Michael Schumacher: My wife and I have been big fans of the USA, and also of Texas, for many years so I'm particularly looking forward to the race in Austin. I'm really excited to see what kind of track we will find and to see if the American fans will embrace our sport. From the pictures and layouts of the circuit that I have already seen, everything looks very good. I think Formula 1 will put on a good show at the Circuit of The Americas, and naturally I will be giving my best to be a part of that.
Nico Rosberg: It will be very exciting to race in the USA again and I'm really looking forward to our visit. The United States Grand Prix should be a great event and a real show for our American fans. I can't wait to drive on the Circuit of The Americas for the first time in practice next Friday.
“I spent some time practicing on the simulator at the factory this week so I know what to expect and, as a team, we are as well prepared as we can be from our simulator work. The track looks cool, with a great double S section to begin the lap, and it looks like there should be some good opportunities for overtaking. We really want to end the season on a positive note so we'll be aiming to score some points next weekend.
Ross Brawn, team principal: “We are very pleased to see Formula 1 returning to the United States for the first time since 2007, and the team are looking forward to visiting Austin and the Circuit of The Americas next week. Visiting a new circuit for the first time is always a significant engineering challenge, and we have been working hard at the factory to prepare for the weekend. The team has done over five race distances on the simulator to assess the layout, gradients and G forces. The track layout looks quite varied with a high-speed twisting section in the first sector, elevation changes with an uphill approach to the crest of Turn 1, and a slower, more technical section at the end of the lap. Nico was in the sim yesterday to complete our preparations and his feedback, along with that of our other sim drivers, will be used to prepare for the Friday practice sessions next week.
Norbert Haug, Mercedes motorsport director: “It is five years since we last visited the United States and there is a great sense of anticipation in Formula 1 to be returning to a custom-built, state-of-the-art venue at the Circuit of the Americas. A new circuit offers a new challenge for the teams. The circuit will provide a real test for the cars and drivers: it's not a bland venue but rather a demanding layout with significant elevation changes. It contains an extremely demanding first sector, with a challenging series of high-speed corners and, throughout the lap, you can feel echoes of other great tracks around the world.
“Our sport has always enjoyed a very dedicated audience in the USA; their knowledge is impressive and they have always given Formula 1 a very warm welcome. It is an important step to return to the United States for our sport and its image. The USA is the biggest market for Mercedes-Benz cars in terms of sales and a race in the USA belongs in a world championship. The circuit looks to have exactly the right ingredients for an exciting weekend and we look forward to delivering a great race for the American fans.
Kamui Kobayashi: “I have never been to Texas, as I have only been to New York and Las Vegas in America. I know this will be something completely different and perhaps pretty exciting because Texas is cowboy country, so I hope I can see some of them there.
“I have had a look at Austin on a Google map and it looks nice. This is another new Herman Tilke circuit and he always gives us exciting tracks to have nice races. I have not seen the circuit on a simulator and, in fact, have no idea what it is like. However, it will be OK and a surprise for me. I shall walk the track when I first get there. I don't know how many laps it will take to learn it, as it very much depends on the track. It can take three, 10 or more laps.”
Sergio Perez: “I am very much looking forward to this race! I think it is the closest race for eight years for me to my hometown of Guadalajara. I expect many Mexican Formula 1 fans to attend and this, for sure, will give me an extra boost. Of course I also hope there will be a Mexican Grand Prix one day, because I am aware of the great enthusiasm for Formula 1 in my country, but for now I regard the race in Austin as my home grand prix.
“I have no issues about learning new tracks quickly. In my first Formula 1 season, which was only last year, I had many tracks to learn. I am sure we will have a good crowd there and I definitely want to put in a strong result for both the Sauber team and myself.”
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Sauber head of track engineering: “Going to an unknown circuit always requires a bit of extra work in advance. Along with all the other teams we have been supplied with the relevant data about the Circuit of The Americas. We implemented a simulation for the aerodynamic configuration of the car, gear ratios, braking systems and, more generally, for a baseline setup. A rather unknown factor is how abrasive the pavement will be. In this regard we rely on Pirelli and the tire allocation they decided to go for, which is the medium and hard compounds. Unlike at circuits we are very familiar with, you will probably see a bit more driving in the first free practice session to double check the setup and, of course, to allow the drivers to learn the track.
“The lap begins with an uphill straight leading to Turn 1 and then to a number of high-speed corners. This part, I think, should suit our car best. After a very tight left-hander we will have a long straight followed by a couple of slow-speed corners and a multi-apex, long right-hander before arriving back on the start-finish straight.”
Pastor Maldonado: “After a good performance in the last race in Abu Dhabi I'm looking forward to getting in the car again and seeing what we can achieve in Austin. The team has worked very hard to get the car back to the sort of pace that can consistently challenge for points and that is what we will be looking for in this race. The track is new so it will be challenging to get the right setup, but that is the same for all the teams. It looks like a fun and challenging track to drive from the work we have done in the simulator and the American fans should bring a really good atmosphere as well.”
Bruno Senna: “I'm excited to go to Austin because I'm hearing lots of good things about the track. It has both high-speed and technical sections so it will be tricky to learn for all the drivers and it's always interesting to see how drivers cope with a new layout and new corners they haven't driven before. The weather can be very varied in Texas as well, with lots of wind and drops in temperature, so that could be a factor. The car has definitely come on a lot in the past few weeks so we take good momentum into this race.”