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2019 Point Standings

After Brazil
Championship Standings:

Drivers' Standings
POS DRIVER PTS

1 Lewis Hamilton 387
2 Valtteri Bottas 314
3 Max Verstappen 260
4 Charles Leclerc 249
5 Sebastian Vettel 230
6 Pierre Gasly 95
7 Carlos Sainz 95
8 Alexander Albon 84
9 Daniel Ricciardo 54
10 Sergio Perez 46
11 Lando Norris 45
12 Kimi Raikkonen 43
13 Nico Hulkenberg 37
14 Daniil Kvyat 35
15 Lance Stroll 21
16 Kevin Magnussen 20
17 Romain Grosjean 8
18 Antonio Giovinazzi 4
19 Robert Kubica 1
20 George Russell 0

Constructors' Standings
POS CONSTRUCTOR PTS
1 Mercedes 701
2 Ferrari 479
3 Red Bull 391
4 Mclaren 140
5 Renault 91
6 Toro Rosso 83
7 Racing Point 67
8 Alpha Romeo 57
9 Haas 28
10 Williams 1

USGP F1 race Preview

At Circuit of the Americas
Thursday, October 31, 2019

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Lewis Hamilton will be crowned 2019 Champion this weekend
Lewis Hamilton will be crowned 2019 Champion this weekend
The F1 teams cross the border for the final leg of the last back-to-back of the season, as they go Stateside to Texas for Round 19 of the FIA Formula One World Championship. Austin’s popular Circuit of the Americas is a favorite amongst drivers and fans, not least due to its lively off-track atmosphere. Contrast best describes a lap around COTA. It is a counter-clockwise circuit – one of only five on the 22-race Formula One calendar, joining Azerbaijan, Singapore, Brazil and Abu Dhabi. Just 14 percent of a lap around COTA is spent under braking, with drivers at full throttle for nearly 60 percent of their lap.

Austin Powered

After a difficult Mexican Grand Prix, there truly is no place like home as Haas F1 Team heads home to the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas.

The only American team competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship, Haas F1 Team finally gets to race on home soil after the majority of its Formula One brethren enjoyed home grands prix of their own. Part of that Texas soil includes Haas Hill, located between turns 18-19 on the 5.513-kilometer (3.426-mile), 20-turn track, where throngs of Haas F1 Team fans have gathered since 2016 to cheer on the organization that in less than four years is already 21st on the list of teams that have scored the most points in their Formula One histories – and this is in a sport enjoying its 70th anniversary and celebrated its 1,000th grand prix back in April.

Despite a frustrating season that currently has Haas F1 Team ninth in the constructors’ standings, seven points behind eighth-place Alfa Romeo and 27 points ahead of 10th-place Williams, the American squad remains bullish on its chances at COTA. Drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen have both earned points-paying drives at COTA. In the second Formula One race at the track in 2013, Grosjean finished a career-best second to the dominant Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel. It’s one of three point-paying results Grosjean has achieved in his seven career Formula One starts at COTA. Teammate Magnussen finished in the points in his first Formula One start at COTA in 2014 when he came home eighth. And in his most recent Formula One start at COTA last year, Magnussen finished ninth, although not according to the record books. That’s because in post-race technical inspection, FIA Stewards determined that Magnussen’s racecar consumed more than the maximum allotment of 105 kilograms of fuel during the 56-lap race.

Having a thirsty engine is appropriate for a team that has remained hungry, even after finishing an impressive fifth in the constructors’ ranks last year. Haas F1 Team’s strong showing in 2018 coincided with the incredibly stout performance of its counterpart in NASCAR – Stewart-Haas Racing. Gene Haas, founder and chairman of Haas F1 Team, co-owns Stewart-Haas Racing with three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. That outfit racked up 16 wins, 15 poles, 60 top-fives, 115 top-10s and 3,949 laps led in 2018 between its four-car NASCAR Cup Series team and two-car NASCAR Xfinity Series team.

Tony Stewart will give the F1 paddock a glimpse of NASCAR
Tony Stewart will give the F1 paddock a glimpse of NASCAR
The Formula One paddock will get a taste of what Stewart-Haas Racing is all about on Thursday when Stewart himself brings his No. 14 Haas Automation Ford Mustang onto the track for a demonstration run. Then, he’ll turn the seat over to Grosjean and Magnussen, who will each get to wheel the 1,452-kilogram (3,200-pound) racecar around America’s only purpose-built Formula One track. It will be a stark contrast between the 733-kilogram (1,616-pound) Haas VF-19 that the duo will race throughout the United States Grand Prix weekend.

