Andretti: COTA “can be fixed home of US Grand Prix”

F1 Fanatic round-up

Mario Andretti, Circuit of the Americas, 2012In the round-up: Mario Andretti sees a bright future for the Circuit of the Americas as the home of the United States Grand Prix.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Mario Andretti finds a place to park his F1 American Grand Prix dream (The Guardian)

“Now this can be the fixed home of the US Grand Prix. And I think that fact will see the event not only surviving but thriving in the future. It’s a great host city and I think the track, borrowing a bit from Silverstone here, a little of Hockenheim there, will go down great with the drivers.”

La Ferrari prova tutte le novita ad Idiada (Omnicorse, Italian)

Omnicorse reports Ferrari conducted one of their allotted days of straight-line aerodynamic testing at Idiada on Saturday in preparation for the last two races of the season.

Against all odds, F1 track has been built, ready to host race (Austin-American Statesman)

“[Bobby] Epstein said he looked at [the contract], focused on the higher-than-expected annual sanctioning fees over a 10-year period and thought: This deal is dead. ‘I read it and gave it back,’ Epstein recalled. [Bernie] Ecclestone suggested Epstein take a copy. ‘I don?t need a copy, I know what it said. It?s a deal-killer,’ Epstein said.”

Mercedes blip ‘necessary for future’ (Autosport)

Norbert Haug: “We certainly do not get the full benefit of this Coanda technique currently. You cannot get that after two or three races.”

F1 ace Damon Hill in Kent fundraising Down?s syndrome talk (Kent News)

“It will be an emotional evening when Formula 1 world champion Damon Hill opens his heart to a Kent audience about the trauma of discovering your child has Down?s Syndrome.”

Tweets

Comment of the day

Kimi Raikkonen came close to signing for Williams this year – Dd42 wonders what might have been:

Is anyone else wondering ‘what if?’ with Raikkonen to Williams? I think if he?d been there he could have still won a race this year, I?d like to see how many times he would out-qualify Maldonado over a season. I?m 100% sure Raikkonen would have massively outscored Maldonado and Williams would be much higher in the constructors. I?m also interested in seeing who’s quicker over a single lap between Grosjean and Maldonado?
Dd42

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On this day in F1

Jim Clark won a non-championship race at Spain’s Jarama circuit 45 years ago today in a Lotus 49.

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75 comments on Andretti: COTA “can be fixed home of US Grand Prix”

  1. I doubt a farce as major as Indy 2005 will occur again, so hopefully he is correct. It would be great if Austin were to throw up a great race to give a positive ‘first’ impression, as I think the track is definitely looking to be one of the more imaginative and exciting race tracks Tilke has designed!

  2. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 12th November 2012, 0:07

    borrowing a bit from Silverstone here, a little of Hockenheim there,

    I know we all love those two, but… are they completely out of ideas in track design?

    • all of his tracks are like that. As great as turkey is it was billed as a bit of everything. turn 1 was apparently trying to copy paddock hill bend….good but certainly not as good!!

      It cant be easy, usually most are just flat land in which he is told there you go design something. But they do turn out similar. the last corners on china, india and malayasia on camera(from start straight) look like the same track. and bahrain and India’s first bend is the same. China and malayasia’s first corners are the same. So hopefully this place turns out to be a bit different.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th November 2012, 0:34

        Actually, Hermann Tilke had nothing to do with the creation of the Circuit of the Americas. Tavo Hellmund penned the original design, with help from 1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz (who is responsible for including the Hockenheim double hairpin). They then approached Tilke’s firm, and Tilke had one of his lieutenants, Johannes Hogrebe, take their ideas and reshape them to fit FIA circuit design regulations whilst keeping as much of their vision intact. Tilke himself never did anything to the layout, so I don’t see how you can accuse him of copying anything. This article describes the design process from start to finish.

        • F1_Americana (@f1americana) said on 12th November 2012, 4:20

          ^ had to post something similarly earlier! Important to note: this is no Tilke design! @prisoner-monkeys always has his facts straight!

        • Aussie Rod (@aussierod) said on 12th November 2012, 11:35

          My take from this article (thanks for sharing btw):

          “Turn 1 is a copy of the hard right after the uphill climb to the Hella-Light chicane”. Ok so the COTA version goes a different way and is a bit more ‘severe’ so will be a bit slower. It also has more run-off eliminating the very risk Schwantz and Hellmund wanted to introduce, but at least Alex Wurz made some suggestions after running in the simulator to tweak it further still. Sounds like it will be nothing like the original but this doesn’t bother me as I’ve never heard of the Hella-Light chicane any-way!

