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F1 GP USA 2021 PHOTOS: Pictures from Austin practice

F1 GP USA 2021 PHOTOS: Pictures from Austin practice

A weekend of racing in Austin is underway. On Friday of practice, the teams and drivers searched for the proper vehicle mount on a pole ramp. Some pass it and ski down the slopes. We’ve collected highlights in a gallery.

Austin is one of my favorite places in Formula 1. You can tell from the number of helmet designs specifically for racing on the Circuit of the Americas. Many drivers’ head protection has been repainted upon their return to the USA. They include Mick Schumacher, George Russell, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo.

The pilots presented their new helmets to fans for the first time on Friday (October 22, 2021) in the stands and in front of television screens. But it was most important for them to find the right vehicle setup for the rest of the race weekend. It’s not an easy job in Austin. First, because different types of curves shift. Secondly, because the surface sheds some burrs. Teams have to make concessions.


The 5,513-kilometer racetrack has both slow and fast corners.

Training highlights in picture presentation

Many fast corners meander through the first sector. The section is reminiscent of the S-curves at Suzuka or the Maggots-Becketts-Chapel-Passage at Silverstone. In the quick part, contact pressure is required. This is why the larger rear wings are used in Austin. In the second sector, more technical corners follow before a long straight line requires engine power and minimal aerodynamic drag. At the rear, the 5,513 kilometer racetrack offers a number of slow turns.

You see, drivers are dealing with a demanding racetrack. The Texas Rodeo threw some of them at first. Charles Leclerc went off the track between Turn 4 and Turn 5, but freed his Ferrari from the gravel. Kimi Raikkonen gets a few corners later. The snowman didn’t hit anywhere either, he only stood across the road for a few seconds.

Nikita Mazepin slipped into Haas in the penultimate corner. The Russian skated across a bed of gravel as well, preventing the involuntary break from hitting anything. On the other hand, Sergio Perez and Mick Schumacher went on a collision course. The Mexican and German stumbled together in the final minutes of the first practice – but at low speed. At that moment, neither of them agreed on the right of way.

Red Bull and Alpha Tauri used Friday’s training to collect data on aerodynamics. The older brother equipped the RB16B with unusual gauge grilles on the front wing. On the other hand, the Alpha Tauri noticed the airflow around the rear wing.