Sunny, warm and humid sums up the weather that the Circuit of the Americas laid on to welcome drivers to the United States Grand Prix. Charles and Carlos met with the engineers to begin preparation for the track action that begins tomorrow and they also had their usual meetings with the press.
Track surface. The first topic for discussion was the state of the track which is pretty bumpy. “Watching the MotoGP race a few weeks back, it seems that’s a factor we will have to deal with,” said Charles. “Tomorrow, we will start to get an idea of the situation, although I have to say that even the last time we raced here the track was far from smooth.” Carlos said he was not too concerned about it. “Up to a point, the bumps are part of the game, making the track more difficult and highlighting your driving skill, so although I’m not saying I’m a fan of bumpy tracks, I’m ready to live with it.”
Expectations. Charles and Carlos are realistic about their expectations for this race. “I think we’ll be able to fight at the front of the midfield, as has been the norm this season. Some parts of the track should suit us better than others, while some, the straights maybe, will be suit McLaren better,” said the Monegasque. “We are ready to fight it out with out closest rivals,” added Sainz “and I think we will be evenly matched, but we’ll get a clearer idea tomorrow.”
Atmosphere. Leclerc and Sainz are enjoying their time in the United States, as they explained to the American media. “I had a problem with my flight and I had to change my plans,” said Charles. “It gave me a chance to take a look at New York, which I had never visited before and I liked it a lot. Austin has also got a lot going for it!” Carlos was equally enthusiastic. “I like everything about the United States; the food, the cities and in recent years, since the TV series about Formula 1 started, there are many more American fans than before,” he said. “And the fact I now drive for Ferrari means I am recognised even more here. It’s another reason why I’m pleased there will be two races in this country next year.”
Basketball players: The two Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow drivers also took part in a meeting between the world of Formula 1 and stars of the NBA (National Basketball Association.) In a court set up in the middle of the paddock, Charles and Carlos, as well as several other drivers had a go at shooting hoops. Best to gloss over their performance, which was not up to the standard the pair usually delivers on track, even if it was great fun all the same!