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PostSubject: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:13 am

2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX

For the first time since 2007 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Formula 1 makes a return to the USA at the purpose-built, all new Circuit of the Americas (COTA) for the 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. The Texan circuit in the city of Austin marks the nineteenth round on the 2012 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.





After Formula One’s chequered history in the USA across various different circuits, the hotly anticipated Circuit of Americas makes its debut this weekend in Motorsports. A specific, purpose-built circuit designed for Formula 1 motor racing first and foremost, the sport hopes that another crack at the largest economy in the world will succeed.

The COTA on paper looks very promising; it has a few blind turns, a lovely section of esses and some fast straightaways into tight turns which will hopefully promote overtaking. This 3.4 mile, 20 turn road course will also be host to a range of other motorsport next year; including V8 Supercars, ALMS, Grand Am and Moto GP. COTA aims to become a natural destination for American road course racing, not just for the Formula 1 World Championship.

A new circuit presents an unknown for both championship contenders. Red Bull may have a faster car than Ferrari, but COTA will be about getting to grips with the circuit and making the fewest mistakes – COTA has a lot of challenging sections. Alonso in particular will be on the attack, hoping that this new opportunity can enable him to further cut Vettel’s point’s lead.

Overtaking opportunities

COTA has a number of good passing opportunities, but it will be important to set a driver up in preceding turns, as the overtaking opportunities aren’t necessarily connected like other circuits. The cars will reach about 180 mph before braking for turn 1 to around 60 mph, this is a large braking zone and the entry to the turn is very wide. However, the circuit rises in the braking zone, meaning the apex of turn 1 will be blind, and overshooting the turn whilst attempting to pass might occur.

In a sequence that mimics the esses at the Sonoma circuit, turns 3 to 9 will be more about precision than passing. However, if a driver gets a better exit off turn 9, they can attempt to pass along the short wide open section into turn 11, a tight turn. Turn 12 will arguably be the best place to pass on the circuit; the cars will reach approximately 200 mph before braking heavily to about 60 mph.


What to watch for

The start of the Grand Prix will particularly be a nervous moment at COTA. With the blind entry to turn 1, it will be easy to misjudge braking and clatter into cars ahead. Teams won’t know the true performance of their cars until the race itself, as the circuit will keep on rubbering in; there could be some unwanted surprises without relevant, accurate and precise data to rely on.

Car requirements

Although F1 drivers haven’t driven in anger at this COTA, the requirements for this course are quite apparent. Although there are two long full throttle sections, the circuit will demand medium to high downforce levels. It is reasonable to assume that the most time will be found in sectors 1 and 3, where it’s either very flowing or slow and twisty. The final sector will demand good traction and drivability to get good drive off the slow turns. In particular, having a driveable engine that can help minimise wheel spin will be important.

COTA requires a much broader range of abilities than Abu Dhabi does. Eager high speed direction change and high speed corners are factors at COTA, and the challenge for the engineers will be to find a balance between all the different demands at this course.


Tyre selections

Pirelli will bring their Medium and Hard P Zero tyres to Texas. The graphic below shows Pirelli’s 2012 range of P Zero tyres and their respective markings:



Video footage

Here is a lap of the Circuit of Americas with Jérôme D'Ambrosio, driving a Lotus-Renault:




Weekend schedule in UK time:

Fri 16 November 2012

Friday Practice 1 15:00 – 16:30
Friday Practice 2 19:00 – 20:30

Sat 17 November 2012

Saturday Practice 15:00 – 16:00
Qualifying 18:00

Sun 18 November 2012

Start of Formation Lap 19:00
2012 United States Grand Prix Race Start 19:03

Full weekend schedule in local time

Thursday 15th November:

3 Day Ticket Holders Pit Lane Walk 10:00 – 12:00
Formula Press Conference – Press Room 11:00

Friday 16th November:

Formula One Practice 1 09:00 – 10:30
HGP Practice Session 11:00 – 12:00
Formula One Paddock Club Pit Lane Walk 11:30 – 12:30
Formula One Practice 2 13:00 – 14:30
Ferrari Challenge Practice Session 15:00 – 15:45
Formula One Press Conference - Press Room 15:00 – 16:00
Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA West Practice Session 16:15 – 16:45

