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GP Week : Issue 158
Sebastian Vettel got his first taste of New Jersey’s 2013 grand prix circuit this week when, flanked by a blaring police escort, he and David Coulthard raced a pair of Infiniti road cars around the street course next to the Hudson River, in the shadow of Manhattan’s skyline. New York cops love their doughnuts, so surely they approved of the Red Bull pair smoking the rear tyres on their throaty black IPL G Coupes and doing a few 360s for the crowds. “The car’s got enough power to spin the rear wheels and have some fun. This is a good chance for us to get used to the track, even if the speed bumps are still in place.” said Vettel. “It’s great to be back in America, and this place is just exceptional,” he said, gesturing across the water to Manhattan island. “Monaco is very special for us, has a lot of history etcetera, but I think this race is going to be very, very great and will be one of those races that every driver wants to win.” Construction at the New York-facing track is already under way. The pit building is up and road widening and resurfacing is the next job. The Tilke-designed circuit, which uses public roads, has large elevation changes: “I’m quite surprised by the up and down bits, it looks good fun and has some really nice corners,” said Vettel. “There are some very quick corners where you need to have big balls. That’s what we really like, corners that challenge us. We also have long straight going into tight corners, so big braking zones that should give us some overtaking. I think we’ll be going over 200mph. "It’s most similar to Canada, another fast street circuit with lots of straight lines. But the up and down hill is the big difference. It’s more like Spa in that respect.” Promoter Leo Hindery said that the inaugural race next year should be on the third week of June: “We’re supposed to follow the Canadian Grand Prix” . He took the opportunity to dismiss suggestions that the New Jersey race might not happen: “I don’t know where [the rumours] come from. You just have to look around – this race is going for ward. If we had any doubts we wouldn’t all be here today. That said, it’s up to Mr Ecclestone to put us on the calendar.” Vettel and Bernie Ecclestone are close friends, and no doubt Mr E was pleased to see the 24-year-old on the David Letterman show earlier this week, promoting F1 to the US audience ahead of November’s United States Grand Prix in Austin. Letterman, who owns an IndyCar team, had lots of questions for Seb about KERS and DRS. “The audience won’t know what the f*** we’re talking about,” complained Seb. Well, F-ducts are banned from F1 and f-bombs from network television – he might not get a drive-thru penalty, but the Red Bull driver did get bleeped! JERSEY BOYS OPINION OPINION ADAM HAY-NICHOLLS F1 Editor 22 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: