Fernando Alonso does not think COTA debut will help level the playing field
Ferrari star thinks drivers and teams will adapt quickly to new track
By Mike Wise in Austin. Last Updated: 16/11/12 10:17am
Fernando Alonso does not think the fact that this weekend's U.S. Grand Prix takes place at a brand new track will give him a particular opportunity to hit back at Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel has taken the World Championship by the scruff of the neck after winning four of the last five races and currently holds a 10-point lead over Alonso in the Drivers' Championship.
His performances have come as Red Bull made a decisive step forward in the development of their RB8 car. They were also in locations - Singapore, Japan, Korea and India - where the defending World Champions have always performed well.
They are all-but guaranteed a third straight constructors' title this weekend but Alonso, the only man who can deny Vettel a third straight drivers' crown, scotched the suggestion that F1's first visit to the Circuit of The Americas might present him and Ferrari with a more level playing field.
"I think it's not an advantage to be at a new circuit. I think we all will adapt very quickly in the first practice and we all have the simulators we use to prepare for the race. So I think it's more or less the same as any other race," he said.
"Nothing really changed in terms of preparation and approach for the weekend. Maximum concentration, maximum effort from everybody in the team.
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"Preparing some new parts that we are bringing (to) every grand prix and hopefully that we can test them tomorrow and have some good feedback about that."
Alonso did, however, say that getting as many laps in as possible during Friday practice was important to try and understand the wiles of the brand new 5.513km layout.
"(We'll) try to do our very good, smooth Friday, good test and here, maybe more important than some other circuits, to do a lot of laps, to learn the racing lines, the possibilities and some...maybe tricks...that the circuit can have," he added.
Tyre supplier Pirelli is helping teams by providing them with an extra set of hard compound tyres (nominated this weekend along with the medium rubber) to be used on Friday.