ELROY, Texas -- Red Bull driver Mark Webber is in Austin and singing the city's praises. While he won't get to try out the track at Circuit of the Americas until Friday's practice sessions, he has had some time to see Austin.
He flew in Tuesday, but he says he has some good "mates" which live in Austin. Webber is Australian, and by "mates" he means friends.
This year Webber won the British Gran Prix and the Monaco Grand Prix. The past two years, he has finished the season in third place. KVUE caught up with him as he was getting a discus lesson. Webber says he always he has to stay in shape, and he doesn't like the gym. Drivers must have build endurance, plus the sport can put a strain on the body.
"The hip area, neck area, shoulders, they're all under quite a high load, from the G-force, basically," Webber said.
Webber also says he hopes Formula 1 has longevity back in the United States.
"A lot of the teams have done simulator work, so we have an idea of what to expect, but we're looking forward to seeing how the race will be in terms of overtaking on the circuit," Webber said about the COTA track.
Friday is practice for drivers. Then they fine tune for Saturday qualifiers. Sunday is the race.
"The biggest thing that we need to understand as soon as possible is how the tires perform," Webber said.
There are 20 turns at Circuit of the Americas and 56 laps. Prior to turn one, there is a 133-foot-climb, then a left turn.
Webber says that first turn is quite tight. "We deal with a lot of those corners around the world, but not the climb, going up there obviously. I'm sure the drivers will be mindful of that knowing it's a little bit of a different type of corner. Pretty similar to turn three in India," Webber said.
After that turn, he says the track is similar to Silverstone in London.
"Turns three and four, and later on it's a little like Suzuki in Japan, which drivers love," Webber said.
The track is counterclockwise. Only five venues this season run that way. There are 20 races, Austin being next to the last.