After two weeks away from the track, it’s time to repack the bags, get the passport ready and travel pillow freshly fluffed up as preparations for a return to action at the United States Grand Prix fully kick into high gear.
With a grand old Texas showdown set for next weekend, Austin is a track that has proven popular with drivers and fans alike since its arrival on the Formula One calendar in 2012. Here are the thoughts of Sebastian and Daniel with just three races of the 2014 season left to go.
"Hand on heart, this is probably the date on the calendar I look forward to the most. I've loved every minute of being in Austin: when they picked this place for the US Grand Prix, they absolutely nailed it. The city is awesome. I love listening to live music and this is a great place for that, plus Texas feels like real America, and that's something I've really enjoyed just sinking into the last two seasons.
"And then, there's the important bit. The Circuit of the Americas, in my opinion, is the best of the new breed of circuits. The nature of the corners is interesting. It's also a very busy track where you don't get much respite. The first sector is very special and that first turn, blind up the big hill is like nothing else in F1. It's also a good example of the excitement a late-apex can create: you can have a really good lunge there. They've done a very good job."
"Austin is a fun city where you get a real feel for the Texan lifestyle and traditions and get to race on a great track. The Circuit of the Americas is a track I like a lot; it has 20 corners and we drive it anti-clockwise. The start/finish straight has a steep incline up to the first corner and is the trademark of the track. For us that means the braking starts uphill, which is not easy and locking the front tyres could be a problem.
"A lot of the corner combinations remind me of other famous circuits on the race calendar. For example the fast combination during the first part of the track feels like Silverstone and Suzuka. The famous Maggotts and Becketts passages were used as a model for this part of the track and the drivers enjoy the extremely fast turns, when the car is balanced right. Also corners 12 and 15, this section was taken from the Motodrom in Hockenheim. It is a slower part of the track, and isdesigned to create more of a stadium atmosphere. The long bend also reminds of the famous turn 8 in Istanbul."