Saturday 17th November

Formula One Pit Stop Practice 07:00 – 07:40
Formula One Paddock Club Pit Lane Walk 07:00 – 07:40
Ferrari Challenge Qualifying 07:45 – 08:15
Formula One Practice 3 09:00 – 10:00
HGP Qualifying Session 10:30 – 11:00
Formula One Paddock Club Pit Lane Walk 11:05 – 11:40
Formula One Qualifying 12:00
Ferrari Challenge First Race (10 Laps or 25 Mins) 13:30 – 14:00
Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA West Qualifying Session 14:30 – 14:50
HGP Race (14 Laps or 30 Mins) 15:20 – 15:55

Sunday 18th November

Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA West First Race (10 Laps or 25 Mins) 09:30 – 10:00
Ferrari Challenge Second Race (10 Laps or 25 Mins) 10:30 – 11:00
Formula One Paddock Club Pit Lane Walk 11:05 – 12:15
Formula One Drivers Parade 11:30
Formula One Starting Grid Presentation 11:45 – 12:15
Formula One National Anthem 12:46
Start of Formula One Formation Lap 13:00
Start of 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix 13:03

UK Television schedules – BST time

In addition to Sky’s live coverage of the United States Grand Prix, the BBC is showing extended highlights of both qualifying, and the 56 lap Grand Prix. Times of the TV coverage can be seen below:

Friday 16th November

Sky Sports F1 Coverage

Practice One: 14:45 pm
Practice Two: 18.45 am

Saturday 17th November

BBC Coverage

Qualifying highlights: 2230-2345, BBC Two

Sky Sports F1 Coverage

Practice Three: 2:45 am
Qualifying: 14:45 pm

Sunday 18th November

BBC Coverage

Race highlights: 2230-0030 BBC One

Sky Sports F1 Coverage

Race: 17.30 pm

Live timing and scoring is available for every session at http://www.formula1.com/ Registration is required to view live timing. If you wish to watch this Grand Prix outside the UK, please check your local listings.

Previous winners of United States Grand Prix – 2000 – 2007

2000 – Michael Schumacher – Ferrari
2001 – Mika Hakkinen – McLaren-Mercedes Benz
2002 – Rubens Barrichello – Ferrari
2003 – Michael Schumacher – Ferrari
2004 – Michael Schumacher – Ferrari
2005 – Michael Schumacher – Ferrari
2006 – Michael Schumacher – Ferrari
2007 – Lewis Hamilton – McLaren-Mercedes Benz

Enjoy the Grand Prix!


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Last edited by Mobil 1 on Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:17 am

I'm really looking forward to this weekend, this Circuit of Americas has some lovely sections. Turns 3 to 11 remind me of Sonoma but anti clockwise; fast esses then hard braking into a hairpin.

Most importantly, this race starts at 7 pm at night, and when the sun goes down, any crap might happen. There might be a safety car, there could be a start crash, HRT might be trolls again - who knows. Anything could happen at night!


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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:11 am

Tilke drome it's kind of part Suzuka at the start and then there's three hairpins on the otherside which is odd
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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:29 pm

Mobil 1 wrote:
I'm really looking forward to this weekend, this Circuit of Americas has some lovely sections. Turns 3 to 11 remind me of Sonoma but anti clockwise; fast esses then hard braking into a hairpin.

Most importantly, this race starts at 7 pm at night, and when the sun goes down, any crap might happen. There might be a safety car, there could be a start crash, HRT might be trolls again - who knows. Anything could happen at night!


When the sun goes down?!!?!!?!?!?!

7pm at night here, lunchtime there... it is Texas, Sav...

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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:11 pm

You are correct Sean, but at 7 pm it will be night time here - we can pretend its a night race!!! w00t

Who knows what happen, OAP's like Schumacher seem to struggle seeing in the dark. He wrecked twice in Singapore, perhaps he just cannot see too well.

The last sector looks very frustrating, looks more about discipline than ultimate speed.


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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:41 am

i am interested to see what the track is like. fair amount of racing there next year. should interesting.
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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:39 am

Some excellent highlights here of the USA GP, check out Alesi’s cheeky re-pass of Senna: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/20306963

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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:26 am

That race is so boring and that pass is the only good bit. I have. It on tape somewhere. Yes I was 7 but someone taped it.
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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:36 am

Safety Cars weren't used much back then, so yes it was a rubbish Grand Prix.

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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:57 pm

Safety cars haven't helped but maybe a little in f1

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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:08 am

Kimi for another win and Fernando to outscored Vettel to take it to the final race

I hope! Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:36 am

Maldonado had an engine failure, Calden, Renault unit you know. Laughing Wink

COTA looks like a fun track, it’s a very line-specific circuit in the final sector; run a little too deep into one of the tight turns and you’re screwed for the rest. Turn 19 looked like a handful from practice, it looks like an innocent turn, but it seems to drop off in a subtle way.