          Turn 2 is a copy of the Senna S in Brazil. Admittedly I don’t see the bumpy braking over a crest at 320kph, the hugging of the concrete wall at the first apex, the dramatic plunge into the second apex and then the long, flowing third turn where drivers struggle for grip as they try to build speed onto the straight. But it’s named after Senna, so it has to be cool I guess.

          Turn 4, 5, 6. Maggots, Becketts, Chapel. The only small difference is that instead of launching into Maggots at 300kph and gradually scrubbing off speed as you sweep left, right left, right, left before behind shot out of the roller-coaster onto another long straight, at COTA the whole sequence is squashed in between a bunch of other ‘famous’ turns vying for space. Maybe it will still work…

          “Turns 7 and 8 are sharp, designed to reduce speed”. Why not just have a speed limit here, or maybe some speed humps. Works in my suburb.

          Turn 10: Leap of faith. Not modelled on any other famous turn and looks like the best sequence in the lap. Funny that.

          Turn 11 follows a straight and precedes another. No prizes for guessing what sort of corner this is going to be then is there? Yep another classic Tilke hairpin!

          Turns 12-14. “I always thought Hockenheim was really good,” Schwantz said. “You’re out in the woods for so long and then you’ve got five or six corners to decide it.” Unfortunately at COTA it’s just another 3 turns amongst 20, which kind of de-values the excitement a bit. Oh and they slowed it down to allow fans “to see the cars and motorcycles a little bit longer”. *insert face palm* Looks more like Bahrain turns 9 and 10 than Hockenheim to me.

          Turns 16-18. Turkey turn 8. Pure magic for an F1 car and fan. But wasn’t this copied at India already?

          Turns 19-20. At first glance I thought these two turns looked a bit boring and un-loved. I guess the designers did too: “These turns are mainly a way to get back to the straightaway and the uphill climb to the first turn.” Um, isn’t that the purpose of ALL the turns?

          Maybe it will be spectacular,maybe it won’t. But reading through that article the whole ‘design’ process sounds a bit amateur hour to me…

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 12th November 2012, 13:57

            Well how else do you design a circuit, if not by taking inspiration from others? Let’s face it, there are really only so many variations you can put on the same theme. What else were people expecting? A loop-the-loop and a jump over a flaming pit?

            I think the problem actually is that there are just too many circuits in F1 at the moment, and most of them lack any real distinguishing character. The only reason there are so many races on the calendar is to raise the most money from hosting fees and to spread the sport’s popularity around the globe. it’s certainly not because each track brings something new and unique to the experience. Hoping to see something you’ve never seen before is a little bit unrealistic.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th November 2012, 14:22

            What else were people expecting? A loop-the-loop and a jump over a flaming pit?

            @mazdachris, I know some people here that keep asking for crossovers :-)
            Maybe Abu Dhabi was thinking along this lines when they came up with the fancy LEDs and the go under the track pit tunnel!

          • Aussie Rod (@aussierod) said on 12th November 2012, 21:32

            “Well how else do you design a circuit, if not by taking inspiration from others?”

            Design is a process that takes into account many factors, some artistic, some technical and some pragmatic. I’m an architect and hence I think I know a little about the design process.

            Of course you use precedent, and take inspiration, from what others have done. But if I was charged with designing a new public building I wouldn’t take the Pantheon, put some sails from the Sydney Opera House around it and place an Eiffel Tower on top right next to Big Ben.

            IMO inspiration for a new circuit should come from the macro and micro qualities of the site on which it is located. The subtleties of camber, kerbs, rise and fall can dramatically alter the character of a turn.

            I don’t want to bag COTA before a single lap has been turned in anger, but the process described in the article sounded somewhat amateur.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th November 2012, 0:18

      @fer-no65 – Tavo Hellmund, who came up with the concept of the circuit design, deliberately chose to stitch together parts of his favourite circuits to create what he thought would be the ultimate racing circuit.

  3. GT_Racer said on 12th November 2012, 1:31

    I still think its a shame they moved away from Indy, That was a great place to hold a race & had everything you would want. Great city, Great fans, a ton of history & fantastic facilities. Also put on some real good races & there was always a lot of good overtaking into turn 1.

