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Why does COTA continue to be a favorite with drivers and fans as it prepares for the 10th US Grand Prix?

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During this weekend, 440,000 racing fans are expected to walk through the gates of the Continental Americas (COTA). This will be a record for a venue that celebrates its 10th season on the F1 calendar and has become a firm favorite among drivers and paddock staff.

It’s clear that interest in F1 in the US has grown in recent years, with COTA and the City of Austin playing their part.

The 5,513km track is a driver’s dream and begins with an 11% gradient climb into Turn 1, a left-hand hairpin with an elusive peak from the cockpit.

3-6, soon reflecting the challenge of Silverstone’s Maggots-Becketts lineup or Suzuka’s epic Esses. You will enter the turns complex.

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What’s more, Bends 12 to 15 resemble Hockenheim’s Motodrom. The track can get very wide in some places, giving drivers the opportunity to use several lines and there are two DRS zones to boot.


Tsunoda was eager to explain how wide the runway was here.

A setup that has led to some spectacular races over the years features a show that sits amongst a bumper program that also includes some A-list music artists. Names like Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Stevie Wonder have graced the stage in recent years. This year Green Day and Ed Sheeran are in town.

A hellish event set in a city that has earned the title of Live Music Capital of the World. You’ll be hard pressed to find a bad live performance in one of the many bars or restaurants scattered across the city.

Locals embrace F1 and the thousands of visitors that temporarily swell its population – and that creates a cracking atmosphere. F1 quickly becomes the subject of choice when talking to a bartender or servers at a restaurant. They play for Formula 1.

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Just walking around South Congress (just over the river from downtown Austin) I came across a mix of fans eager to talk about the race weekend. A couple has come every year since the event started in 2012, bringing two friends on the other end of the spectrum who will experience F1 for the first time.


GP STATI UNITI F1/2021 - VENERDI 22/10/2021

COTA is a circuit that delivers on multiple fronts

Although Max Verstappen already holds the drivers’ championship after his latest win at Suzuka, there was still buzz about where the F1 fraternity entered the paddock on Thursday afternoon.

I say walked – but not everyone chose this option. Daniel Ricciardo chose to come on horseback like you.

Red Bull is in great shape to end its nearly ten-year wait for a constructors’ championship this weekend. Their rivals Ferrari must score 19 points or more from them to keep the fight alive beyond Austin.

READ MORE: A championship still to be won and an American driver on the track – 5 stories that got us excited ahead of the US GP

How likely is this? Ferrari has achieved this feat only once in the opening race of the season in Bahrain this year.


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Verstappen has already celebrated a title – will Red Bull complete the pair this weekend?

Elsewhere, American Logan Sargeant will get his first taste of the 2022-exclusive F1 machines at 1st FP as he races for Williams.

I spoke to him earlier today before a briefing with the engineers, and he was excited and incredibly relieved by the opportunity. Do well this weekend and surrender at the end-of-season F2 race in Abu Dhabi and I understand you’re in great shape to nod for the race seat next to Alex Albon next season.

WATCH: Relive the thrilling event between Verstappen and Hamilton at last year’s United States GP

2021 Indycar champion Alex Palou gets his first F1 weekend track experience on loan from Ricciardo with McLaren, while Theo Pourchaire, who will take on a backup role with Alfa Romeo next season, will join Valtteri. They are on the boat.

With Robert Shwartzman replacing Charles Leclerc at Ferrari, Antonio Giovinazzi is taking his second of two FP1 races at Haas this year, with hopes of returning to the F1 racing seat next year dwindling.


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Sargeant will have a chance to impress on its home soil, with a Williams seat yet to be decided for 2023.

Speaking of Haas, the American team announced a new title sponsorship deal in Austin, and they’ve formed a partnership with MoneyGram for next season that will allow them to get a substantial cash injection and move towards the budget cap.

Haas has turned a corner in terms of performance this year, and as their form dwindles as the season progresses, they continue to strengthen the organization to take bigger strides in the future.

Boss Günther Steiner thinks this deal has taken them “to the next level” and that the goal should be the podium. Spend this money wisely, and such lofty goals may not be an empty dream.

READ MORE: Haas signs new title sponsor for 2023 in multi-year deal

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