Update from today's FP3, and yesterday's FP2 & FP1 sessions…
Austin. This is a circuit that knows what it's about – racing – and it has been built accordingly. The first thing we liked about it when we arrived in 2012 was how compact it all is. This is no monolithic homage to the vanity of egomaniacal overlords or the thrusting ambitions of a country desperate to get itself on the global tourism map.
The facilities are excellent but not overwhelmingly grandiose and it all feels a bit like an old-school European circuit where the main event is on track and not in the vast paddocks or towering hospitality suites.
And for that main event they've designed an outstanding track. Taking its cues from some of grand prix racing's great corners and stretches of track, COTA delivers a thrilling lap. Turn one is the signature corner – a steep uphill drag into a tight left-hander with a blind apex, it's a big challenge and can be approached any number of ways. It's followed by a terrific, Suzuka-inspired 'Esses' section that runs from Turn Two to Turn 10. Thereafter, there's a tight hairpin and a flat-out blast down to Turn 12, which involves some heavy, heavy braking before the final sector, which is characterised by a sequence of technical slow and medium-speed turns.
In today's thrid free practice session Daniel end the session in P6 completing 16 Laps with a best lap time of 1:38.927. Sebastian finished in P18, completing 25 laps with a best time of 1:43.765. Lewis Hamilton finished the session in P1 wiht a time of 1:37.107
In yesterday's first free practice session Sebastian finished in P7 after completing 20 laps with a best time of 1:41.463. Daniel finished in P17 with a fastest lap time of 1:42.598, completing 5 laps after an ERS problem. Topping the time sheets was Lewis Hamilton with a 1:39.941.
In the second free practice session of the day Daniel clocked a best time of 1:40:390 to finish in P4 after completing 29 laps. Sebastian finished the session in P18, completing 18 laps and recording a best time of 1:43.980. Lewis Hamilton topped the time charts with a 1:39:085.