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Vettel: F1 found "different vibe" in Austin host for United States GP

F1 returns to Austin for the United States Grand Prix - having first visited Circuit of the Americas 10 years ago.

Sebastian Vettel feels Formula 1 struck a "different vibe" when selecting Austin as the permanent venue for the United States Grand Prix - 10 years on from its debut. After an absence of five years after leaving Indianapolis in 2007, F1 returned stateside in '12, with its first-ever purpose-built cirucit for F1 in America. Previous races had been held at Watkins Glen and Sebring as well as street events in Phoenix, Detroit and Las Vegas but none caught on. With F1 experiencing a surge in popularity in the United States, fuelled by Netflix, Vettel - the 2013 winner - at COTA believes the "vibe" of Austin is a key part of the race's success.

Vettel on Austin

Vettel actually made his F1 race debut at the 2007 US Grand Prix - the last at Indianapolis as F1's image was shredded following the '05 tyre debacle. The four-time retiring World Champion believes that Austin's reputation as a party town has aided the Grand Prix. 'I made my debut in Indianapolis five years before, but I think there's been a different vibe in Austin, right from the get go," the Aston Martin driver explained to media including RacingNews365.com. "It's been really exciting because the whole city was happy to have the race and welcomed us. "Obviously, the interest of across the US has grown in the last couple of years, but I think Austin has always been exceptional. "I also feel that Austin isn't your typical America, if such thing exists. So I think for us, it's been great to go, right from the start. "It's been a highlight of the season for 10 years now."

Ricciardo echoes Vettel

Daniel Ricciardo - in what is scheduled to be his final US Grand Prix - is known for his love of Austin - and says it has filled him with joy. "It's just been fun, going there from the start," he explained. "I was so filled with joy when it got renewed and extended. "It's just the growth of the sport in the States is obviously really cool. "I enjoy that and America does sports better than anyone - the way they build an event around the sport itself is really cool. "For us as F1 to have an ever-growing presence there is really cool, but just going back to Austin, everyone knows it is a fun place. "It is one where you're just out all the time, enjoying it. It is a fun week. "Thumbs up for Austin!"

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Free Practice 3