Former F1 champ Andretti opens US GP circuit
Austin: Former Formula 1 World Champion Mario Andretti officially opened the new Circuit of the Americas (COTA) here.
The 1978 champion opened the Texas venue Sunday in a `First Lap Ceremony` featuring a collection of celebrity drivers.
"It`s very green, as you could expect. You get offline a bit - it`s a bit slippery. But that`s normal for a new circuit. Overall, my impression is absolutely fantastic," Andretti was quoted as saying by the F1 website.
Lotus reserve driver Jerome D`Ambrosio became the first person to drive around the circuit as he piloted the team`s 2010 car around the 5.516-km track.
"It`s a very enjoyable layout with a couple of good opportunities for overtaking, some long, fast, sweeping `S` bends and a few really satisfying, high-speed changes of direction similar to the `Becketts` complex at Silverstone," D`Ambrosio told the Lotus website.
"The first corner is also quite special and it will be interesting to see it when people are dicing for position in the race. It`s an enjoyable layout for a racing driver and also fantastic for the fans as the viewing areas are very well placed to catch all the action; of which there should be plenty!"