McLaren Racing Formula One Team’s Daniel Ricciardo says he can’t wait to drive Dale Earnhardt’s Monte Carlo NASCAR at the Circuit of the Americas as Formula One returns to thd Lone Star state for the first time since 2019 this weekend.

I’m excited to be in the US after a one-year hiatus. The city of Austin is a special place known for its brisket, BBQ and all that good stuff. Not to mention that COTA is arguably one of the best tracks we get to race on. We need to make up for missing out on being there last year, so we’ll be working hard for a good result.

“We’ve taken the time between races to analyse, understand and learn from what happened last time out. We’re ready to move on and focus on the challenge of this weekend. I think some sections of the track will suit us, so we should be in the mix for some points come Sunday.

“To top off the weekend, I’ll also be getting behind the wheel of Dale Earnhardt Sr’s 1984 Wrangler Chevrolet Monte Carlo. He’s a big hero of mine, so to be able to drive one of his cars is going to be a surreal moment and a bit of a dream come true. A big thanks to Zak for keeping his end of the deal and making this happen. I can’t wait!”

Lando Norris is also looking forward to returning to the Circuit of the Americas in person having competed virtually with Arrow McLaren SP in the IndyCar Series IRacing Challenge.

“I can’t wait to be back in America this weekend, where we’ll be aiming to bounce back from the result in Turkey. Austin is known for its great atmosphere and I’m sure it’ll be the same again this year with the fans being super passionate. The fight is still on in the Constructors’ Championship, so we need to keep pushing.

“COTA is one of the most exciting circuits on the calendar. Even though the track has elements of other F1 tracks, it still feels like a unique place to race. I took part in a virtual race around COTA last year with the Arrow McLaren SP team during the pandemic, which was a lot of fun, but I can’t wait to be racing there for real in an F1 car after two years. Hopefully it’ll be a good weekend for us.”

McLaren Racing’s Andreas Seidl commented saying:

We’re looking forward to returning to the United States this weekend as we head into the final six races of the season. Having Austin back on the calendar this year is great for the sport and, most importantly, the enthusiastic US fans. The US Grand Prix provides one of the most unique atmospheres on the calendar. COTA is known for drawing inspiration from some of the best tracks in the world and provides a challenging variety of corner types.

“Since Turkey, the team has taken the time to review and evaluate our performance, and we’ll take our learnings into this weekend and the rest of the year. We need to remain focused and continue to deliver to the best of our abilities both on and off track as we adapt to work on a different time zone. Every point is crucial for the fight in the Constructors’ Championship. As we’ve already seen this season, being able to extract the best performance from our package across all variations of track is key. The position we’re currently in is testament to the entire team’s commitment and dedication. Let’s keep pushing this weekend.”

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