Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jnr are looking forward to arriving at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas this weekend.
Both drivers are big fans of the relatively new track, which held its first race back in 2012, and Kvyat feels that parts of the layout are reminiscent of the British Grand Prix circuit amongst others.
“I think the Circuit of the Americas is a bit of a combination of a few other circuits: you see a bit of Silverstone…”
Whilst team-mate Sainz Jnr can see a bit of Japan and Turkey in there.
“Or Suzuka! [Sector 1]. Also, Turns 16 to 18 remind me of that famous very long corner in Turkey, even though I’ve never raced there.”
The Toro Rosso duo agree that the Austin circuit is a fun one to drive, but the STR11 is still down on power compared to its rivals due to the fact that the Faenza based squad are using the 2015 Scuderia Ferrari engine and are unable to receive any updates to it, and the boys feel the long straights could therefore be a bit of an issue for them.
The team-mates concurred that COTA is one of their favourite tracks of the newer builds however, which is a sentiment that many F1 drivers seem to agree with.
“And the rest of it we like, and a lot, don’t we?! I also want to say that from all the new tracks that have been built recently, this one and Malaysia are two of the nicest”
Another big bonus about arriving in America for many drivers, is the fantastic food on offer, and the Toro Rosso boys love to get stuck into it big time!
Sainz Jnr is a particular fan of the barbecues, something that he is willing to set off on his travels early for.
“One thing we can’t forget about Texas are the barbecues!
“Last year I arrived there a day earlier just to be able to go and have a barbecue…! Everyone was talking about it, so I had to try!”
Team-mate Kvyat agrees, and confirmed that he tries to slim down prior to arriving in Austin, so that he can take full advantage of filling up on the tasty cuisine after the race weekend is over.
“Oh yes, some ribs with some delicious barbecue sauce!
“I always lose a kilo of weight on purpose before this race to be able to regain it there and eat loads of meat!”
Both drivers, still being young, also enjoy experiencing the more social side that Austin has to offer, which they say is pretty good despite the small size of the city. Kvyat admitted that he is a big fan of the shopping, something he intends to partake in whilst in Texas this weekend.
“It’s small but… Very cute! There are a few nice things to do there. I like going shopping to some of the few shopping centres there when we have a bit of spare time.”
Sainz Jnr meanwhile will be soaking up the atmosphere where the live music plays, though not until the grand prix is over of course!
“There’s a very big, long avenue where all the action takes place, with plenty of music – it’s somewhere we might go on Sunday night, but not during the rest of the weekend.”
The pair agree that they love visiting this location across the Atlantic, and will be spending some extra time in Austin to enjoy all the city has to offer, which Sainz Jnr is really looking forward to.
“I like it there. After the race I’m staying in Austin for a couple of days with some friends, it will be fun!”
Having not had the best of weekends in Japan last time out, Kvyat coming home in thirteenth place and Sainz Jnr in seventeenth, Toro Rosso will be hoping to see improved performance in Austin, though they are not holding out that much hope, having only managed to score two points since the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Despite introducing an updated aerodynamics package for the German Grand Prix at the end of July, the Faenza based squad have been unable to reap the benefits, due to the lack of horsepower in the old Ferrari power unit.
Both Toro Rosso drivers finished in the top ten at last year’s race, but unfortunately to achieve similar this time around may just be a bit too much to ask.