Contrast best describes a lap around COTA. It is a counter-clockwise circuit – one of only five on the 22-race Formula One calendar, joining Azerbaijan, Singapore, Brazil and Abu Dhabi. Just 14 percent of a lap around COTA is spent under braking, with drivers at full throttle for nearly 60 percent of their lap. High speed and rapid changes of direction comprise the layout between turns two and 10, with this first sector akin to the Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel complex at Silverstone Circuit in England. The end of the lap from turn 12 through turn 20 before hitting the frontstretch features low-speed combinations of mainly second-gear corners. The long backstraight, however, prevents teams from running maximum downforce as drivers want to retain as much speed as possible to either attack or defend through the tight turn 12. This corner, along with the uphill run to turn one and the hairpin in turn 11, provide good passing opportunities.

All of this makes the United States Grand Prix a race no one wants to pass up, and it’s one with special purpose for Haas F1 Team.


King of the Hill

The hill leading up to turn one is an impressive sight, much more so in real life than when seen on TV. It’s a towering climb, quickening the pulse of the engineers doing the customary track walks and providing a challenge to those going for a jog around the Circuit of the Americas. It is also a very challenging corner. With its blind apex, just over the crest, it requires a little bit of a leap of faith from the drivers: they pick their braking spot, dive to the left and, if things have gone to plan, just skim the inside curb before powering down the other side, taking all of the track as they do so. Go too early and your momentum is lost; slip wide, and you’re going to run out of track at the exit.

The sight of that hill is a happy memory for one of our drivers, of course. Kimi Raikkonen climbed up the steep incline after a great start and powered his way into the lead of last year’s United States Grand Prix: it was the start of a commanding performance, a lead he would convert into the 21st victory of his career.

As he returns to Austin, one year on from that win, the contest for the US GP crown reopens. A whole host of new challengers are ready to pick up the fight, not least our very own Antonio – on his first ever appearance here in Texas. He, too, will climb that hill, test his skills on that very crest and add his name to the list of drivers who took on the challenge.

This weekend, the battle will start again. New claimants to the throne will step forward; a new winner will be crowned. But until moment, Kimi still reigns as the most recent winner here at COTA. The King of the Hill is still wearing his crown.

Weather Forecast

Sunny weather is expected for this weekend’s United States Grand Prix but the mercury may not hit as high as 68F across all three days. Cool conditions will greet the teams on the first day of practice for this weekend’s race, when the air temperatures are only forecast to reach around 63F. It should be sunny throughout, however, with no chance of rain.

Over the following days conditions will warm up very slightly, and occasional cloudy spells are possible, which could have an effect on track temperatures. With little cloud, temperatures on Friday could fall as low as 38F overnight, meaning ground temperatures could still be very cool during the earlier practice sessions.

On qualifying and race day temperatures will head towards 68F but are likely to fall short. Track temperatures are therefore likely to be sub-86C, slightly cooler than last year’s race.

Race day looks like being the best of the three following a warmer night and only light winds.

Latifi to help clean the track Friday morning

Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Latifi
Williams reserve driver Nicholas Latifi will be back in the saddle in Texas this week, taking over from George Russell in the US Grand Prix's first practice session at the Circuit of the Americas.

Latifi will enjoy back-to-back outings with the British outfit having ran last week in FP1 in Mexico City.

"Coming off an FP1 last week I feel that I am more in the rhythm of the car, which is important when you only have a limited number of laps in the session," the Canadian said.

"Austin in probably one of the tracks on the calendar that I am most looking forward to driving that I have not yet driven.

"It seems like a track that has a bit of everything and the first sector, with all the fast-flowing corners, is exactly what I love in these high downforce cars.

"It’s not so often that I get to drive new tracks for the first time so I’m looking forward to that challenge and hopefully I’ll be able to get up to speed quickly."

Latifi was satisfied overall with his fourth session with Williams and the contribution he was able to make to the team's set-up preparations.

"I was pleased with how FP1 went," the 24-year-old commented on his website.

"It was a clean session and I gathered the data the team needed. It wasn’t possible to compare lap times with George as we were on different run plans.

