A look inside F1 Sahara Force India's garage

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and Photojournalist MICHAEL MOORE

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on November 17, 2013 at 11:19 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 8:31 AM

AUSTIN -- On race morning in the Sahara Force India Formula 1 team garage, engineers pumped fluid and oil through their race car engines.

"We're just going through the process of warning things up," said the team's operations manager, Mark Gray.

Despite saying the nervous level ramps up as the race gets closer, Gray took the time to show KVUE the controls in the hands of the drivers. The steering wheel had massive buttons and switches. The rear of the wheel had two clutch panels.

"He [the driver] is quite busy throughout the lap, changing all the settings as he goes round," said Gray.

Unfortunately, on the first lap, the driver of the Force India car lost control after another car hit his tire. German Adrian Sutil was out of the race.

"That's how it is in sports, you have good times and bad times. And the bad times make you even stronger," said Sutil.

Fans said they enjoyed the action. KVUE spoke with one man who said he likes the crashes, and that F1 is louder than the NASCAR races he's been to in California.

James Zapata of Austin said he uses his earphones selectively.

"I do want to hear how loud they are," said Zapata.

Next season, the sound will be altered as a revised engine is introduced. The current V8 configuration will be replaced with a turbo charged V6 engine with a built in energy recovery system. Former F1 driver Mario Andretti said the change will be interesting.

"I'm glad you mentioned that, because I love the sound of a Formula 1 engine today, and turbo charge will change the tone somewhat. I just hope it will still have that high pitch that we love so much. But again, I guess change is necessary to stay on the leading edge of technology, you know. You can't stand still," said Andretti.

Surrounding the track, fans were on their feet, taking pictures and waving flags as cars roared past.

While it was a disappointing day at Circuit of the Americas for Force India, one which Sutil said he'll try to forget quickly, the winner of the US Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel, said he won't forget his record-setting eighth consecutive win this season, nor his weekend in Austin.

"It's a great place. The whole city is going crazy. To be honest, it's difficult to fall asleep at night, it's quite noisy," said Vettel.

From Austin, the teams head to Brazil for the 19th and final race of the season. Vettel's team, Red Bull, earned enough points to clinch the season championship prior to the Austin race.

 

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