United States GP Preview – Mercedes is bringing “the last significant update”

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

In Mercedes’ United States Grand Prix preview, Toto Wolff says the team will introduce a “modified floor” which “is another milestone in setting our development path for W15”.

“We have a busy couple of weeks coming up as the season heads towards its conclusion, starting with a triple-header in the USA, Mexico and Brazil,” Wolff said.

“The last round in Qatar was a case of what might have been. As a team, you never want to see your cars collide. It was frustrating to leave a lot of points on the table, particularly as the pace of the car was strong.

“It was encouraging though to see how the drivers and the team reacted. Both Lewis and George know the team comes first and do not ever intend to jeopardise that. I am sure we will all grow from this moment.

“We’re now focused on Austin and making sure we get the most out of each upcoming weekend. It’s always great to race at the Circuit of the Americas.

“There’s a fantastic atmosphere and the city welcomes F1 with open arms. COTA is one of the most challenging modern tracks and a real thrill for the drivers.

“We’ll be bringing a modified floor, which is the last significant update we will take to the track this year. It will hopefully bring a small gain but more importantly, is another milestone in setting our development path for W15.

“The battle for second in the Constructors’ has become more intense in recent races. We will keep our heads down, keep pushing and aim to score as many points as we can to increase our advantage,” the Austrian concluded.

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Fact File: United States Grand Prix

  • The Circuit of the Americas is one of the bumpiest tracks of the year due to subsidence.
  • The bumps also tend to move and change year-on-year. The track is regularly ground down and resurfaced to try and smooth these challenges.
  • Several corners at COTA were inspired by iconic turns from European tracks.
  • These include Turns 3 to 6, which are modelled on the Maggotts and Becketts section of Silverstone. Turns 12 to 15 replicate Hockenheim’s stadium section and Turns 16-18 are similar to Turn 8 at Istanbul Park.
  • The track requires moderately high downforce and has a large DRS effect. That allows teams to run reasonably large wings as a result.
  • The first sector is incredibly challenging and technical. A lot of time can be gained and lost through the interconnected series of corners.
  • COTA is one of nine tracks on the calendar that is fully anticlockwise. The others are: Jeddah, Miami, Imola, Baku, Singapore, Interlagos, Las Vegas, and Yas Marina.
  • It is one of the busiest laps for gear changes, with 70 recorded across one circuit. That is the third highest total of the year, behind only Bahrain and Baku.
  • The entry to Turn 1 features the single biggest corner elevation change of the season. The track has a man-made climb 30 metres upwards in just over 200 metres of track.
  • For comparison, COTA’s Observation Tower measures in at 77 metres tall.
  • Several corners feature wide entries to encourage different lines and promote overtaking. These include Turns 1, 11, and 15.
  • The latter also forces the drivers to brake whilst the car is turning at the same time. This can cause lockups if pushing the tyre over the limit of adhesion.
  • The weather in Texas can be unpredictable, particularly the temperatures. They can vary from single digits on cool mornings to reaching into the 30s on the very warmest days.
  • This weekend will see the fifth F1 Sprint event of the season. The final sprint format of the year will take at the São Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil.

Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

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