"I was on quite an old package, as the team is limited with spares, so understandably I didn’t want to risk damage for Robert.

"Considering what I lost in pure performance from the parts I was where I wanted to be, and exactly where the team wanted me to be, so I can take some positivity from that!"

United States Grand Prix: Fact File

  • The Circuit of the Americas has the joint-third most corners, with the Baku City Circuit, of any track on the calendar. There are 20 turns in total, split between eleven left-handers and nine right-handers.

  • The high number of corners and changes in speed means that it is also one of the busiest laps on the calendar for gear changes, with around 52 per lap.

  • The high-speed first sequence of corners at Austin see the drivers taking the first six corners at an average speed of over 260kph and makes this circuit one of the most sensitive to downforce.

  • Circuit of the Americas is one of only five tracks on the 2019 calendar that run fully anti-clockwise (three of which make up the last rounds of the season).

  • Many of the corners at the Circuit of the Americas were inspired by iconic turns from European tracks. These include the Turn 3-6 complex (similar to Silverstone’s Maggots and Becketts), Turns 12-15 (Hockenheim’s stadium section) and Turns 16-18 (inspired by Istanbul’s Turn 8).

  • Drivers experience 5.0G through Turn 6 at COTA, which is the joint-second highest of the season alongside Turn 9 (Copse) at Silverstone.

  • The braking zone for T12 sees the drivers experience over 5.8G under braking and makes it one of the biggest of the season. This means that a driver weighing 70kg experiences forces of over 400kg under breaking.

  • Turn 1 at Austin is the biggest single corner elevation change of the season, with the drivers climbing over 30m in little over 200m of track.

  • Austin is one of the bumpiest circuits on the F1 calendar with several sections on the straight between T11-12 requiring surface grading to reduce the severity of the bumps.

  • With 44 overtakes in 2017 and 31 in 2018, the Circuit of the Americas is one of the tracks most likely to see positions in the race decided by on-track overtakes.

  • 10 different venues have hosted Formula One races in the United States, the most of any country.

Quotes

Toto Wolff
After we secured the Constructors’ trophy in Japan, we said that we wanted to end this season in style and the race in Mexico was the first proof of that. It underlined how hungry this team still is – everyone keeps on pushing for the best possible result. It was the 100th victory for Mercedes-Benz in the F1 world championship – a great milestone in our motorsport tradition and an achievement that is testament to the skill and dedication of the many people who have contributed to our heritage.

The next race at the Circuit of the Americas is only a few days away and we’re all looking forward to another fight on track. We have a decent track record in Austin; however, we had a difficult weekend in Texas last year as we struggled with tire management. The W10 treats its tires more gently than our 2018 car, so this should be less of an issue this year.

COTA has produced great racing with lots of overtaking, so we hope for another spectacular Sunday in Austin. The crowd is usually very enthusiastic and I’m sure we’ll meet a lot of new fans thanks to the success of the F1 Netflix series in the US. It’s great to see the growing TV audience numbers in the American market and we’ll fight hard to make sure that this year’s race will contribute to the increasing interest in our sport.

Max Verstappen
"It’s always good to be back in Austin and it’s a cool track to have my 100th F1 race at. I enjoy America in general and especially Texas. I really like the track, it’s quite bumpy for a new circuit and it’s got a good combination of old school corners which makes it very nice to drive. Our car should hopefully be pretty competitive there and we had a fun race last year coming from the back through to the podium. A lot is possible at this track as there are so many good overtaking opportunities which makes things interesting in the race. Sixth in Mexico was not where we hoped to finish as the car was so quick but it was a decent recovery from 20th after everything that happened early in the race. Before Austin, we’re stopping in LA for the Hollywood F1 Festival which I’m looking forward to and it’s always fun to get the crowd excited with a few donuts!"

Alex Albon
"I’ve never driven the track in Austin but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. The circuit looks really fun, especially the first sector, and it’s a bit like Suzuka so I’m excited to get there and experience it. The US Grand Prix seems like a cool race, I think you have a bit more downforce on the car than in Mexico which makes it more fun to drive. This will also be my first proper time in America so I’m excited to experience the culture and of course the food! On the simulator, the track seemed quite bumpy and I think it’s built on a marshland if I’m not mistaken, so apparently you can feel that. On this kind of track, it’s very much about rhythm so it will be important to get into that early in the weekend. There’s also more run off areas so you can push the limits a bit further, but not too far! I think Mexico was a good weekend and probably one of my best races in terms of pace since joining the Team, so I’m even more excited to get to the track and continue that momentum."