It is a shame that Pirelli chose to bring their hardest tyres; only the esses really load up the tyres, so degredation and wear are going to be reasonable.

I love the sheer elevation change of turn 1, the drop down reminds me of the Senna esses at Interlagos. There was an amazing crowd turn out for a Friday; many spectator areas already full.

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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:32 am

Every driver is getting loose entering turn 19; it’s strange to see F1 cars loose on the entry to turns. They often kick the rear out on exit, but on entry is odd.

Perhaps these harder tyres which produce less grip are good. Perhaps there will be predictable strategies, but just hooking up the rear tyres and getting them warmed up seems a struggle.

Good to see Barrichello and Tony Kanaan at COTA.

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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:34 am

There's a slow mo of a Williams sideways and four wheel drifting that's how f1 cars should look all the time. I think mahogany tyres might be good for brazil.
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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:39 am

Well there was more sliding around in qualifying, the Ferrari looks quite terrible. Terrible understeer on entry and too loose on exits. The saving grace for Alonso is that the Ferrari has got stronger on high fuel.

I'm just amazed at the lack of progress from Ferrari. They've not really improved the car at all in recent Grand's Prix, for a team like Ferrari fighting for a title, it has been very disappointing.

The surprise of that session is Lewis Hamilton, after Vettel had been pulling gaps of over half a second in practice; there is only a tenth of a second gap. When it matters, Lewis delivered some storming laps. If you look at the high fuel lap averages, Hamilton was the fastest car yesterday - I'm looking forward to that battle...

Vettel will want to run and hide with the straight line speed he’s got.

Its a real shame that Grosjean has a gearbox penalty, I wanted to see what he could do from fourth.

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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:19 am

And quite conveniently, Massa needs a gearbox change. Talk about a penalty being advantageous… Wink

Wouldn't be ironic if Alonso's gearbox actually failed in the Grand Prix... Razz Razz Razz Razz

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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:38 am

not been to bad a race really.

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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:14 am

I forgot the race was happening oops.
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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:58 am

Hamilton drove a brilliant Grand Prix, I was surprised at how close he could stay behind Vettel in the dirty air. Even in the esses, Lewis would close up on Vettel. It was a sign now good that car was, if it can perform like that in turbulent air. Of course, Vettel was held up by Karthikeyan, but all the lead cars were held up by backmarkers to an extent.

I’m getting a little tired of Vettel’s bitching. At Sepang, it was Vettel who didn’t clear Karthikeyan fully, yet Vettel insisted Narain was at fault. In Abu Dhabi, he almost ran over Ricciardo under Safety Car conditions, but it was apparently Ricciardo’s fault. There was nowhere for Karthikeyan to escape today, those esses are one-line only.

Vettel was weaving along the back straightaway as Hamilton passed, but moaned that Lewis got too close. Eh? If you weave about in every direction, it makes it pretty hard to predict where you’re gonna go. Note Raikkonen v Button on the same straight; Raikkonen didn’t weave about, he kept a consistent line and Button knew where Kimi was going.

It does seem that Vettel has gotten the weaving, chopping bug from his countryman, Michael Schumacher. Now doubt Vettel is massively quick, but his movement around other cars is still very peculiar and erratic.

It was generally a superb race. The hard tyres meant that strategies were very straight forward, but the combination of cold tyres and little grip was fun to watch. There was virtually a battle for the lead for the entire 56 laps, it was mega.

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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:30 am

Massa was very good, has to be his best grand prix. It was a bit of a shame he had the gear box change to help out Alonso as his pace was good enough to challenge for the win. It was great to have a battle for the lead throughout most of the race. The traffic added to it I think, some drivers were too slow to move over, one in particular but it wasn't Narain. Its normal to get held up for a few corners in any form of racing.

I wonder if all tracks should be scrubbed clean of rubber before the race, certainly turned up some surprise performances and the it made the cars more enjoyable to watch.
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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:58 am

The track’s lack of grip definitely contributed to the close racing, but so did the hard tyres. The hardest compounds in Pirelli’s range, combined with a relatively low track temperature meant that some drivers really struggled in the initial laps.

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PostSubject: Re: F1 -2012 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX - COTA   Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:13 am

A really enjoyable GP. Great action throughout the field, good clean racing, and a straight fight between 2 of the best drivers with nothing to split them. Cool

Plus the track looked really good. Thumbs up too for the podium Stetsons. ten lol!
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