Mark Webber believes the inaugural race at the Circuit of the Americas will be 'embraced' by the local community.
Webber heads to the event off the back of a disappointing result in Abu Dhabi, and while he admits practice will be more taxing than usual, as all the teams try to get to grips with the new purpose-built track, he is still very much looking forward to it and has described the layout as 'awesome'.
“I've been to Austin a few times, I've got some buddies there. It is a really vibrant city, similar to Melbourne, and I know the locals are going to really embrace it. They obviously have the huge music festivals and they pull those off really well in terms of the organisation and getting everyone around,” said the Red Bull
Racing man ahead of the 19th and penultimate round in the 2012 F1 World Championship.
“Regarding the new track [itself], it is unproven in terms of what we need to do with the car there. We will have a reasonable idea before we turn a wheel, but we've got to get into the nitty-gritty from our simulations,” he added.
“We need to see track temperatures and how the asphalt is for the car in terms of grip – we've got a lot of unanswered questions which we only learn on Friday, but the layout looks awesome.
“It's probably one of the best layouts of the year in terms of being challenging for the drivers and the cars.”
Team-mate Sebastian Vettel
meanwhile has been busy in Red Bull's simulator to make sure he is up to speed as he looks to maintain his lead over Fernando Alonso
in the battle for the 2012 F1 Drivers' title.
“I think it is great that we are travelling to the United States again,” he remarked. “I have been in the simulator learning the Austin track; how it flows and getting a general feel for it.”
“What we know from designer Hermann Tilke is that the hallmark of the circuit will be the big differences in altitude within a lap as the highest point is expected to be 40ft higher than the lowest point. The site has natural elevation changes, which promises a fast course with difficult corners for us to familiarise ourselves with,” he added.