Gasly fears COTA bumps will 'complicate' F1 weekend


Pierre Gasly is expecting a bumpy ride at the Circuit of the Americas next weekend, suggesting the issues recently encountered by MotoGP's riders at the venue will be shared by F1's drivers.

COTA's uneven track surface, due to the nature of the underlying soil in Austin, has been a frequent talking point over the years.

But MotoGP's visit to Austin earlier this month led to vociferous complaints about the state of the track surface from riders, some of whom even threatened to boycott the US event.

FIA race director Michael Masi interfaced with his FIM colleagues during MotoGP's US GP weekend and was kept informed of the situation.

Since, COTA has addressed concerns over the circuit's bumpy surface and submitted the bumps to a grinding process in several areas.

"The areas that were raised by the bikes are different areas to those that were resurfaced," said Masi in Turkey. "And Tony Cotman, who's one of the FIA platinum circuit inspectors, has been out to Austin already during the week, and done a report.

"And the circuit doing some changes for us to sort of address some of the concerns.

"They'll grind some bumps and so forth. But we've got some time to do it. So they'll do what they can within the timeframe."

However, it's unlikely drivers will find a tarmac as smooth as a baby's bottom when they take to the track on Friday for FP1.

Gasly is a big fan of COTA's layout but fears he'll be facing an uncomfortable ride that will force AlphaTauri into set-up compromises.

"I’ve not yet had any great races in Austin, the best I did was 10th the last time we were there," said the Frenchman in his team's US Grand Prix preview.

"In terms of driving, the track is really exciting, very fast and I particularly like the first sector which resembles Suzuka a bit. After that, the second sector is a bit slower and more technical.

"Overall, it’s very interesting, although I think it could be quite complicated this weekend.

"Having watched MotoGP a few weeks back, the bumps which were already pretty bad last time we raced there, seem even more severe now.

"It will require some sort of compromise on set-up, but we won’t really know until we get there."

Despite the concerns, Gasly isn't worried given the current level of performance of AlphaTauri's AT02.

"I’m not particularly worried about it, because our car is working well everywhere at the moment and we just have to avoid any problems waiting to ambush us, so that we can continue to close in on Alpine in the championship," he added.

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