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG:
“The race in Mexico didn’t go how we expected, but we must not forget it also brought some positives. We have made some steps forward compared to previous races and we need to keep building on those to be a bit more competitive, starting in the United States. Our objectives remain the same, to fight for a place in the top ten, and we know what we have to do to get there.”

Raikkonen beat Hamilton last year
Raikkonen beat Hamilton last year
Kimi Raikkonen (car number 7):
“I have good memories from Austin, especially last year’s race, but that doesn’t really matter when I step into the car this weekend. Every new race is different and we need to focus on doing our job if we want to get some points.”

Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
“We’re back in the car this weekend, an opportunity to improve on last week and have a competitive race. We know that to be fighting at the front of the current midfield we have to deliver a perfect weekend and we weren’t able to do so in Mexico, but this is a new race and we will keep pushing as hard as we can.”

Dave Robson, Williams Senior Race Engineer
For the second of the back-to-back races, we head north to Austin and the COTA circuit. Since it joined the Formula One calendar, the Circuit of the Americas has been a firm favorite with the drivers and fans alike. The circuit features a series of signature corners as well as the daunting climb up to T1, which adds to the spectacle of the race start.

The weather in Austin in October can range from very cold to oppressively hot and can change rapidly. Where 2019 ends up in this range of conditions will dictate how the tires behave and will likely have a large influence on the race result. To cope with the demands of this circuit, Pirelli have again provided the three middle compounds from their range. Although the same compounds as raced in Mexico, their behavior will be different, and a typical Friday program will involve understanding their performance at low and high fuel.

With the end of the 2019 season almost in sight, we begin in earnest our trackside preparations for 2020 with some additional tires testing on Friday. Pirelli have provided each car with 2 sets of tires in the 2020 construction and so we can expect to see more running than usual during FP1 and FP2 as the teams begin their preparations ahead of the post-season Abu Dhabi tire test.

Nicholas joins us again this weekend, this time driving George’s car in FP1. Our program will include further aerodynamic testing, 2020 tire testing, and our usual qualifying and race preparation. If the weather is kind, then Friday could be an extremely busy day.

Robert Kubica
I know very little about the track in Austin. I know what I have seen from footage and the simulator, but it will be a new track for me. From what I can see it looks like a challenging circuit, especially the first part of it. However, I am looking forward to a new experience.

George Russell
Austin is a track and a race that I have been looking forward to for a very long time. Out of the newer circuits it is definitely the best one out there, it has such an amazing flow to it. It is a track similar to Silverstone, with an incredibly fun first sector. I have been there the last two years and it was always a great atmosphere, so I am really looking forward to it.

Nicholas Latifi
Coming off an FP1 last week I feel that I am more in the rhythm of the car, which is important when you only have a limited number of laps in the session. Austin in probably one of the tracks on the calendar that I am most looking forward to driving that I have not yet driven. It seems like a track that has a bit of everything and the first sector, with all the fast-flowing corners, is exactly what I love in these high downforce cars.  It’s not so often that I get to drive new tracks for the first time so I’m looking forward to that challenge and hopefully I’ll be able to get up to speed quickly.

Lance Stroll
"Austin is a great place to have a race. It’s a city full of excitement and it’s always awesome to be in Texas. A lot of fans come to the race so we always get a really good atmosphere. Away from the track I sometimes like to catch some live music, but I try to save my free time for a nice BBQ dinner.

“Austin is a very technical lap with a combination of low and high-speed corners, which means setting up the car is quite challenging. I enjoy the first sector the most. Turn 1 is a blind uphill corner that you approach at almost 190 mph. The steep approach means it’s quite satisfying on the brakes because the car really stops well with that amount of incline. Because it’s a blind corner you have to be very precise with the turn-in. From there the sequence of corners is really amazing. The speed that we carry through those corners on a qualifying lap is unbelievable, so I really enjoy it.

“It’s a track where it’s quite difficult to follow other cars closely, but there are definitely overtaking opportunities. The track is wide at Turn 1 so there’s an opportunity to brake late and dive down the inside. There is also a long run down the back straight and if you get a good exit out of the hairpin leading onto the straight you can make a pass.”