    I worked there for the Indy 500 TV crew in the early 90s & was at every F1 race there as part of FOM, I absolutely love the place.

    Only complaint you ever got from drivers regarding the layout was those silly hairpins of turns 9/10, A section Tony George promised to alter but never did until after F1 left.

    If the IRL series hadn’t been losing the owners of IMS as much money as it was, Its likely Indy would still be on the F1 schedule. But they were losing bucket loads of money because of Tony George was using the family fortune/IMS money to prop up IRL teams.

    • jh1806 (@jh1806) said on 12th November 2012, 8:05

      Indy is one of the worst circuits in the world in my opinion, it’s just so uninspiring. No elevation changes, perfect 180-degree hairpins, just awful.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th November 2012, 8:07

        @jh1806 – If elevation is the key to a great circuit, why is Silverstone so highly-rated? After all, it was once a Royal Air Force airbase, and like all airports, it was built on the flattest terrain available.

        • jh1806 (@jh1806) said on 12th November 2012, 8:11

          In Silverstone’s case it has a lot of other things going for it so you can forgive it for being rather flat. However when you have a circuit as boring as Indy and it’s flat as a pancake, it just makes it even worse.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 12th November 2012, 11:12

            @jh1806 Really the only thing so against Indy are those hairpins, while the main (probably only) thing significantly for it is the partial use of the oval. It’s more “average”, than “awful”.

      • James (@jamesf1) said on 12th November 2012, 14:54

        @jh1806 What is your opinion of Monza then?

        • jh1806 (@jh1806) said on 12th November 2012, 17:19

          @jamesf1 I like Monza a lot. Heritage aside, I like how it creates a challenge for teams and drives due to the radically different setups required. It’s nice to see cars sliding around, F1 needs more of that!

      • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 12th November 2012, 15:35

        I saw the last GP at Indy. I dont see any problems with the track really. No different than any of the other flat tracks aforementioned – there are gems and warts… It has history and provenance of its own. I know few people respect it outside of the US, but it really is one of the oldest tracks in the world that is still operating at world-class levels.

        COTA looks like it will eclipse all other US tracks for road-racing, and I am glad for this. While USA has many good road tracks, (Road America, Sebring, Laguna Seca, Lime Rock and even Watkins Glen) COTA will get USA back on par with other nations in with regards to a truely World-Class Road circut AND facility.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 12th November 2012, 17:46

      Indy was quite an uninspiring layout. And the whole premise of “F1 at Indy” was null, as Indianapolis is an oval, the inside bit is just “someplace else”:

      The banking was no challenge for F1 cars, and the looong long straight didn’t see much overtaking. Turn 1 was ridiculous, and there was little to like about the track as a whole.

      To be honest, it’s good they left.

      • GT_Racer said on 13th November 2012, 11:23

        and the looong long straight didn’t see much overtaking

        Statistically thats incorrect, Indy always featured a lot overtaking. 2006 was the only year where there wasn’t a great deal.

        As to the layout been boring, If that was the case then why was it a very popular circuit with drivers?
        Drivers loved the fast, flowing, technical nature of it & as I said above the only part that ever got any criticism was those 2 slow hairpins which have now been removed.

  4. Eastman (@eastman) said on 12th November 2012, 1:48

    Andretti did a interview on my local sports talk radio station on Friday and sounded genuinely excited even as the clueless hosts stumbled through questions about the present state of the sport.

    I’m disappointed no effort is made to get a driver or Andretti himself on a late night talk show or daytime talk show to try and drive some general public interest in the event. As it is, the race will be slammed between football games and the NASCAR conclusion and is getting very little national hype. Too bad because it’ll likely be a classic.

    • I believe Red Bull has done at least one (and I’m sure multiple) demo(s) in and around Austin. Also, they’ve done a piece for the NJ track, and Vettel appeared in The Late Show with David Letterman not too long ago.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 13th November 2012, 6:18

      Forever fan of Mario after that F1 Legend piece Sky Sport did on him!

  5. mantresx said on 12th November 2012, 2:24

    Well at least we know who will be doing the podium interviews!

  6. In my opinion, the hairpins are nothing like Hockenheim. They’re more like Indianapolis, having no flow and just being tedious.

