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Hamilton hails 'cool' track in Austin
The Circuit of the Americas has been given a resounding thumbs up by drivers and team principals, although Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button fear a potential lack of overtaking in Austin.
The £250million purpose-built track opened its doors to Formula One on Friday as the sport returned to the United States for the first time in five years. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel ended both practice sessions at the top of the timesheet, and comfortably so, finishing more than 0.7 seconds clear of team-mate Mark Webber.
As for the track itself, there were plenty of admirers from the front to the back of the grid, and Hamilton said: "The track is cool all round. It's a great track to drive on and very difficult to get all the sectors together."
He added: "And what a great turn out on a Friday. They've done such a great job with the whole event. I never expected to see so many people.
"I'm now so excited for tomorrow and Sunday and I really hope people enjoy the race."
But as to whether the circuit lends itself to overtaking, Hamilton added: "That's the question. We'll have to wait and see. I'm not so sure."
Team-mate Button was even less enthusiastic on that score, adding: "I'm sorry to say, with the way the tyres are with low degradation, there isn't going to be a lot of overtaking I don't think.
"But the circuit is great fun to drive and I hope we can put on a great race."
Webber felt it was "a pretty good track" and a "fun and a new challenge," but stressed the importance of qualifying in the right positions on Saturday.
"The left-hand side of the grid will be a joke (as there will be no grip)," the Australian said. "You want to be on the right-hand side if you can, pole or third or fifth or something like that, that will be the first thing."