Circuit of The Americas, Austin
Formula 1 returned to the United States in 2012, at a brand new venue, the Circuit of the Americas, a spectacular facility with a 5.513 kilometre track, whose corners recall various classics from around the world. The vertiginous climb to the first corner reminds one of the old Austrian circuit, then there’s a section of flowing turns that resembles Suzuka, and it reprises the script of many of the new breed of circuit with its hard braking points at the end of long straights. It’s a popular venue with the drivers, partly because it requires a compromise to get a car that is good in the corners but also competitive down the straights. The best result for Ferrari is Fernando Alonso’s 2012 third place.
The first sector
After the vertiginous climb up to turn 1, there’s a wonderful and definitely demanding section from turns three to six, which needs to be tackled with precision to get a good lap time.
The second sector is the one with the overtaking opportunities, making the most of the long straight and the DRS, that can help all the way to the right angle turn 12. It’s vital therefore to get a good exit out of the hairpin.