Formula 1 returns to the American continent and goes hand in hand with the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) for the United States Grand Prix. It has been since 2019 since the highest category of motorsport does not visit the American continent. In 2021 there will be three events that will be held on that continent, we are talking about the United States, Mexican and Brazilian Grand Prix. Regarding the current race weekend, Pierre Gasly was excited to get back to racing at COTA, however, he has stated that the bumps on the track will be a headache for the drivers.
If we remember, the 2019 edition of the United States GP was hurt by the complaints of the drivers and teams due to the fact that the track has many bumps. Even the FIA had to intervene because many people commented that it was not worthy of a Formula 1 circuit. The height at which the cars race is very low, it is only a few millimetres that separate the floor of the car from the ground, it is because the drivers can feel practically everything they step on their tyres. This coupled with the fact that they go at very high speeds, so if your car goes through a bump, it will feel very rough.
“I think it could be quite difficult this weekend. After seeing MotoGP a few weeks ago, the bumps that were bad enough the last time we raced there seem even more serious now.” Pierre Gasly affirmed.
The most important category in sports motorcycling, MotoGP, made its agreed date at COTA, however, it was also reflected the deterioration of the asphalt and how the bumps have increased in size and severity. The riders complained again because it is even dangerous, especially for motorcycles since the rider could lose control and get thrown out of his vehicle. It was also reported that, following this incident, Michael Masi, Formula 1 race director, contacted the circuit and the organizers to ask them to fix the most dangerous and largest bumps.
“It will require some kind of compromise in setup, but we really won't know until we get there. I'm not particularly worried about it, because our car is running well everywhere right now and we just have to avoid any problems. The main objective is to keep getting closer to Alpine in the championship." The French driver of AlphaTauri assured.
Similarly, COTA has requested to resurface the most affected areas (once again, since it was also done at the end of 2019) until 2022, before the MotoGP race. Similarly, Masi commented on the impressions of Tony Cotman, representative of the FIA and in charge of visiting the Circuit of the Americas.
"What we have really done is that, since the F1 event in 2019, a large part of the circuit was resurfaced to counter some of the problems we saw in 2019." The Formula 1 race director shared. "Tony Cotman, who is one of the FIA's platinum circuit inspectors, has already been in Austin for the week and has done a report."
“The circuit is making some changes so that we can address some of the concerns. They'll grind some bumps and so forth. But we have some time to do it. So they will do what they can on time." Masi stated.
Even during the 2019 United States Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari had a suspension failure when it broke after having passed very hard over a bump in the track, and from that moment on, all the drivers began to be more careful with their line. Although an F1 circuit should not have complications like these, Formula 1 is sure that it will be a unique event and a warm welcome to the category within the American continent.