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.
Follow us in a few moments for the latest updates and results from the United States Grand Prix, as the third practice session is about to get underway, with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc at the wheel of the SF90, ready for the final preparations ahead of the qualifying session in Austin.