United States GP: Mercedes – A new circuit offers a new challenge for teams
By Berthold Bouman
As a car manufacturer, Mercedes is also looking forward to the United States Grand Prix this weekend. “It is five years since we last visited the United States and there is a great sense of anticipation in Formula One to be returning to a custom-built, state-of-the-art venue at the Circuit of the Americas,” Mercedes Motorsport Director Norbert Haug said.
Haug thinks the new circuit provides plenty of new challenges for the teams, “The circuit will provide a real test for the cars and drivers: it’s not a bland venue but rather a demanding layout with significant elevation changes. It contains an extremely demanding first sector, with a challenging series of high-speed corners and, throughout the lap, you can feel echoes of other great tracks around the world.”
Mercedes Team Principal Ross Brawn agreed with Haug, and added, “Visiting a new circuit for the first time is always a significant engineering challenge, and we have been working hard at the factory to prepare for the weekend.”
But Mercedes is well-prepared as Brawn explained, “The team have done over five race distances on the simulator to assess the layout, gradients and G forces. The track layout looks quite varied with a high-speed twisting section in the first sector, elevation changes with an uphill approach to the crest of Turn One, and a slower, more technical section at the end of the lap.”
For both drivers it will also be a challenge, and Michael Schumacher is looking forward to the penultimate Formula One race of his career, “My wife and I have been big fans of the USA, and also of Texas, for many years so I’m particularly looking forward to the race in Austin.”
But the seven-times World Champion also likes the challenges of a new circuit, and he hopes to do well, “From the pictures and layouts of the circuit that I have already seen, everything looks very good. I think Formula One will put on a good show at the Circuit of the Americas, and naturally I will be giving my best to be a part of that.”
Nico Rosberg has spent some time in the simulator at the factory last week and he said, “I know what to expect and, as a team, we are as well-prepared as we can be from our simulator work.” He is also upbeat ahead of the race, “The track looks cool with a great double S section to begin the lap and it looks like there should be some good opportunities for overtaking. We really want to end the season on a positive note so we’ll be aiming to score some points next weekend.”
Mercedes are currently fifth in the Constructors’ Championship with 136 points, but Sauber are getting closer and closer and the difference is now only 12 points, Mercedes will have to score well during the last two races of the season, or they will lose their fifth place to Sauber.
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes