When the lights go out at the start of Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, drivers will be challenged by the first new Formula One track since India’s Buddh International Circuit debuted in 2011.
Over the next 56 laps of the 5.52 kilometer (3.43 mile) circuit, drivers will face 15 corners and three straights per lap, along with an elevation change of some 138 feet. While the track promises to be challenging for drivers, it will be equally challenging for the Pirelli-supplied medium and hard compound tires.
To give fans a visual representation of what a lap around the Circuit of the Americas will look like, Pirelli created the above 3D animation. While visually stunning, it really doesn’t go into a lot of detail about the track, or about the expected problem areas from a tire manufacturer’s point of view.
That’s where the second Pirelli video, seen below, comes into play. As Mario Isola, Pirelli’s racing manager, explains, the challenges served up by Austin’s Circuit of the Americas include the quick left-right transitions of turns four through six and the heavy braking required for turn 11, which requires simultaneous turn-in.
Corners 12 through 15 offer up their own challenges, as their low speed requires sufficient mechanical grip as the drivers get on the throttle in lower gears. Since no one has raced in Austin previously, the only data on tire wear comes from Pirelli’s own (limited) tire test at the circuit.
This much is certain, though: American F1 fans are now counting down the hours until the start of Sunday’s United States Grand Prix. Here’s hoping the sport has found a long-term home on U.S. soil in Austin, Texas.