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Circuit of The Americas Track Guide | Sector 3 | F1 2021

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!


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Sector 3 throws in a lot of corners with not much time to think. The highlight here is the multiple right-handers of Turns 16, 17 and 18. A driver should consider these as one corner rather than taking them separately in order to maintain a good flow. Be cautious on the brakes into Turn 15 as well as it can be very easy to lock up the front left.



Turn 13

After making your way back over to the kerb on the left side of the track, turn in and shift down to 2nd gear for the apex of Turn 13.


Aim for the middle of the striped kerb. Traction can be super low on the exit here so missing all of the kerb is no bad thing.


Double shift to 4th gear on exit and be very progressive on the throttle to help your drive out. This is because you still need to keep turning as you accelerate away.



Turn 14

As you pass the kerb of Turn 14 you want to aim to reach full throttle. Making the apex here is not critical as long as you get the power down smoothly without losing the rear. If you can make the kerb then you will have a shorter route to the entry of the next corner.


Aim to move over to the right-hand side for the entry of T15 to get the best sweep into the corner.



Turn 15

Turn 15 is a very tricky corner. It is fairly similar to Turn 10 at Bahrain and requires impressive control on the brakes.


Trailbraking is the aim of the game here, so try to brake hard initially and then bleed off the brakes as you turn into the apex. It is super easy to lock the inside brake into this one, so be cautious.


It's another kerb where you don't want to be using the sausage so just aim to clip the flat part to benefit traction.


Short-shift on the exit and stay off the exit kerb to improve grip at the rear. Also, make sure to move back over to the left on the way out to prepare for the next one.



Turn 16

Turn 16, 17 and 18 are all essentially the same corner so you want to treat them like one. This means that you should maintain a consistent steering lock throughout the 180-degree turn.


The 1st apex at Turn 16 is not one you want to hit. This is because it is not on the same line as the other two. Don't be drawn in to apex too early here as you will make the line tighter and it will force you to lift later on in the corner.


With the right setup and the right line, this whole corner can be taken flat out so just keep trying different lines until you can manage it. Remember to be smooth.



Turn 17

After missing the previous apex, aim to clip the apex of Turn 17 for the ideal line. Hold full throttle and smooth steering to ensure the car remains stable.


If the car sticks, hold the tighter inside line for as long as you can. However, if the car wants to understeer, allow it to be a little more free to run out wider on the exit as you don't want to be forcing it to scrub off speed.



Turn 18

Depending on whether you have committed to the tight line or if your car is set up with less downforce, you may or may not want to take the apex at Turn 18. You just want to naturally take the line of least resistance whilst maintaining full throttle so this will depend on how your specific car is behaving.


Similarly to previous, just hold a consistent steering angle at full throttle and see where you end up. If you can make the apex - great. If not - just keep it flat.


Wherever you end up it is important that you get all the way back to the right for Turn 19 so don't run out further than the middle of the track on exit.



Turn 19

Turn 19 is one that you really want to attack. Straddle the right entry kerb and look for the black lightbox as your turn-in point. At the same time, downshift and dab the brakes briefly and head for the apex.


This is a sausage kerb that we have to really commit to, even though it could unsettle the car. Take it in 5th gear and get straight back on the power.


Track limits is another popular topic on the exit of here so make sure to keep it within the confines of the racetrack (unless you are in Indycar ;) ) but use everything that is available to you.



Turn 20

Again, straddle that entry kerb for Turn 20 as there is still grip out there and it makes the corner less tight.


Brake just before the white pit line (or use the lightbox) and shift down to 3rd gear. Make a late apex for a good exit and run onto the exit kerb for the highest minimum speed. Try to avoid wheelspin here but don't worry too much as the line comes fairly early in the straight.


It is easy to forget but the DRS line is just before the timing line so make sure to get that extra second of reduced drag and carry it onto the next lap as well.



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