Felipe Massa, Williams, Circuit of the Americas, 2015

COTA removes bump which put Williams cars out

2016 United States Grand Prix

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The bump at the Circuit of the Americas which contributed to the retirement of both Williams cars last year has been eased.

The FIA confirmed the track surface at the Austin circuit has been ground to ease the bumps between turns ten and twelve.

Both Williams drivers retired due to rear suspension failures during last year’s race which the team believed were caused by a bump at turn 11.

“One of the surprise features last year was how bumpy the circuit had become in just twelve months,” said Pat Symonds ahead of this year’s race, adding the team was “hoping that it hasn’t degraded any further as last year was a challenge and ultimately led to the retirement of both our cars”.

Williams is locked in a tight battle for fourth place in the constructors’ championship with Force India, who are ten points ahead of them with four races remaining.

The only other significant change to the circuit ahead of this weekend’s race is at the exit of turn 19, the penultimate corner on the track, where a new double kerb has been installed.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 8 comments on “COTA removes bump which put Williams cars out”

    1. It sounds like the track was built on unstable ground.

      1. its more a case of big cars, with lots of power and Downforce/Weight creating them.

        Easiest example to show is the heavy braking zones at Monza – the bumps there are like road going speed bumps in places, all caused from cars creating downwards pressure in excess of 3t, and trying to go from 330km/h to 50km/h in the space of 100m.

        track surfaces are quite pliable in reality, different to a normal road. Its also why they are resurfaced fairly regularly.

      2. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        21st October 2016, 7:46

        @drycrust – Without being “that guy”, corners were probably cut during the laying of the track’s asphalt, I am almost willing to bet on that. Coupled in with Texas’ extreme heat, it probably caused buckling in one of the layers, creating the bumps. It could also be from settling, but it’s probably a little less likely unless they built it on top of a big sand lot.

        1. Looks like the layers below the sand layer on the surface might have started moving around a bit @braketurnaccelerate, @drycrust. I guess those parts are the ones where some loam might have been (the creek / dry bedding runs/ran in that area didn’t it?)

        2. I’m in no way, shape, or form have any road building experience, but most of the soul in Texas has a very high clay content, which when combined with the relatively broad temperature range the climate is capable of throughout the year (30F-110F in most years) causes soil expansion and contraction cycles that wreak havoc on home and building foundations and roads. It’s so bad that many high end homes in Texas are built with foundation irrigation systems built-in to regulate the swelling.

          1. Pardon the mistakes, wrote that from my phone. I/I’m, soil, etc

      3. There was an awful lot of earth-moving during the construction of the track. Some settling during the first full year should be expected.

        Most tracks develop bumps over time– that’s why they recently repaved Malaysia, for example.

    2. A bump at turn 11? You mean the incredibly slow hairpin before the back straight? Can’t see how a bump there would ever contribute to a suspension failure.

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