Circuit of The Americas is one of the most demanding racetracks on the 2015 Formula 1 calendar. It has more fast corners than Spa-Francorchamps and more slow corners than the Hungaroring, the combination of which makes the 5.513km/3.426-mile circuit a very complex engineering challenge.
The track is the 10th grand prix venue in the United States, but itâ€™s F1â€™s first purpose-built circuit. It runs in an anti-clockwise direction and has an elevation change of 41 metres (135 feet), making it a roller-coaster ride for the drivers. The highest point on the lap is the apex of Turn One, which has a steep uphill approach and a blind entry, requiring the drivers to be very precise.
Each of the circuitâ€™s three sectors provides a different challenge. Sector One is characterised by five fast sweeping corners, through which the cars need good front-end grip as they flick from apex-to-apex at speeds in excess of 250km/h (155mph); Sector Two contains a 1km (0.62-mile) straight along which straight-line speed is at a premium, and Sector Three has a mix of slow corners and a multi-apex right-hander through which the drivers are exposed to forces of 4g for a period of 5s.
As was the case at Sochi two weeks ago, the asphalt is relatively new and very smooth at COTA. This allows Pirelli to take relatively soft tyres to the race; the nominated compounds are soft (Option) and Medium (Prime) â€“ a combination that was used last year as well.
Did you know?
COTA is the 10th Formula One venue in the United States. The others: Sebring, Riverside, Watkins Glen, Long Beach, Caesars Palace, Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix and Indianapolis.