  7. Bob (@bobthevulcan) said on 12th November 2012, 4:39

    Just one week before the United States Grand Prix, and I think a major problem the organizers have yet to address is the general lack of awareness among the American public about Formula One, and indeed, the race itself.

    I’ve listened in on some US-based interview shows and podcasts, and at the first mention of the USGP, the majority of hosts are either oblivious as to the existence of the event, or extremely ignorant as to what constitutes “Formula One” – many erroneously label it as “European IndyCar”, a very sweeping assumption to make about two very different classes of racing. It seems that local sentiment toward the race is lukewarm at best, and national hype is largely limited to those already actively following F1. As @eastman mentioned, without any directed marketing blitz, it’s likely that the USGP will be overshadowed by the established American sports, football and NASCAR.

    What they need to do is reel in the all-important television audience through interview appearances on major shows, a more aggressive ad strategy, greater online marketing to tap into the younger sports-inclined demographic, anything that will get more people to watch the race. The United States is a market untapped by F1 since 2007, and much work is needed to revitalize interest in the sport.

    The organizers have one week. I do hope they make it count.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th November 2012, 5:31

      I think a major problem the organizers have yet to address is the general lack of awareness among the American public about Formula One, and indeed, the race itself.

      Yes, Americans are so unaware of what Formula 1 is that the event is very nearly sold out.

      I’ve listened in on some US-based interview shows and podcasts, and at the first mention of the USGP, the majority of hosts are either oblivious as to the existence of the event, or extremely ignorant as to what constitutes “Formula One” – many erroneously label it as “European IndyCar”, a very sweeping assumption to make about two very different classes of racing.

      How else do you expect them to explain it for general audiences to understand? If it takes fifteen minutes for presenters to explain something – something that they may not necessarily understand themselves – then all they are going to do is lose the audience’s attention. They need to explain things in terms that make Formula 1 relatable to John Q. Citizen.

      For all you know, the organisers of the event are doing their best to promote the event, but the segment producers of these interviews and podcasts are the ones who are cutting out he content and presenting it in over-simplified terms.

      • Pandaslap (@pandaslap) said on 12th November 2012, 6:14

        @bobthevulcan is right. There has been no marketing or mention of the race on a national level and F1′s lack of presence leading up to the event is very disappointing.

        Seb did a brief interview on Letterman several months ago and Coulthard drove in NY. To my knowledge, that has been about it for marketing/PR and neither of those events had any significance outside of the F1 community.

        It’s a shame; there are many F1 fans in the US and there could potentially be many more if F1 and its teams made a respectable effort to build a fan base.

        • JP (@jp1987) said on 12th November 2012, 7:27

          I don’t think it does any good to start a national marketing campaign to promote the event since those likely to go to the event are either F1 fans or people that live in the region going to the sweet event being promoted in their area. I doubt someone would fly out of….lets say Seattle, to watch F1 in Texas unless they are already hardcore fans which makes any marketing blitz redundant. Lets not forget that, Texas population is 25 million so quite a sizable audience for the regional campaigns. And I also heard there is A LOT of people going from Mexico to support Sergio.

          • Bob (@bobthevulcan) said on 12th November 2012, 8:28

            National level marketing is important if you want a large television audience. Attract the television audience, and you attract interest in the sport, potentially growing the fan-base.

      • Bob (@bobthevulcan) said on 12th November 2012, 6:15

        the event is very nearly sold out

        Sold out to a mixture of fans local and foreign, numbering around 100,000. Raising wider awareness of the sport in the USA entails attracting a large domestic television audience. Yet most of this television audience will likely be drawn more to the already established sports airing concurrently with the USGP.

        the segment producers of these interviews and podcasts are the ones who are cutting out he content and presenting it in over-simplified terms

        Yes, and the content that does make it is misleading and contains completely false claims – I’ve heard a number of hosts go on about how Massa’s Hungary accident was fatal, and how F1 races on ovals… Granted, these hosts may not be F1 enthusiasts, but such incorrect claims are misrepresenting F1 in the eyes of the public.

        That many still hold these pre-conceived notions of F1 shows how the USGP organizers have failed to raise awareness among the populace. Ask John Q. Citizen if he’s going to watch the USGP, and a sizable portion of responses will be: what race? I’m not assuming here, but rather inferring from all the media statements and internet posts by Mr Citizen and his friends, that the American public is still largely unaware of the grand prix, and what it entails for the World Championship and such.

