Heikki Kovalainen has said that a key aspect of the success of the United States Grand Prix will be how the fans take to the new circuit.
Formula One has yet to achieve long term success in the American market, with this weekend's race at the Circuit of the Americas ending a five year hiatus for the sport in the United States.
"COTA looks like a great circuit. I’ve spent a day in the simulator preparing for it so I know how it flows and they’ve taken the same approach as we saw in India, adding in up and downhill sections with some really quick corners and a couple of heavy braking zones where it should be possible to pass other cars", he said.
"I think one of the key things to how successful the weekend will be is how the American fans take to the race. We’ve obviously been there before and there’s a lot of other racing that US fans are very passionate about, but F1 has changed since we last raced there and we know what it takes to put on a show so I think it’s going to be really good".
Vitaly Petrov has never been to the USA before and admits that the newly built circuit could be 'special'.
"I think all the drivers are excited about getting on track. It’s a new challenge and from what I’ve seen in the simulator it could be a really special track", he said.
"There’s a lot of elevation changes, a few blind corners where it’s going to be tricky to find the apex and quite a lot of the lap is high speed. From what I’ve seen of our schedule the whole weekend is going to be very busy for us – we have a lot of important sponsors in America so it’ll be pretty intense, on and off track, but I think it’ll be one of the best weekends of the year".