2019. Are you looking forward to being back on track in Austin?
Max Verstappen: 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.

The Turkish Grand Prix was a strong result for the Team, with a double podium. Which team do you think the momentum is with going into the weekend?
MV: 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.

What makes Circuit of the Americas such a great racetrack?
MV: 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.

After a double podium at the Turkish Grand Prix how positive are you feeling going into the final six races of the season?
Sergio Perez: 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.

It was a great Team performance for you and your car crew in Turkey, how much are you enjoying this first year with your team?
SP: 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.

You had your first show run experience in Dallas on Saturday, did that get you excited for the US Grand Prix?
SP: 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.

What does racing in the United States mean to you?
SP: 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.

Stats & Facts

A Red Bull Racing car was the very first Formula 1 car to be driven at Circuit of the Americas, before the track surface was even laid. David Coulthard drove the start/finish straight and first corner on dirt on August 21 2011, over a year before the venue held its first Formula 1 race.

The US Grand Prix is not Red Bull's last involvement in Austin this year as the city will host the Red Bull Override event on December 3-5. Some of the world's best extreme enduro bike riders will come together across rocky creek beds, tight wooded climbs and water crossings.

Race day in Austin is also the anniversary of Honda's first Formula 1 race victory, which came when Richie Ginther triumphed at the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix.

A single lap of the Circuit of the Americas involves an elevation change of 133 feet (40.5 metres), that's the equivalent of stacking 302 cans of 250ml Red Bull cans on top on one another.

Red Bull isn't the only thing to give you wings in Austin. The city is home to the largest bat colony in all of North America, with approximately 1.5 million of them emerging from underneath the Congress Avenue bridge around sunset between March and October, every year.

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