Kamui Kobayashi is feeling excited ahead of the inaugural US Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.
Kobayashi is racing to secure his future at the moment and while his sixth place finish in Abu Dhabi last time out will have done his cause no harm what-so-ever, he will want to impress again in Austin. Indeed he is curious to discover the new circuit as well as the State of Texas itself.
“I have never been to Texas, as I have only been to New York and Las Vegas in America. I know this will be something completely different and perhaps pretty exciting because Texas is cowboy country, so I hope I can see some of them there!” remarked the Sauber driver.
“I have had a look at Austin on a Google map and it looks nice. This is another new Herman Tilke circuit and he always gives us exciting tracks to have nice races. I have not seen the circuit on a simulator and, in fact, have no idea what it is like.
“However, it will be okay and a surprise for me. I shall walk the track when I first get there. I don't know how many laps it will take to learn it, as it very much depends on the track. It can take three, ten or more laps.”
Sauber's head of track engineering, Giampaolo Dall'Ara, meanwhile added that the teams and drivers will probably be a bit busier than normal in Friday practice.
Furthermore while all the teams will have a baseline set-up, certain things will only be discovered when they start running, like tyre wear for example.
“Unlike at circuits we are very familiar with, you will probably see a bit more driving in the first free practice session to double check the set up and, of course, to allow the drivers to learn the track,” he confirmed.
“Going to an unknown circuit always requires a bit of extra work in advance. Along with all the other teams we have been supplied with the relevant data about the Circuit of the Americas. We implemented a simulation for the aerodynamic configuration of the car, gear ratios, braking systems and, more generally, for a baseline set up.
“But a rather unknown factor is how abrasive the tarmac will be. In this regard we rely on Pirelli and the tyre allocation they decided to go for, which is the medium and hard compounds.”