Friday, 24 October 2014

Infiniti Red Bull Racing United States Grand Prix Preview

(Eric Vargiolu DPPI for Renault Sport F1)

Infiniti Red Bull Racing head to the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas next weekend following a difficult race at the inaugural Russian Grand Prix last time out where Daniel Ricciardo finished the event in seventh place while reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel finished the race in 8th place. 

The Milton Keynes based outfit are in second place in the Constructors championship, 223 points behind 2014 Constructors champions Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team and are 126 points ahead of the Williams Martini Racing Team with three Grand Prix remaining this season. Speaking ahead of the United States Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo who is currently in 3rd place in the championship stated:

'Hand on heart, this is probably the date on the calendar I look forward to the most. I’ve loved every minute of being in Austin: when they picked this place for the US Grand Prix, they absolutely nailed it. The city is awesome. I love listening to live music and this is a great place for that, plus Texas feels like real America, and that’s something I’ve really enjoyed just sinking into the last two seasons. 

And then, there’s the important bit. The Circuit of the Americas, in my opinion, is the best of the new breed of circuits. 

The nature of the corners is interesting. It’s also a very busy track where you don’t get much respite. The first sector is very special and that first turn, blind up the big hill is like nothing else in F1. It’s also a good example of the excitement a late-apex can create: you can have a really good lunge there. They’ve done a very good job.'

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel will sit out qualifying next weekend and will most likely start the US Grand Prix from the pit-lane as the German reaches the limit in the number of components used in his Renault power unit. 

The German who leaves the team at the end of the season heads to the US Grand Prix having taken victory at the event last season. Speaking ahead of the race Vettel stated:

'Austin is a fun city where you get a real feel for the Texan lifestyle and traditions and get to race on a great track. The Circuit of the Americas is a track I like a lot; it has 20 corners and we drive it anti-clockwise. 

The start/finish straight has a steep incline up to the first corner and is the trademark of the track. For us that means the braking starts uphill, which is not easy and locking the front tyres could be a problem. A lot of the corner combinations remind me of other famous circuits on the race calendar. 

For example the fast combination during the first part of the track feels like Silverstone and Suzuka. The famous Maggotts and Becketts passages were used as a model for this part of the track and the drivers enjoy the extremely fast turns, when the car is balanced right. 

Also corners 12 and 15, this section was taken from the Motodrom in Hockenheim. It is a slower part of the track, and is designed to create more of a stadium atmosphere. The long bend also reminds of the famous turn 8 in Istanbul.'

© Ben Johnston 2014

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