In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas says his third power unit change penalty in four races need not spoil his weekend in Austin.
COTA surface has lost “quite a bit” of grip – Bottas
Bottas has exceeded the maximum allocation of power unit components for the third time in four races, which means he will have a five-place grid penalty.
“It’s unfortunate that we have to take a penalty,” said Bottas, “but this time it’s a bit of a smaller penalty than some other time. So five places, I’m sure I can still have a good race from there.”
He said there was “still a lot of work to do with the set-up” due to changes in the track surface since F1 last raced at the Circuit of the Americas in 2019.
“It’s not the easiest to drive at all and it feels like in some places this track has lost quite a bit of grip. So then the balance is a bit inconsistent.”
No pressure on O’Ward for F1 test debut – Brown
Zak Brown is impressed with Pato O’Ward’s F1 simulator session with McLaren, ahead of his Abu Dhabi test debut in December.
“Pato’s a great talent,” said Brown. “He had a great IndyCar season, winning a couple of races, gave it a shot at the championship going down to the last race in Long Beach, is extremely fast, is quite a big personality.”
“It’s important that we don’t put too much pressure on him and see how he gets on,” Brown added.
Chadwick tops both COTA practice sessions for W Series finale
Jamie Chadwick topped both W Series practice sessions, ahead of the double header title decider at COTA. In both sessions, she was followed in the ranking by Abbi Pulling and Beitske Visser.
The second session was stopped with five minutes remaining as Abbie Eaton spun on track and was unable to get going again.
W Series qualifying will be held after F1’s final practice, with drivers’ best times deciding their order for the Saturday race and second-best times setting the Sunday grid. Chadwick and Alice Powell go into the weekend tied on 109 points, with Powell ahead on countback. With a maximum of 50 available over the two races, Emma Kimilainen, the only driver to win a race this year aside from Chadwick and Powell, also remains in contention.
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