Drivers who have qualified for the even numbered slots on the grid in Austin are anticipating a difficult time at the start on Sunday.
The left hand side of the track is particularly dirty at the new venue, and practice starts at the end of FP3 this morning confirmed the drivers’ fears.
Those starting on that side are led by Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.
“It was really poor,” said Hamilton when questioned by this writer. “I barely went anywhere when I let the clutch out. That’s why I’ve been saying they need to clean the inside because it’s just as slippery as when we started driving yesterday.
“While the rest of the track is bedding in and getting much, much better, that part of the track is untouched. It’s going to be very much the same as the pit lane for example, it’s got no grip at all. So I don’t know what they’ve got to do – at least clean it is one way of doing it.”
“One thing which won’t be easy is the start,” said Massa. “I start on the left hand side. I’m seventh but Grosjean is changing the gearbox, and I go to the left. This morning on the left it was slower than in the wet, so you can imagine how it’s going to be to start on the left.”