        For all you know, the organisers of the event are doing their best to promote the event

        Yet they have minimal social media presence – the event’s Facebook page has less than 1,500 supporters, compared to 52,200 for NASCAR. There are no adverts, let alone an official presence, on YouTube and other sites. Mario Andretti, by far the man best qualified to promote F1 in America, has yet to appear on any major nationwide-level television or radio talk shows. For all their efforts at promoting the event, the organizers have yet to reach out to a large slice of the American audience.

        • Bob (@bobthevulcan) said on 12th November 2012, 6:18

          * I stand corrected. They do have an official YouTube account, but it has only 1,000 or so subscribers. Hardly widespread outreach.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th November 2012, 8:17

          So, your whole argument is “they’ve sold out, but they haven’t made use of social media, so they’ve failed to raise awareness”?

          Sorry, but any first-year marketing student could tell you that the major shortcoming of social media as a marketing tool is that it is impossible to quantify the results of such a campaign, as you have no idea whether or not you have actually achieved anything with it.

          • Bob (@bobthevulcan) said on 12th November 2012, 8:26

            No, my argument is that, even though they’ve sold out the venue itself, but haven’t succeeded in drawing in the much larger, and very important profit-wise, home television audience.

            Outside of the Austin area and F1 fan circles, few people on the nationwide level seem to care about the USGP. Attracting and sustaining widespread interest across the country is key for the race’s, and Formula One’s, future success in a commercially important market.

            Social media is only an indicator of how widespread their outreach has been, which is to say, limited – that they have so few subscribers and supporters implies that few across the country have expressed their interest in the event, hence demonstrating limited awareness of the grand prix.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th November 2012, 8:17

          I fully agree with you guys that there has been only very rudimentary publicity for this event outside of circles who already follow the sport.

          I gather that with Speed ending its coverage, Fox is not to keen to give much time to that now, so one can only hope that NBC will do a job of actually getting at least a million people to watch states-wide after taking over. It will take a great race, and a LOT of people all over the media to talk about it.
          Shame it wouldn’t work now if Button and Alonso would invite Armstrong for his home GP and tell the world how it was a great event!

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th November 2012, 8:52

            It will take a great race, and a LOT of people all over the media to talk about it.

            Promoting Formula 1 to the wider American audience is really something of a chicken-and-egg situation.

            On the one hand, you need an audience before the race takes place. On the other hand, you need the race to take place in order to get an audience.

          • Pandaslap (@pandaslap) said on 12th November 2012, 13:26

            @bascb anything is better than SPEED. I appreciate the hosts themselves but the network is a joke. Anything NBC does will be a big improvement.

            I understand the chicken v egg argument made by @prisoner-monkeys. My frustration is that F1 needed to begin a national campaign as soon as the USGP was a guaranteed event on the calendar.

            Also, for the potential American audience, access to good information about F1 is sorely lacking. The teams and drivers need a presence here for the race to survive and for F1 to continue to expand into new markets.

          • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 12th November 2012, 15:44

            I think to a large extent the F1 US bubble is yet to come. My reasons are as follows.
            1. BUZZ is hard to generate on something that has never happened. ” Hey Everybody, you absolutly CANT MISS this new thing in Austin you have never seen before…” see, it doesnt work

            2. To date in the US, most of F1 is televised on Speed TV. As you might guess by the name, this is a niche network. However, NASCAR is broadcast on Normal channels with added coverage on Speed TV. As a channel flipper myself, I never go outside my own surfing pool. ie, I never stop at the Home Shopping Network. Even if there is programming I might like, I will never know because I never tune in.

            3. The race is sold out… This fact alone says “success”. If they manage to keep that going for the next 5 years, we can say “Full Success” acheived, but this will not happen until the attendees of the 2012 race go home and tell all their friends how much fun they had, and motivate their friends to join in for 2013.

            Settle down folks, US has a strong motorsports demographic, and F1 will find a place in it, dont you worry.

  8. Abdurahman said on 12th November 2012, 6:15

    There are more than enough die hard F1 fans that are all making a pilgrimage to COTA from around the US. This is accounting for the sold out ticket sales. The US of A is a massive nation don’t forget, and I wonder what is the normal tv viewer percentage from the US market?
    F1 is such a global sport, does it really matter if the majority of Americans are oblivious to the race? If all the tickets are sold and the race is beamed round the world by SKy, what does it matter the ratings on our **** poor Speed channel or maybe it will be on NBC? Hmmmm…. By the way I would give an arm and a leg to be able to have the “privilege” of paying for a SKYF1 subscription. Not available in the States in any way shape or form. So, I just download for free from torrents. hehehehe. But I would rather watch in full HD and get to see the F! show and all the other stuff.

