BATHGATE’S Paul di Resta and the rest of the Formula One entourage head to the Lone Star State this weekend when Texas hosts the latest US Grand Prix.
The newly-built Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, promises to be something of a rollercoaster ride – if not for the spectators, then definitely for the drivers.
With its blind crests and rolling undulations, the new track is unique on the F1 calendar. Its combination of the rising blind apex of Turn 1, allied to cambered high-speed sections, guarantee it will not be easy to conquer.
“I got my first experience of the new circuit earlier this week on the simulator so I’ve got everything relating to its layout fresh in my head,” said Di Resta, who will again pilot his Mercedes-powered Sahara Force India.
“On first sight of it, it’s a medium-speed track with a lot of elevation changes, which should make it interesting both from a driving perspective, and a fan’s view.
“Because it’s a new track, I think it’s going to be similar to Abu Dhabi: there’ll be new tarmac and a smooth surface. So there’s every reason to believe we can be competitive this weekend.”
Last time out, Di Resta finished ninth after rejoining the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in last place after he suffered a puncture on the first corner of the opening lap.
But while the Scot will be battling to help his team stay ahead of Williams in the fight for seventh in the Constructors’ Championship, most eyes will be on the battle for the drivers’ crown.
With only two races to go, just 10 points separates championship leader Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
And Vettel, bidding to win the championship for a third successive year, admits both he and rival Alonso would be equally worthy champions.
“If you look at the races we’ve done so far, I think Fernando’s and my DNFs or calamities are equal,” said Vettel, who will start the 100th grand prix of his career on Sunday.
“I still believe the driver who deserves it most will be champion.
“There’s no doubt we are in a very good position now, and I hope we do well until the very end to make sure that we deserve the glory.”