Sergio Perez
"I’m still feeling really happy with our race in Mexico last weekend. Finishing as best of the rest is realistically the most we could have achieved. It showed our strengths as a team and shows the progress we are making with this car – even in the final part of the year. I feel we can fight for points in all of the remaining races.

“Austin has always felt like a second home race for me because of the number of Mexican fans who come along. It feels strange to be going there after Mexico because it’s usually the other way around. I enjoy having these two races next to each other – they are both highlights of the year for me and very enjoyable. I always notice the Mexican flags in the grandstands and it gives you a boost.

“As for the track, it’s interesting for the drivers because of the range of corners. It’s challenging, especially the first sector, which I enjoy the most because of the quick corners. Turn 1 is pretty unique being so steep and it’s not easy to choose your braking point. You can brake so late because of the gradient, but it’s easy to go in too deep and miss the blind apex. You can also experiment with taking some different lines through the corner because it’s so wide.

“There are parts of the lap that remind me of other tracks. The quick part in sector 1 is similar to the first sector in Suzuka, for example. It’s just a good fun track that’s very satisfying to drive. It’s definitely one of the best modern tracks.”

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team
Sports are big in America and right now, baseball’s World Series is underway, basketball and hockey have started their respective seasons, and football is right in the heart of its season. And in motorsports, NASCAR is in the semi-final stage of its playoffs, with the third-to-last race of the season happening just a few hours away on Sunday in Fort Worth. It’s a crowded landscape. How can Formula One, and the United States Grand Prix in particular, stand out from the crowd?

“I think Formula One has made good progress over the last few years in the United States. The viewing figures are up and the United States Grand Prix in Austin is almost always sold out. I think progress is being made. It is difficult, as it’s a crowded space there with sports, but viewership is increasing. I think Circuit of the Americas has helped a lot to achieve that, and I think Haas F1 Team – with Gene Haas investing in the team – has also helped achieve a lot in terms of making it more popular in the United States. I’m sure there’s a lot more to come.”

It appears Formula One is closer to having a second race in America, perhaps as early as 2021, in Miami. How helpful will a second race in the United States be to increasing Formula One’s popularity in America, as well as the popularity of Haas F1 Team?

“Absolutely, it will help. For Haas F1 Team, more races in America is good. But, more than for Haas – Formula One in general – having more races in the United States is good. Miami is a place where I think Formula One is already followed quite a lot. Having it near a big city is always nice and cool. We hope it will happen.”

On Thursday, your drivers will get a taste of a NASCAR stock car with instruction from three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. What can they expect when they drive that 3,200-pound (1,451-kilogram) Ford Mustang around COTA?

“I’m sure the guys will love it, as will Tony – he likes to do this stuff. For Tony to be back in a big car, on a big circuit, it’ll be cool. Our drivers, I’m sure they will enjoy it. Kevin tested a sprint car last year and he loved it. NASCAR cars are big, powerful machines. I think people will enjoy seeing it.”

You’ve managed NASCAR teams and Formula One teams. While the style of cars and the technology associated with the cars are different, are there some similar methodologies when it comes to finding speed and getting the most out of team personnel?

“Absolutely. All motor racing at the top level – and NASCAR is top level, and Formula One – it’s all very similar in terms of trying to get the best people for the job. The opposition is always pushing. There’s never a day where you can rest. You just need to work harder and smarter than anybody else – then you have success. They are very similar, not as cars and technology, but in terms of managing a team, there’s not a big difference.”

Romain Grosjean, Driver No. 8, Haas F1 Team
As a driver for the only American team in Formula One, what’s it like to compete in the United States Grand Prix?

“It gives me a lot of pride. It’s a great pleasure. Obviously, having an American team in Formula One returning in 2016, 30 years since the previous one, it was big. Every year we see great support in the United States. I have the French Grand Prix as a home race, but also the United States Grand Prix is a very special one. I’m very much looking forward to it. We see a lot of support. Even though it’s not always been our best race, in terms of results, we always give it the maximum we can. We’ll do the same again this year and, hopefully, make our fans proud.”

This weekend, your team owner, Gene Haas, will have his Formula One team competing in Austin, Texas, and his NASCAR team, Stewart-Haas Racing, competing three hours north in Fort Worth, Texas. How much do you pay attention to the goings- on with Stewart-Haas Racing, and how helpful is to have a team owner who is so well versed in motorsports?

