The Circuit of The Americas is a relatively recent addition to the F1 calendar, being completed in 2012. The circuit helped put the United States Grand Prix back on the calendar for the first time since Indianapolis in 2007. The circuit shares high-speed features with tracks like Silverstone and Suzuka, as well as elements that mimic Hockenheim. The main highlight is the hugely steep, very wide uphill run into Turn 1, so watch out for daring moves into there. Everything's bigger in Texas after all!
Sector 1 begins with the crazy 41m (133ft) uphill climb into Turn 1. The width of this corner means there are multiple lines depending on if you are attacking or defending. Next is an epic complex of high-speed corners not dissimilar to Silverstone's high-speed run through Maggotts/Becketts.
Turn 1: Entry
Heading up the steep 41m hill into Turn 1 make your way to the right and straddle the entry kerb.
Look out for the lightbox on the right as it is an ideal braking reference. Since the hill is so uphill, you can brake super hard and super late without issue. Try to keep it in a straight line as long as possible.
As soon as you hit the brakes try to spot the apex over the blind crest and begin to take a wide line in to make a late apex.
Turn 1: Apex
The track widens significantly approaching the apex of Turn 1 so don't be tempted to turn in early on a hotlap. Make sure to take a wide line in for the best exit.
Shift down to 1st gear temporarily around the apex to help rotate the car before quickly shifting back into 2nd gear.
Make sure you don't get up onto the sausage kerb as this will cause the car to break traction and ruin your exit.
Turn 1: Exit
On the way out of Turn 1, you should be focused on getting the power down. Most of your rotation should have been done at the apex so try to exit as straight as possible and progressively apply throttle.
Double shift up to 3rd gear after the apex to reduce the torque spikes, helping you to drive out of the corner.
For similar reasons, you want to stay well off the exit kerb as this does not have as much grip as the tarmac.
Turn 2 is easily flat in Formula 1 so it is all about getting to Turn 3 as fast as possible. This can be achieved but maximising all of the available track on the inside because it is so flat.
Also, make sure to keep the steering smooth so you don't leave time on the table by scrubbing the front tyres.
Right, the next series of corners come at you thick and fast! That's why it's important you have a plan from the start. One mistake in Turn 3 will have repercussions all the way to T6 and even as far as T11. Therefore, keeping a smooth flow is critical.
If you have ever driven Maggotts and Becketts at Silverstone then fairly similar rules apply. Turn 3 is flat out and acts as your entry point into T4.
Hold full throttle in 7th gear and take the kerb up to the sausage. It is important that you don't hit the sausage kerb at these speeds or it will really unsettle the car.
Apply the same pointers to Turn 4 as you just did in the previous corner. Place the right front as close to the sausage to the kerb as you can without touching it. Ensure you transition smoothly between turns to avoid unsettling the car.
Turn 5 is the first point in the complex where you have to think about lifting off the throttle. It's not so much about slowing the car down but instead, a small lift and a single downshift to 6th just before the apex means the weight shifts slightly forwards. This allows the front end of the car to have more available grip and will therefore ensure you can make the corner.
Similarly to before, take all of the flat kerb but none of the sausage kerb whilst holding gentle throttle for stability and get back to full power as soon as you pass the kerb.
Turn 6: 1st Apex
Turn 6 is a double apex right-hander. Here you should try to make the two apexes into one constant radius.
As you approach the 1st kerb you want to begin lifting off but stay in 6th gear. Be aware that this could cause some "lift-off oversteer" which is why it is important that you do this progressively with minimal steering lock. You don't need to hit the brakes at all as you can coast, using the engine braking and the drag to slow you gradually.
Miss the sausage, shift down as you pass the kerb and get back on the power for the 2nd apex.
Turn 6: 2nd Apex
Shift down to 5th gear between the 1st and 2nd apex and get back on the throttle. Hold a balanced throttle through the 2nd apex to stabilise the car and make sure to take advantage of the full track on the inside.
Avoid running all the way out to the left of the circuit on exit as this will compromise your run into T7.