2023 US GP: Drivers call for ‘new tarmac’ amid ‘bumps and jumps’

COTA's bumps are believed to have played a role in Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc being disqualified.

Last weekend’s United States Grand Prix was a bumpy affair for all the drivers, with concerns having been raised about the surface of the popular Circuit of the Americas.

Whilst the track layout itself is a driver favourite, the surface has worsened considerably since last season.

Even in 2022, the circuit was criticised for how bumpy it was; however, drivers have now insisted that “new tarmac” must be laid.

Onboard footage showed just how much the cars were bouncing around, to the extent that race winner Max Verstappen admitted that the surface was “better suited to a rally car”.

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The three-time World Champion loves the layout but insisted that in its current condition it’s not “F1 level”.

“At the moment it feels like it’s better suited to a rally car,” said Verstappen, as reported by Pitpass.com. “Like, I’m jumping and bouncing around.

“In an F1 car, you probably don’t see it as much because of course we are glued to the ground because of the downforce,” he explained, “but the bumps and jumps that we have in some places, it’s way too much.

“I don’t think it’s F1 level,” he said. “I love this track, honestly, the layout is amazing, but we definitely need new tarmac.”

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Even the circuit’s most successful driver, Lewis Hamilton, admitted that there were “way too many” bumps now.

Despite this, he noted that some of the bumps are actually acceptable, given that they “add character” to COTA.

He also pointed out that some areas of the circuit are absolutely fine, including the start/finish straight which he described as being “smooth”.

The bumps actually played a role in Hamilton and Charles Leclerc being disqualified, as their cars both failed a post-race plank inspection.

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To avoid COTA working on the entire circuit which’ll be a “fortune”, Hamilton has called for the drivers to help the venue identify areas which must be improved ahead of next year’s event.

“I like some of the bumps because it adds character to a circuit,” said Hamilton, prior to being informed of his disqualification, “but there’s way too many.

“We could work, we as drivers in the GPDA, we’re open to discussing with them and helping them maybe not doing the whole thing so it costs a fortune,” he added.

“Like, from the last corner to the start line, for example, that’s smooth, then the rest is bumpy. The pitlane is smooth, but there are other areas that for sure we could patch up and improve.”