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Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team gearing up for US Grand Prix

“Home track” race for only US based team in Formula One
Mick Schumacher, Haas F1 and Nikita Mazepin, Haas F1
Mick Schumacher, Haas F1 and Nikita Mazepin, Haas F1 (Andy Hone | Haas F1 Team)
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 6:36 AM EDT
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KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - The Kannapolis-based Uralkali Haas F1 Team is embarking on a homecoming as Formula 1 gears up for the 2021 United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

“Austin has always been good to us, said Team Principal Guenther Steiner. “We’ve got a good fanbase here in the States and it’s getting bigger and bigger as Formula 1 grows in the US. We have Haas Hill in Austin, which has been sold out for weeks, if not months already, and it’s always great to go there. Austin as a city and also as a racetrack, it’s just a good place and having missed out last year, I think the whole of Formula 1 is happy to be back in Austin and we look forward to it. We have done some stuff with NASCAR there as Gene also owns a NASCAR team – Stewart-Haas Racing – which was a good success as we had Romain and Kevin drive that car with Tony Stewart, who is a legend around there. So, all in all, I’m really happy to go there, and to the weekend.”

Formula 1 has had a long and storied history in the United States, with several iconic venues across the country playing host to world championship events. Sebring, Watkins Glen, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Dallas, Detroit and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have all been visited by Formula 1 while Miami looms on the horizon for the future.

Since 2012 the championship has established itself at the specially constructed and overwhelmingly popular Circuit of the Americas (COTA). Four years later Uralkali Haas F1 Team joined Formula 1, giving motorsport’s top championship both an American team and an American event.

COTA, located on the outskirts of the popular city of Austin, was purpose-built for Formula 1, featuring a mixture of challenges for teams and drivers alike.

The circuit’s focal point is the mountain-like Turn 1, now named Big Red in honor of COTA investor Red McCombs, and its plunging exit immediately opens into a sequence of high-speed changes of direction that draws inspiration from iconic circuits such as Silverstone and Suzuka. A long back straight, and stadium-style complex, promotes side-by-side battling thanks to a variety of racing lines, while a quadruple-apex right-hander and double left-hander draws the 5.5km lap to a close.

For Uralkali Haas F1 Team rookies Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher the upcoming round will be their first experience of racing Stateside, with the team venturing back to home turf after the pandemic prevented 2020′s event from taking place.

“It’s a very interesting venue, it’s a cool track and I’ve never raced there so I’m looking forward to get out there,” said Mazepin. “It’s a track that requires a lot of rhythm, so hopefully I find it quickly!”

“It’s our home race so obviously I’m excited about that, but it’s much more than that,” said Schumacher. “I like Austin and the US. It’s special and it’s something where Formula 1 isn’t as big just yet but we’re on the verge of becoming very big, especially due the ‘Drive to Survive’ series. I’m very much looking forward to it as it’s a great show, there’s always so much happening and frankly, I’m just super excited about going back to the states.”

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen comes into the USGP leading in the driver’s championship race with 262.5 points and 7 wins over Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton with 256.5 points and 5 wins. Mercedes leads the constructors points with 433.5 over Red Bull’s 397.5, with McLaren ((240), Ferrari (232.5), and Alpine (104) rounding out the top 5.

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