The Circuit of the Americas, or COTA for short, is a great example of a modern track designed to maximise the spectacle it offers. Designed by Hermann Tilke, it consists of 20 corners, 9 to the right and 11 to the left, covering a distance of 5.5 kilometres, run anti-clockwise.
The Austin weekend is never an easy one, as this is a track where engine power counts for a lot. There are some sections that are taken flat out that are reminiscent of Montreal.
One of the most striking features of the Austin track is the significant change of contour, the most spectacular example is the run up the main straight to the first corner, which features a change in altitude of no less than 22 metres over a distance of just 200.
The steep climb means that Turn 1 is taken almost blind, however, as the track is very wide there are many possible overtaking lines. Although the circuit boasts many fast sections, drivers and engineers will be aiming for a medium-high downforce set-up. The idea is to extract the maximum aero efficiency to tackle the slowest sections, while also maintaining a good top speed down the straights.
The brakes are applied for approximately 18 seconds during a lap of the Texan track and three corners, numbers 1, 11 and 12, are particularly demanding and the large amount of energy generated means the ERS can work at its best. Apart from working on tyre management, the two drivers will also have to keep an eye on fuel consumption which is particularly high here.
Most of the records at the Circuit of the Americas belong to Lewis Hamilton, who has won here five times, and in 2018, he also set a new lap record, stopping the clocks in 1.37.392.
FIRST GRAND PRIX: 2012
NUMBER OF LAPS: 56
CIRCUIT LENGTH: 5.513 KM
RACE DISTANCE: 308.405 KM
LAP RECORD: 1:37.392 – Lewis Hamilton (2018)
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