“I pretty much follow all the NASCAR results. It’s very exciting and the team’s been doing well this year. Obviously, the playoffs is the time it gets very sexy, but I’m always keeping an eye on Stewart-Haas Racing. Having Gene Haas, knowing racing, knowing how it works, helps us a lot. He understands things cannot always go directly as we would like, and he’s been very helpful in our building of the Haas team. Obviously, NASCAR and Formula One are different, but he gets the big picture, and that is helping us a lot.”

Since Haas F1 Team’s debut, you’ve talked about wanting to drive a stock car. Thursday at COTA, you’ll finally get your chance, with instruction from three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart. Do you have any idea what it will be like to drive a 3,200-pound (1,451-kilogram) Ford Mustang around COTA?

“No, not really. I think we just need to slam the brakes a bit earlier than we do with a Formula One car. We’ll see how the engine responds to throttle application. I can’t wait. The sound of it’s going to be great. I think it’s going to be a good experience. I think having Tony Stewart helping us and giving us advice is going to be bloody amazing.”

What’s the closest thing to a stock car you’ve driven, and when was it?

“I guess it would be the Ford GT1 car I drove in 2010 in the FIA GT1 Championship.”

You equaled your career-best Formula One finish (second) at COTA in 2013. Talk about that race and any moments that stand out, particularly the start where you managed to get away from the dominant Red Bulls.

“The start was very special. I had a really good one. The Red Bulls were so much faster than we were. I had to do something like 50 laps of the grand prix with Mark Webber on my gearbox. He was trying everything he could to pass me. At the time we had manual KERS, and I was using it wisely at different places every lap, just to do something different to keep him behind. It was an amazing race. I had a bit too much champagne on the podium, which made the press conference fun.”

Kevin Magnussen, Driver No. 20, Haas F1 Team
As a driver for the only American team in Formula One, what’s it like to compete in the United States Grand Prix?

“It’s definitely a race I look forward to going to. It’s our home race, one we really want to do well at. We’ve certainly got a lot of support there and that provides an extra boost, extra motivation. It’s great to go there and see all the Haas fans in our T-shirts, especially up at Haas Hill where we see all the fans together there. We haven’t had great results there, but it’s definitely the one where we feel at home, and we want to do well.”

This weekend, your team owner, Gene Haas, will have his Formula One team competing in Austin, Texas, and his NASCAR team, Stewart-Haas Racing, competing three hours north in Fort Worth, Texas. How much do you pay attention to the goings- on with Stewart-Haas Racing, and how helpful is to have a team owner who is so well versed in motorsports?

“First of all, it’s no secret that Gene is a real racer. He’s been in motorsports a long time and he’s been hugely successful. We’re obviously still building up with the Formula One team, but we’ve got our best years ahead of us, I’m sure. Certainly, with the NASCAR team, they’ve been incredibly successful – they still are. I follow what they’re doing and I’m always cheering on their drivers.”

Since joining Haas F1 Team, you’ve talked about wanting to drive a stock car. Thursday at COTA, you’ll finally get your chance, with instruction from three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart. Do you have any idea what it will be like to drive a 3,200-pound (1,451-kilogram) Ford Mustang around COTA?

“I don’t have any idea how it’ll be. I’ve never driven a NASCAR before. I’m pretty certain it’s going to be very different to the other car I drive around COTA. It’s going to be a very interesting experience. A NASCAR is such an iconic racecar. I’ve always been eager to try one. Of course, it’s usually in its element on an oval, but they do race on road courses, as well. It’ll be interesting to have a go and have a bit of fun.”

What’s the closest thing to a stock car you’ve driven, and when was it?

“I drove a GT2 car once, and a DTM, but I don’t think they’re similar to a stock car, even though they’re touring cars. A DTM car is very aerodynamic. They have a lot of downforce. A stock car hardly has any downforce.”

This won’t be the first time you’ve received driving instruction from Stewart. He helped you get the feel of a winged sprint car last October. Stewart wears many hats, but what’s he like as a driving coach/instructor?

“I found my feet in that sprint car last October pretty quickly thanks to his advice, and also thanks to him jumping in the car and showing how it’s done before I got in. I had a great time with Tony. He’s a great driving instructor and he knows his way around these things. His experience and knowledge when it comes to stock cars is probably just as impressive.”

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