Fernando Alonso says that he is expecting to experience a strong atmosphere at the US Grand Prix this year. The race this weekend will be the second time Alonso has raced in the US in 2017, after he skipped the Monaco Grand Prix to take part in the Indy 500.
Previewing the upcoming US Grand Prix, Alonso is looking forward to the challenge from the Circuit of the Americas. Despite McLaren's engine supplier Honda still lacking in power, Alonso believes that points could be on the cards for the team.
"After a couple of frustrating races where we haven’t been able to show the improving pace we know we have in our package, I’m excited to head back to the United States," the Spaniard said. "I had a great time over summer there this year with everything going on around the Indy 500, and I know the fans are incredibly passionate and enthusiastic, so I’m expecting a really good atmosphere around Austin.
"The COTA track is a really fun track to race on – every sector is different and achieving the perfect compromise with set-up to suit the constantly-changing characteristics of the lap is what makes the challenge there so unique," he continued. "COTA is also wider than a lot of the circuits we’ve been to recently so there are usually some good chances to overtake, which hopefully we can make the most of on Sunday.
"I really enjoy spending time in the States and I have lots of happy memories there. I hope in Austin we can build on the momentum we know we’ve been gathering behind the scenes, despite not being able to show the results on the final timesheets, and I think there’s the potential to score points if we can pull everything together.
"There are a lot of factors to take into account and anything can happen at this race – we’ve seen quite a lot of drama both on-track and off it over the last few years – but I’m optimistic we can have a positive weekend if we can maximise every opportunity."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing