Pierre Gasly

“As usual, there was a unique atmosphere in Japan, especially on our first visit in three years and going there as a Honda driver was intense, with so much support for all our team and I was amazed at the number of French flags in the crowd. It was all very special.

Now we go to Austin, another really cool venue. Last year, there was a big crowd and a great buzz with the popularity of F1 exploding more and more each year in the States. I remember when I was leaving Austin last year that the airport was absolutely full of fans flying home to all over America, there were no passengers that hadn’t been to COTA! The Americans are the kings of entertainment, so the atmosphere is special. I enjoy that and during the winter I spend some time in the USA watching other sports, such as NBA and NFL games. They know how to put on an event, so I am very excited about this weekend.

I enjoy the circuit itself: the whole first sector is hyper quick with a real rhythm to it. You need to be very precise with your lines because the way you take one corner then affects how you go through the next one. In general therefore, it’s a technical track.

I want to end this season, my last four races with Scuderia AlphaTauri, on a high note, even if my past record at COTA is nothing special. I’ve had a few DNFs here, last year it was a mechanical problem, so it hasn’t smiled on me much but that’s a good reason to hope for a change this time. The track has always been very bumpy, and I think with this generation of car, it’s going to be very complicated in terms of ride. This year’s cars are very stiff and so it’s going to be a big challenge for everyone, although I understand they resurfaced some sections earlier this year in time for the MotoGP race there, so let’s hope it’s an improvement.”


Yuki Tsunoda

“Looking back to Suzuka, I really enjoyed the overall experience of racing in my home country. It had been a dream of mine to race in F1 in Japan and the first lap in FP1 was especially emotional, but after that I reset myself and went back to normal mentality, although I felt a lot more energy, adrenalin and excitement. It was a shame I couldn’t score a point in the end. After the race, I was able to spend a few more days in Japan which was nice.

Now we have Austin, which went quite well for me last year, as I made it into Q3 and then finished ninth. Actually, in some ways the track is quite similar to Suzuka, especially the part after the first turn, which is a bit like the esses section. I will take my usual approach of building up the pace gradually through the race week. Hopefully we will have the Pirelli tyre test in FP2 that we were not able to run in the rain in Suzuka and that’s useful as it means we get an extra 30 minutes of track time to prepare. I plan to make the most of that, aim for Q3 on Saturday and points on Sunday. The track is quite bumpy and if I remember correctly from last year, especially so in Sector 1 so it will be interesting to see how these new cars will behave there, even if I believe they have resurfaced some sections. Changing the car set-up to make it better over the bumps is not the way you want to go for performance, especially in the high speed corners, so we will need to find something in between. Hopefully, we can do that and get our car to suit this track well. There’s a nice atmosphere at the circuit and overall it should be an enjoyable weekend.”