In the final seconds of qualifying of the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, Sebastian Vettel of Infiniti Red Bull Racing beats his team mate Mark Webber by .003 seconds to claim his second consecutive pole position in Austin, Texas. (Image credit: by courtesy of Pirelli)
Viewing entries in
Cool news from Pirelli as we learn how they prepared Circuit of The Americas and decided on which sets of tires the Formula 1 cars will race there next month. (Sidenote: how cool that we can now say our Inaugural race is next month!)
Circuit of The Americas released the prohibited items list for the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix which includes a strict ban on types of cameras owned by many racing fans. Like many other large-scale events in America, an extensive list of banned items is part of the legal formalities a venue must publish. In most cases, the rules are completely reasonable (e.g. no fireworks), but for the USGP in November the regulation of camera equipment is a big surprise for seasoned racing fans.
FIA Race Director and Safety Delegate, Charlie Whiting, spoke at Circuit of The Americas earlier today about the preparedness of the track for November's race. Mr. Whiting makes this final inspection 60 days prior to an inaugural Formula 1 race in order to make sure the circuit will be complete in time.
Here are a few excerpts from today's media briefing with Mr. Whiting:
"When you look at the track & the facility, what are you looking for?"
Details, really. Just to make sure that things like the track surface, the kerbs, the verges, the run off areas, guard rails, fences, verges, everything, is in the right condition.
Officially the final inspection has to be done 60 days prior to the first race. It's not normally practical to have everything absolutely, totally ready. But what we need to be sure of is that the Circuit will be ready. And, so what we're looking for here is that the asphalt, for example, is all done and it's all to good quality. The kerbs are all finished, the verges are all virtually finished, guard rails and fences are 98% done. You know, I'm 100% confident that everything will be absolutely fine.
"So, it passed the final inspection?"
"With your racing background, how do you think this track will race?"
Very well, indeed. We've got three, if not four, corners which are, very likely to see overtaking. They've been designed...if you look at Turn 1...so that they're extremely wide and the apex is very short. It's a very sort of modern approach to slow corners, where we hope overtaking will take place. So, I'm very confident it will work well.
"What was your impression of Turn 1?"
Awesome...is the only word I can find to describe it. And I think drivers and teams alike, coming here for the first time, will say the same thing.
"Will this be a single or double DRS Zone circuit?"
"...and wear rate on tyres? ...kinda tough on tyres, kinda light?"
Very hard to know until we get to know what the asphalt is like. It's impossible to say at this point. But I can say certainly there will only be one DRS Zone.
"Do you know where that DRS Zone will be?"
Between Turns 11 and 12.
It was great to hear Mr. Whiting share his enthusiasm and confidence for Circuit of The Americas!
KUT, one of the top public radio stations in the country and Austin's local affiliate of National Public Radio (NPR), has released a neat video of Circuit of The Americas like you have never seen (or heard) before.
They interviewed Alessandro Tassisto, Architect, and Oliver Liedgens, Civil Engineer, two essential Tilke GmbH & Co. team members that have been working on the Texas circuit for years. The video is captivating because we get to view it through the eyes of the men who have arguably developed the deepest understanding of the complex project. They have had to analyze everything from soil constraints to climate, interpret racing corners and driving sequences, and they narrate the video in their native German tongue (subtitles provided).
At about one minute into the video, Oliver takes to Turn 1:
We are standing at the starting line where, on November 18, 24 racecars will take their positions.
That will be a real challenge given the 15 percent incline here.
It's like you are shooting into the sky, because you don't know what's happening behind turn one.
The viewer gets the sense that they are behind the wheel as Oliver maneuvers a contruction off-road vehicle around the nearly complete circuit. The fresh layers of pavement have been laid, the gantry is in place and the FIA safety fence looks to be complete.
A great behind the scenes preview that we hope will have Michael Schumacher, Sebastien Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Timo Glock, Nico Hulkenberg and others exclaiming: "Ausgezeichnet!"