Formula One has made several attempts in the past two decades to regain a successful foothold in the United States, and seems to have finally struck gold with the Circuit of the Americas.
The sport is steeped in history in the USA, with the likes of Watkins Glen and Long Beach helping to define that era, but after transitions through Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix it struggled to find a permanent home.
The short-lived stay in Indianapolis was followed by a five-year absence, but since 2012, the universally-popular Texas venue has carried Formula One back with a bang. Williams has scored victories at four US circuits, with Alan Jones at Watkins Glen in 1980 and Las Vegas in 1981, and Keke Rosberg at Dallas in 1984 and Detroit in 1985.
For USA, Pirelli have made available the super soft, soft and medium tyres.
Pat Symonds: Austin is one of those modern tracks that has been built to really stretch both the driver and the car. After turn one, the succession of corners is reminiscent of the first part of Suzuka and just as challenging, may be even more so than that classic track. Whilst last year’s event was severely disrupted by weather, we hope for a more straightforward weekend this time around. Apart from the weather, one of the surprise features last year was how bumpy the circuit had become in just twelve months. We certainly are hoping that it hasn’t degraded any further as last year was a challenge, and ultimately led to the retirement of both our cars. That aside, we hope the circuit will reward our new power unit upgrade being introduced for this event.
Valtteri Bottas: Austin is a great city and the people are very nice. Normally the weather is very good – except last year when it was a little bit different! We didn’t manage to score there in 2015 because of the DNF with both cars, but it should be a pretty good track for us when we go there again and try and get some good points. I still remember COTA fondly because it was where I picked up my first ever points in Formula One in 2013, so it’s always nice to go back there. Overall, as a race weekend, with the fans and everything going on it’s one of the best races to go to. It’s a special grand prix.
Felipe Massa: Of all the newer tracks COTA is the one I enjoy the most. It’s a really nice track to drive because you have everything; high speed corners, low speed corners and the long straight, which is good for overtaking. I also really enjoy Austin itself. It’s a very nice city with good restaurants and an amazing atmosphere during the race weekend. I’ve managed to get good results there in the past so hopefully I can enjoy a great race this year.