Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo has defended the bumpy Circuit of the Americas after several of his Formula 1 rivals complained about the bumps ahead of the United States Grand Prix at the venue in Texas.
Lewis Hamilton said he had to lie down with a severe headache on Friday, and Max Verstappen said he was worried about the health of his back. The Mercedes driver said it was “the bumpiest track by far that I have ever been on.”
He added, “The bumps are not such a bad thing in some places because it just adds characteristics, it adds that character to a circuit. So I’m not a fan of completely smooth circuits.”
“But this one is like massive, massive bumps, and the problem for us is that we don’t have much suspension. Our suspension moves like this much, so it’s usually your butt on the floor, and your spine takes all the compression, so I was feeling horrible.”
Verstappen shared the sentiments, “You have to be careful,” he said. “If you go a bit off-line and you want to outbrake someone, I’m always a little bit afraid to damage your back or whatever. It’s something we have to look into of course. I don’t mind bumps on a street circuit, it’s part of it.
“But these bumps are quite severe. It’s almost like a hump or a ramp in some places where the wheels are coming off the ground. That’s of course not what you want. We’ll have a look at it,” added the Dutchman.
Racing Point veteran Sergio Perez added, “It can be very painful,” said Sergio Perez. “Someone can get hurt over these bumps and you have seen some drivers going off at very high speed, and it is due to the bumps. I think it is totally unacceptable.
“Today we are over the limit. We have seen some incidents due to the bumps and I think that is just not acceptable. In the race, and I hope not, but I expect to see some people crashing out when the deg starts to kick in. All of a sudden you get a bump in the wrong angle and go straight into the wall, so it is quite bad,” warned the Mexican.
Teammate Lance Stroll added, “I think there are two or three big bumps that are really upsetting the car and it’s not good for the engine either with big spikes in revs. They’ve got to sort it out for next year, I don’t think there’s a solution for this year but going forward, there’s two or three bumps they’ve got to remove.
“They’re like speed bumps out there so it’s too much. I think when you hit the rev limiter and get a bit of air it’s a little bit much. It’s more for the rallycross boys than for us,” ventured the Canadian.
But Ricciardo was less dramatic, “Ok, some sections are pretty uncomfortable, but for me, that’s part of the character of a race track. Personally, I prefer bumps over perfectly smooth. This is not a video game.
“Everyone knows when they come here that it’s going to be rough, and I have no problem with that. For me, many of the new circuits are too perfect. And no one can tell me that we can’t race here. So far, I haven’t seen any cars fall apart,” added the Australian.
Mattia Binotto observed, “It’s certainly bumpy. To say right now it would not affect reliability would be very brave. Because maybe later in the race weekend we affirm the opposite.
“As a matter of fact this morning with Charles we had a small inconvenience due to we believe a bump. A small issue. Just as an example. So it needs to be managed, we need to be aware of it and making sure it doesn’t affect the result,” added Ferrari boss.