United States GP: Jenson Button says Austin perfect showcase for F1
|By Jonathan Noble and Pablo Elizalde||Thursday, November 15th 2012, 22:39 GMT|
The new Austin circuit will be an ideal showcase for Formula 1 cars' capabilities when pushed to the limit, according to Jenson Button.
The McLaren driver believes the sweeping fast section from Turn 2 to Turn 8 of the Circuit of the Americas is just what F1 machinery needs to highlight its speed.
That is why Button reckons Austin will be a bigger hit for the United States than Indianapolis was when F1 raced there from to 2000 to 2007.
"Indy was an interesting circuit and the venue was spectacular but it wasn't built for us," said Button ahead of the first United States Grand Prix in five years.
"For us, we need a circuit that has more high speed corners where you can really show off what an F1 car is capable of.
"Turn 2 to Turn 8 is spectacular, with the change of direction. If you're watching there, you will see an F1 car on the edge. It's very special to see that because you don't see it in many places.
"Having such a fast section with change of direction is very special, it's something we don't often see, especially with the newer circuits. It's more like Suzuka or Becketts [at Silverstone]. Hopefully it feels the same as it looks."
The Briton's team-mate Lewis Hamilton agreed that the circuit should delight both drivers and spectators when the action kicks off on Friday.
"It's quite difficult to learn initially but it looks fantastic to drive," Hamilton said. "I really started to enjoy it once I got used to it, which took perhaps a little bit longer than some of the other circuits to learn but it's going to be very interesting this weekend."
World champion Sebastian Vettel preferred to withhold judgement until he had experienced the real circuit.
"By the looks of it, it looks quite interesting, but you know it's always the feeling you get inside the car that is most important, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow," he said.
Lotus's Romain Grosjean was also impressed by the Herman Tilke-designed circuit.
"It is quite impressive," the Frenchman said. "I think everything in America looks bigger than in Europe.
"It is like a rollercoaster, with some Silverstone parts at the beginning and India hairpins, Istanbul for apex corners - so it looks good."
Although the steep hill on the approach to Turn 1 has caught many people's attention, Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi believes there is not much to it.
"For me, this is nothing. It's nothing like Spa," he said. "It's just higher uphill. Nothing special really. In Portugal there's a circuit where we did one test, Algarve, that's like that, but this is higher.
"All the journalists are very excited, but for me we've driven more exciting ones."