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Romain Grosjean chronicles arrival in Texas for U.S. Grand Prix

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Formula One returns to Austin, Texas this weekend for the fourth United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the America’s.

The series’ drivers have been arriving in the Lone Star State throughout the week. Among them is Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, who chronicled his arrival in the U.S. and then Texas on Twitter.

Grosjean admits that Austin is the only area of the US that he’s familiar with. That comes from his annual visit for the F1 race. He’ll likely be much more familiar with the country soon as he joins the US based team owned by Gene Haas in 2016.

“(The Circuit of the Americas) looks great and the first time I walked around it in 2012 I thought wow! The gradient up to Turn 1 is really something and it makes for a fun first corner when you’re in the car,” Grosjean said in a release. “It’s a really well-presented facility with an interesting circuit layout. It’s great to be at a race where the local character is very evident and that’s certainly the case in Austin, with the fan reception and the American way of presenting events.”

Grosjean, a native of France, will be competing in his fourth US Grand Prix in Austin, all of which have been with Lotus. In his first three starts, his best finish was second in 2013.

Last year, Grosjean started 16th and improved to 11th by race’s end. Grosjean has finished in the top 10 only once in the last four races. His only podium of the year came in Belgium.

“It’s quite a balanced circuit in that you don’t need one particular thing over another for the car to perform well,” Grosjean said. “In the first year the challenge was finding the level of grip we want and we did see the same for the past two races too.

“Every year so far the race has taken place a little earlier, and that’s good as it generally means warmer weather. This is good for many reasons, but wearing my race driving hat it’s good as it helps with tyre warm-up and grip. Grip is something we’ve struggled with in Austin in the past, so a warmer circuit with a bit more aged track surface should help with that.”

Simon Pagenaud’s engineer relives 2019 Indy 500 victory on Twitter

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The Team Penske engineer for last year’s Indianapolis 500 winner is reliving Simon Pagenaud’s day by tweeting about what he was doing each moment a year later.

Starting with an observation that he awoke in his Indianapolis hotel room at 4:30 a.m., Ben Bretzman (@benbretzman) sent nearly two dozen tweets by 11 a.m. ET about how the morning before the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 unfolded.

Bretzman was through the infield tunnel and in Gasoline Alley by 6 a.m. By 7:30 a.m., he was wondering if his driver was awake yet, but he had heard for the first time from Pagenaud 45 minutes later.

‘BACK HOME AGAIN’Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, NBC

FIERCE FRIENDSHIPPagenaud, Rossi recall epic battle of 2019 Indy 500

Among other highlights: The team’s last strategy meeting was at 8:30 a.m.; final check of the weather was at 9:30 a.m. and Bretzman gave the No. 22 Dallara-Chevrolet a once-over at 10:35 a.m. before it was pushed to the grid.

Follow @BenBretzman to watch the day unfold from the pit box and tune into “Back Home Again at 2 p.m. ET on NBC as Pageanud and Alexander Rossi, who are good friends off the track, recap their epic duel with host Mike Tirico.

Simon Pagenaud and engineer Ben Bretzman debrief at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IndyCar photo by Joe Skibinski).