- US GP - FP2
US GP should be more exciting this year - Alonso
Fernando Alonso believes this weekend's US Grand Prix could be the most exciting yet to be held at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) outside Austin.
Although is a track the drivers enjoy, it has not always lent itself to close racing and teams have usually opted for one-stop strategies. However, Pirelli has brought softer tyres to this year's race, making a two-stop strategy more likely. The added tyre degradation should also vary performance between cars over the course of the race and create passing opportunities.
"The soft compound [tyre] seems to last less than expected, but we are well aware how much tyre performance can change as the track evolves," Alonso said. "Certainly the race looks like it will be different to past editions, because the likelihood of two stops opens up different strategic possibilities.
"Today we did some good testing, helped by the track conditions, which were definitely different to previous years. It's possible the races they had here a few weeks ago helped to clean the track and as far as grip levels were concerned, we didn't have too many problems.
"In the second session, the situation was slightly worse because of the strong wind, but that was expected over the weekend and did not affect our work too much."
At the end of the second practice session the FIA tested a new Virtual Safety Car system, which is a safety initiative in reaction to Jules Bianchi's crash at the Japanese Grand Prix. The system works by forcing drivers to stay above a certain time in the sector of the track that is obstructed, but Alonso thinks it needs some extra work.
"Today we tried the Virtual Safety Car system and I think that, for a first try it went well, although there is still much to do. All us drivers agree it's a very worthwhile idea, we just need to get used to it."