Vettel-Alonso duel rolls onto new track in US – Formula 1
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Vettel-Alonso duel rolls onto new track in US

by AP Photos: DPPI Posted on November 16, 2012 17:52 IST 714 Views

For Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, the key to winning at the Circuit of the Americas, a track neither has driven on before, may just lie in learning every nuances of the track during practice and qualifying



Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel


The first US Grand Prix since 2007 will be run Sunday on the new $400 million Circuit of the Americas, built a few miles outside of Austin. With so few points separating Vettel and Alonso from winning a third world title for either driver, learning every nuance in elevation, the straights and the 20 turns in practice and qualifying could make the difference.


"If you do everything perfectly, you will have a chance," Alonso said Thursday. "If you make a mistake, you will lose the chance." If the title chase isn't decided Sunday, it will head to the season finale next week in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Vettel and Alonso have spent hours practicing in course simulators. Alonso did two laps on a bicycle on Wednesday and Vettel planned to walk the course Thursday afternoon.


"By the looks of it, it looks quite interesting, but it's always the feel you get inside the car that's most important," Vettel said. Alonso said he first studied the course on a simulator after the Singapore Grand Prix in September.



Fernando Alonso, Circuit of the Americas, Austin


"The track seems spectacular," Alonso said. "Very, very nice. It will be challenging for us drivers and for the engineers as well. I think it will be a good show for everybody and hopefully some good overtakings as well."


The Circuit of the Americas is the first track in the US built expressly for Formula One. From 1961-1980, the US Grand Prix was held in Watkins Glen, New York before starting a run of street courses in cities such as Long Beach, California, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix. The race moved to Indianapolis Motor Speedway where it was run on a road course built inside the oval track from 2000 to 2007.


The Circuit of the Americas was designed by German firm Tilke GmbH, which has built tracks in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Shanghai. The designers tried to mimic several notable characteristics of other courses, such as the quick succession of turns 3-6, similar to Silverstone in England.


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