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Tech Talk: 2012 United States Grand Prix

by Team ZigWheels Posted on 15 Nov 2012

Lotus F1 team provides an overview of the Circuit of the Americas with all the track facts, figures and turns explained

 

Circuit of the Americas, 2012 US Grand Prix

 

In Numbers: Circuit of the Americas


3.7: Highest g-force experienced for 4 seconds at T10 and T11

14: % of the lap spent braking

45: Total straight per lap (%)

59: Gear changes per lap

63: % of the lap at full throttle

75: Lowest apex speed (kmh) at T11

200: Distance in metres from start line to first corner

280: Highest apex speed (kmh) at T3

315: Top speed (kmh)

1000: Longest full throttle burst (m) between T11 and T12

 

 

Circuit of the Americas, 2012 US Grand Prix

 

Tech Talk: USA


REAR WING- This will be at a similar level to that used in Abu Dhabi. Maximum speed reached is around 315kph, so it has a long straight, but it’s intermingled with a diverse mix of corners, both high speed and low speed.

 

BRAKES- We need a suitable brake cooling level to maintain enough heat at the end of the long straight, yet not offer so little cooling that they overheat in the technical section. Balancing temperatures will be the name of the game. No problems are expected in terms of wear.

 

SUSPENSION- Kerbs are an area which will not be known until the team arrives at the circuit, when a track walk will highlight any areas needing further contemplation. As a starting point, the Abu Dhabi set-up will be used as it’s a recent circuit with reasonable kerbs. As a counter point, India has very flat kerbs.

 

TYRES- The most conservative allocation of the hard and medium compounds will be in use. The new layout and track surface will make trying to unlock maximum tyre performance quite challenging, and the hardest two tyres mean that degradation is unlikely to be too much of a factor in the race.

 

FRONT WING- A relatively high level of front wing is required to counter understeer in turns 16-18 where the car would otherwise push through the turn, killing speed and wearing the front tyres.

 

ENGINE- Renault Sport F1 has conducted computer simulations and engine dyno running in preparation for this new circuit. More than double the time is spent testing engine maps on the dyno than would otherwise be the case for a ‘normal race’; so approximately four days of dyno running and simulations.