  9. BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th November 2012, 8:20

    Nice piece about Hill helping support the Down’s syndrome fund raiser.

  10. BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th November 2012, 9:41

    Maybe COTA, or indeed CVC, should have a look at how Nickelback goes at its business to keep the show going.

    - Thinking about how to get people to notice an act
    - looking at the core show for tours so tickets can be priced reasonably
    - helping make sure new acts follow up, and helping them with support acts, song writing etc.

    Sounds like F1 as a sport can learn a lot from it!

  11. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 12th November 2012, 10:18

    @Dd42

    If I had to take a guess, I’d say Maldonado over Grosjean any way day. I also he’d give Raikkonen a good run for his money on Saturdays, if not be quicker – but less consistently, perhaps?

    • @KeithCollantine

      Thanks for COTD it’s a good feeling to know that your comments have been appreciated so thanks :-)

      @electrolite
      I also think Maldonado has the potential to be quicker than Grosjean in qualy and possibly over a race distance too although he does currently lack consistency – although thats not such a problem seeing as it’s only his second year in F1. I really disliked Pastors attitude before but it’s easily changed – and it seems to have improved over recent races, whereas Grosjean’s spacial awareness, may never get to the level required to be a top driver.

    • @electrolite @Dd42
      “Sheer conjecture” is the phrase that comes to mind! What are you basing your assumptions on?

      I think the fact of the matter is that we simply can’t judge Maldonado’s “achievements” this year because his teammate (Senna) does not provide a reliable benchmark. Let’s wait and see how he compares with Bottas next year who, I believe, has regularly outpaced him in practice!!

      I would also say that your argument is almost irrelevant as this year’s Williams is actually VERY close to this year’s Lotus in pace. The fact that Williams’ are 8th in the championship with the 5th fastest car tells you everything you need to know about the “talents” of their drivers!

      • I’m not making any arguments for Maldonado being quicker than Grosjean. It’s simply a SUGGESTION he could be faster – but of course we don’t know that unless they are given an equal chance. I was merely wondering how Maldonado would have compared in qualy pace to Kimi.

        Kimi took a while to find speed in qualy this year but I think he’s back now and so is outqualifying Grosjean

    • Bob (@bobthevulcan) said on 12th November 2012, 13:55

      I think it’s good that he’s setting high targets for himself to achieve – it shows that Perez is motivated, confident and determined, important qualities for a driver. Granted, his goal is very much on the ambitious side, overly optimistic perhaps, and whether he’ll actually achieve it remains to be seen. However, if he can iron out the errors he’s been making of late, maybe learn a thing or two about patience and pacing from the more experienced Button, and continue pushing his pace, it’s likely he’ll be in contention for race wins next year.

    • I don’t think Perez will beat Button next season, not unless his qualifying pace improves drastically and even then I think Button will outrace him. There is a big step up between driving well in an average car to reproducing that form in a race winning car; people like Fisichella, Frentzen etc. have demonstrated that in the past.

  12. Oskar (@oskar) said on 12th November 2012, 15:09

    Off Topic.

    HRT is on sale, again!

  13. Malibu_GP said on 12th November 2012, 16:38

    Ha…, Jense was in My part of the World eh. Who doesn’t love The Bu, or most of the L.A. county beaches (I was born n raised in Santa Monica) for that matter. I’m off to Austin in two days!! Feels great to have a race on home soil again. I had planned to rent a nice motorcoach, to stay in at the circuit, but they only offered offsite parking after initially advertising otherwise. Looks like We will be trekking to and fro during the course of the weekends events. Saul good though, I’m gonna make all the practice sessions, qualy and the race! What a week this shall be…

  14. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 12th November 2012, 23:16

    Will Mercedes ever be ready? I guess signing Hamilton shows that they think they are and that they can come out of ‘development’ and start hitting the podium regularly. Assuming McLaren have a bit of a quiet 2013 this is Mercedes’ best opportunity to capitalise on that. I just hope they can implement a legal Device like Red Bull and to a lesser extent Lotus have for next year rather than have wasted too much time on their own system.

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