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Published: 14:36 | 18/10/17

Alonso hopes for Austin points


McLaren driver Fernando Alonso hopes his experience of the Austin track will help him secure points at Sunday's United States GP.

Alonso raced at the Circuit of the Americas [COTA] at this year's Indy 500, and led the race for 27 laps before retiring due to an engine failure, and the two-time world champion says he feels comfortable driving on the Texas circuit.

"The COTA track is a really fun track to race on - every sector is different and achieving the perfect compromise with set-up to suit the constantly-changing characteristics of the lap is what makes the challenge there so unique," the Spaniard said. 

"COTA is also wider than a lot of the circuits we've been to recently so there are usually some good chances to overtake, which hopefully we can make the most of on Sunday.''

The 36-year-old has not finished in the top ten since the Hungarian GP on 30 July - he finished just out of the points in 11th in both Malaysia and Japan, and was caught up in the first corner crash at Singapore on 17 September.

"I hope in Austin we can build on the momentum we know we've been gathering behind the scenes, despite not being able to show the results on the final timesheets, and I think there's the potential to score points if we can pull everything together," he continued.

"There are a lot of factors to take into account and anything can happen at this race - we've seen quite a lot of drama both on-track and off it over the last few years - but I'm optimistic we can have a positive weekend if we can maximise every opportunity."

McLaren are set to announce Alonso as their 2018 driver on Thursday, after team executive Zak Brown said that "they have been close for some time" in negotiations over a new one-year contract.

The United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas will be shown live over the weekend of 20-22 October on eir Sport in Ireland. The race is live on eir Sport 1 on Sunday, 22 October [race time 8pm]

Image: Getty/Lars Baron

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