Kimi and Seb confident ahead of rain-lashed US Grand Prix
KIMI: “I like Austin, it’s a nice place. Through the years we’ve had mixed weather conditions here, last year it was good and on previous years it was pretty wet. For sure that will play a big part over the weekend, and today it appears to be “winter style” again. Generally we have not been very strong in the rain, but lately it has been better for us; if you take Hungary for example we were quite happy. Then obviously it depends on many other factors, the tarmac, the conditions, and whether you can make the tires work or not.
Obviously we want to do well in the last races of the season. We are really interested in having good races. Lately, we have not performed as well as we wanted, it hasn’t been easy for us. But I’m sure we can come back and do some good things. The speed should be there, let’s try to put everything in the right place and qualify well”.
SEB: “We look forward to this weekend in Austin. I believe that the last race weekend in Suzuka helped us to understand some aspects; obviously, at the last couple of Grands Prix we didn’t have the right speed, so let’s see what the other races bring, also in terms of performance.
Unfortunately, some races didn’t go smoothly for us this season, so that the others were able to benefit from that. From our side, this hasn’t been ideal, but now we mustn’t look at the past as we can’t change it. We need to focus and look forward to the next four races. We will still try to do our best and then we’ll see what happens. We hear that it could be raining this weekend. Well, sometimes this year that didn’t help us, but obviously it is part of the game and you can’t blame the weather; plus. I am not afraid of the rain as our car is quick, whether it’s dry or not.
Now we focus on winning, we have to be quick and then obviously everything depends on what the others can do too”.
Austin, a mix of corners and uncertain weather
The United States and Mexican Grands Prix form the final back-to-back run of two races on consecutive weekends of this very long season. It’s a demanding trip, not just from a logistical point of view, but also because of the 7 hour time difference between the track and our base, and all the “remote garages.” For many teams, Austin is also the final time in the season that new performance development parts are brought out, even if the cars will be modified at the coming races to suit the characteristics of each circuit.
Scuderia Ferrari’s advance party set off on Thursday 11th October, while the last group of team members will arrive in Texas on Wednesday afternoon. The track is located deep in the grasslands, in what was originally marshland, thirty kilometres to the south of the city of Austin, the capital of the “Lone Star State.”
The venue has been on the calendar for seven years and features a variety of corners that add up to a sort of cocktail of curves from other famous tracks, with a little bit of Silverstone, some Suzuka with a bit of Austria and Turkey thrown in. The standout feature is definitely the fierce climb up a manmade slope to the first corner.
This year, the big unknown will be the weather: it won’t be cold, but intermittent sun and clouds with the occasional shower looks like being the order of the day. It should be nothing like the storm of 2015, but it’s hoped that the threat of rain won’t keep the fans away, as they are a key component of the show, not forgetting all the VIPs who come and cruise the paddock…