United States GP: HRT heading for uncharted territory
By Berthold Bouman
HRT is looking forward to the United States Grand Prix this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas, but like all other teams, they will be heading for uncharted territory, and according to Team Principal Luis Perez-Sala, adapting to the new circuit will be crucial.
“Once again we’re heading to an unknown circuit, so the key will be to learn the circuit and adapt as quickly as possible. All we know about this circuit is what the simulation department, who have been working on it for some time, have put across to us,” he said.
And he added, “According to them it’s a very complete and spectacular track and that gives us extra motivation to face this penultimate test of the season.”
Veteran driver Pedro de la Rosa knows how to tackle the challenges of a new circuit, but he also said, “The truth is we don’t know much about this circuit. All I know about it is from what I’ve seen on the Internet. The first thing that strikes you about this track is the number of gradient changes and how extreme they are.”
But he also reckons the Pirelli tyres will play an important role this weekend, “The important thing is for our car to adapt well to this circuit and we will dedicate Friday to learning the track and setting up the car. The choice of medium and hard tyres seems, on paper, an election of quite hard compounds. But until we don’t confirm the grip of the asphalt it will be difficult to draw any conclusions”.
Narain Karthikeyan is impressed by the circuit layout, “The Circuit of the Americas looks like a promising layout, lots of parts from different circuits around the world but what I’m looking forward to most is the massively uphill Turn One. These gradient changes do well to add to the circuit’s character as we’ve seen in India so it is going to be a challenging layout.”
And practice makes perfect as the Indian driver added, “So as a driver, it would be up to us to do the maximum number of laps possible on Friday to learn the circuit and get the base set-up right and then take it from there.”
Perez-Sala is confident his team will perform well during the final two races of the season, “It’s been an intense end of year but I’m confident that we can finish off on a good note which will enable us to make a positive overall assessment of this special season.”