US GP Preview – Mercedes brings “final upgrade” to get “closer to front runners”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes released the 2022 United States Grand Prix preview featuring comments from team boss Toto Wolff. You can read the full preview below!

“The double-header in Singapore and Japan was a frustrating one for the team, as we didn’t put ourselves in the clean air we needed to maximise the race pace of the car,” Wolff said.

“We want to end this season strongly and the results of the last two races only make us more determined to do so. We need to use the limited track time available to make strides forward for this season and generate as much learning as we can in the development race for 2023 – those two aims are one and the same.

“Our final update package of the year will be brought to Austin. It won’t drastically change our fortunes but we’re hopeful it will bring us a step forward and closer to the front runners.

“Austin is a great city that we all love visiting. The Circuit of the Americas is a challenging track that often produces great racing, so we’re excited to be back this year and hopefully put on a great show for the fans,” the Austrian concluded.

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Fact File: United States Grand Prix

  • The Circuit of the Americas is one of F1’s bumpiest tracks because of subsidence. The bumps also move and change year on year. Parts of the track were either ground down or resurfaced over the winter to help with this, but bumps will still continue to be an issue.
  • Several corners at COTA were inspired by iconic turns from tracks in Europe, including Turns 3 to 6 (Silverstone’s Maggotts and Becketts), Turns 12 to 15 (Hockenheim’s stadium section) and Turns 16-18 (Turn 8 at Istanbul Park).
  • The track requires quite high downforce and also has a big DRS effect, which allows you to run reasonably large wings at COTA as a result.
  • The first sector is incredibly challenging and technical, similar to the Esses section at the last venue we were at: Suzuka. You need a strong front end to place the car through the series of interconnected corners and a good rear end to have faith it will remain planted. A lot of time can be gained and lost through this series of corners.
  • In particular, the sequence from Turns 2 and 7 are taken at an average speed of over 250kph, with continuous cornering for over 800 metres – one of the longest stretches of cornering on the calendar, with g-forces building through each corner.
  • COTA is one of eight tracks on the 2022 F1 calendar that is fully anti-clockwise, alongside Jeddah, Miami, Imola, Baku, Singapore, Interlagos and Yas Marina.
  • It is tied with Baku for the third-most corners on any F1 2022 track, with 20, behind Singapore (23) and Jeddah (27).
  • With so many corners and several long straights, it’s also one of the busiest laps for gear changes, with 72 taking place during each lap of COTA.
  • Drivers generate over 5G under braking for Turn 12, one of the biggest of the season – a driver weighing 70kg will experience around 350kg of centrifugal force when they brake.
  • With Miami joining the F1 calendar in 2022, COTA is now one of 11 different venues to have hosted a race in the United States. That’s the most of any country.
  • The entry to Turn 1 features the single biggest corner elevation change of the season, with a steep, man-made 30m climb upwards in just over 200m of track. For comparison, COTA’s Observation Tower measures in at 77m tall.
  • Several corners at COTA feature wide entries to encourage different lines to be taken and promote overtaking, including Turns 1, 11 and 15. The latter corner is also interesting for its ‘combined’ braking, where the car is turning and braking at the same time. This can cause lockups if pushing the tyre over the limit.
  • The weather in Texas can be unpredictable, particularly the temperatures, which can vary from single digits on foggy mornings, to very pleasant high 20s.

Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

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