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Formula 1

Bumps at COTA 'quite a lot worse' than in 2019

Ferrari's Laurent Mekies says the bumps at the Circuit of the Americas have become quite a lot worse than the last race at the venue in 2019.

Leclerc USA 2021
To news overview © Ferrari

Despite circuit organiser's best efforts, the bumps at the Circuit of the Americas are even worse than expected for some of the teams.

That's according to Ferrari's Sporting Director, Laurent Mekies, who said that the pre-event grinding of the track surface doesn't appear to have made any significant difference.

Since 2012, as the track surface at the newly-constructed COTA settled into the ground, it has become progressively bumpier. This process has been hastened by some extreme weather events that have hit the region over the years, with the bumps causing issues for the cars in 2019.

While circuit organisers did grind the surface before this weekend's race, Mekies said that the drivers are still feeling the uneven surface.

"I think it's worse than 2019, yes, by quite a large bit," he told select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com.

"Here, there has always been some attention given to the bumps, because there has always been a lot of work to be done on the track, to keep it as flat as possible. So we have had that in the past, I don't think to that extent.

"It was quite a lot more difficult today, at least for us. But as I say, nothing that will stop the car from running, it's just a new challenge that we have to deal with from a setup perspective and from a driver perspective, more so for these guys."

Mekies explained that the team had anticipated a bumpy surface, but it's proven to be even worse than their projections.

"I think everybody started a bit on the back foot with the bumps," he said.

"Certainly we did with the high level of bumps on track. We were all expecting it and we all have tried to anticipate it.

"But it's one thing to think about it and try to anticipate, it is something else when you actually hit the track here. It was certainly making life for our drivers quite a bit more difficult than what we would have hoped.

"Therefore, we worked during the day to try to see how we can restore some of the confidence that they were losing on these more difficult conditions. So that was a little bit of an additional factor compared to the standard Friday programme."

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