Heikki Kovalainen: “COTA looks like a great circuit. I've spent a day in the simulator preparing for it so I know how it flows and they've taken the same approach as we saw in India, adding in up and downhill sections with some really quick corners and a couple of heavy braking zones where it should be possible to pass other cars.
“I think one of the key things to how successful the weekend will be is how the American fans take to the race. We've obviously been there before and there's a lot of other racing that U.S. fans are very passionate about, but F1 has changed since we last raced there and we know what it takes to put on a show so I think it's going to be really good.
“Aside from the race weekend it'll be good to go back to the U.S. as I've always enjoyed myself there. Quite a few of my golfer friends either live out there or have houses in America, so hopefully I can get a round or two in and have a little bit of the lifestyle they enjoy out there.
“It's going to be busy as we have quite a few sponsor functions, and I'm taking part in the FOTA Fans Forum on Wednesday evening in downtown Austin, but the only thing I need to make sure is that I don't put on any weight! The food in the U.S. is really good and I've heard they do pretty big steaks in Texas, so my physio will be keeping a close eye on how much I'm enjoying myself off track!”
Vitaly Petrov: “I'm really looking forward to visiting America, both for the race but also because it's my first-ever trip to the USA and it's always been my dream to go to the States. This time I probably won't get enough time to have a proper look around but I'm definitely going to make sure that when we come back here I have a few clear days to really see what it's all about.
“I think all the drivers are excited about getting on track. It's a new challenge and from what I've seen in the simulator it could be a really special track. There's a lot of elevation changes, a few blind corners where it's going to be tricky to find the apex and quite a lot of the lap is high speed. From what I've seen of our schedule the whole weekend is going to be very busy for us – we have a lot of important sponsors in America so it'll be pretty intense, on and off track, but I think it'll be one of the best weekends of the year.”
Alexander Rossi, test driver: “First it's obviously fantastic that COTA is bringing F1 back to the U.S. and as I'm a real F1 fan at heart I'm really excited about the race coming to Austin. COTA has done an amazing job on the track. It's going to be a great challenge for the drivers and they've also made sure the whole weekend is worth staying for, not just the sessions on track but the whole event.
“As our team's test driver I know that the main thing is that Austin is a new circuit and the race drivers need as much time as they can on track to prepare for qualifying and the race – as a race driver I'd want exactly the same in their position. For me the weekend will be a great chance to work with our team's partners and the fans to show them what my world is like. I'm an ambassador for our premium partner GE ,so I'm going to be bringing their guests right into the heart of F1, as well as taking part in events like the FOTA Fans Forum on Wednesday night at the Hilton Hotel in Austin. It's going to be an incredible week, in the build up to the race and on race day itself, and I'm going to be working hard to help introduce a lot of very important people to our team and F1 as a whole.”
Timo Glock: “Going to Austin is a really big thing for the sport and everyone involved. The first race back in the U.S. will be quite something for us. It's a new track for all of the teams, and already it looks awesome on the simulations we have experienced and the images we've seen. I'm really looking forward to it a lot and I hope the organizers and fans have a great first race bringing F1 back again.
“I know we will enjoy being back in the U.S. I can't wait to arrive early next week and have my first real view and walk of the track. Should be an amazing weekend.”
Charles Pic: “The USGP is high on the list of races I have been most looking forward to in my debut season. From what I have seen, the track is spectacular and the layout seems very interesting from a technical point of view. We spent some time in the U.S. – in New York, actually – in the summer after Canada, helping to promote the new race. The reaction among the fans and media was overwhelming and although I didn't get to race in the States before, they certainly look happy to have F1 back. It will be great to be a part of that.
“As for our objectives, there is a lot to think about as this is a new race, but we need to keep pushing hard to maintain our current momentum versus Caterham – in qualifying and the race – and ensure we leave town with 10th in the Constructors' still firmly in our grasp. Should be a great weekend.”
John Booth, team principal: “The whole team is looking forward to what, for us, will be our very first USGP. It's a landmark race and we'll embrace every minute of the experience, hopefully finding a little bit of time along the way to soak up some of the Texan sights and sounds.
“The Circuit of the Americas promises to provide a fantastic racing experience for the drivers and the fans. The attention to detail with the preparation of the track is evident and the organization has so far looked second to none. From our simulation work we can see the parallels with some of the features of other great tracks on the calendar, so we are confident that it's a circuit the drivers will enjoy racing at and the engineers will find a pleasing challenge. The ‘unknown quantity' factor will be very exciting for us, as no one will have the advantage at the start of FP1 on Friday, so it will be all about how good a job we all do from there onward.
“This track represents a significant challenge for Pirelli, as they have had only asphalt samples and simulations with which to calculate wear rates and the effects of likely ambient temperatures. Last weekend's race in Abu Dhabi had us on the edge of our pit wall seats at various points, as it reminded us that to hold on to 10th in the Constructors' Championship, we cannot control what happens further up the field, ahead of our own private duel with Caterham. We have to continue closing that gap and find the momentum to get ahead of them on track. We've come very close in recent races, despite their KERS advantage, and we'll remain in dogged pursuit of this objective right up until the checkered flag in Brazil.”
Pedro de la Rosa: “The truth is we don't know much about this circuit. All I know about it is from what I've seen on the internet. The first thing that strikes you about this track is the number of gradient changes and how extreme they are. The important thing is for our car to adapt well to this circuit and we will dedicate Friday to learning the track and setting up the car. The choice of medium and hard tires seems, on paper, an election of quite hard compounds. But until we don't confirm the grip of the asphalt it will be difficult to draw any conclusions.”
Narain Karthikeyan: “The Circuit of The Americas looks like a promising layout, lots of parts from different circuits around the world but what I'm looking forward to most is the massively uphill Turn 1. These gradient changes do well to add to the circuit's character, as we've seen in India, so it is going to be a challenging layout. So as a driver, it would be up to us to do the maximum number of laps possible on Friday to learn the circuit and get the base setup right and then take it from there.
I raced in Formula 1 the last time it was in America, back at Indianapolis in 2005 and then NASCAR in 2010, and I really enjoyed racing there; the fan following is huge. So it would be great to see Formula 1 being successful in such a promising market and hopefully with this new facility and an entertaining circuit, it will happen soon enough.”