“We did some simulator programme already after Singapore,” said Fernando Alonso, “and then a little bit more intense last week and yesterday also did two laps on the bicycle and plan to do some more this afternoon. So we are more or less ready.
“The track seems spectacular, very, very nice. It will be challenging for us drivers and engineers as well. “I think will be a good show for everybody and hopefully some good overtaking as well, opportunities around the track. So it can be a very good weekend.”
Championship rival Sebastian Vettel said he is looking forward to driving it properly for the first time tomorrow: “We also prepared in the simulator but apart from that I haven’t seen much yet. I will walk the track this afternoon and I think we have to wait until we get out to have a judgement on how the circuit feels.
“By the looks of it it looks quite interesting but it’s always the feeling you get inside the car which I think is most important so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Lewis Hamilton said he found the track more challenging than others after driving it in McLaren’s simulator: “It’s quite an interesting track. It’s quite difficult to learn initially but it looks fantastic to drive.
“I really started to enjoy it once I got used to it which took perhaps a little bit longer than some of the other circuits to learn. But, yeah, it’s going to be very interesting this weekend.”
Pedro de la Rosa also endorsed the new circuit: “I’ve just been doing a lap, walking around. I don’t know much apart from this lap and apart from what I’ve been able to see from the internet, the lap that Jerome [D’Ambrosio] did in the Lotus.
“It looks a very difficult track with great, very big gradient changes and very challenging because most of the corners, the apexes are blind. So let’s see tomorrow but it’s one of those tracks which you can say is going to be difficult and challenging.”
However Sergio Perez has not had the advantage of being able to drive a virtual lap of COTA: “I haven’t done any simulator, we don’t have one with Sauber. I’ve seen some video of the track, I walked the track and it’s amazing I think it will be very enjoyable for all the drivers.”
Kimi Raikkonen hasn’t driven the track in a simulator either: “I’ve only seen the video from when they did the demo run here. I haven’t seen the circuit itself, I will see tomorrow how it goes.”
Asked if he planned to walk around the track later Raikkonen joked: “Not walking. If I find golf cart or something…”
2012 United States Grand Prix
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Image ?ť?ģ Sahara Force India F1 Team