PREVIEW – United States Grand Prix


Round seventeen sees Formula One cross the Pacific, heading to the United States of America and the Texan city of Austin for the United States Grand Prix. The US GP has been part of the World Championship on and off since the formation in 1950, all thought during the 1950’s the Indianapolis 500 was effectively the US GP.

The first Grand Prix was held in 1908 and was held for ten years (apart from 1909 and 1913), before disappearing until 1958 as a non-championship race before for becoming a round of the championship the following year. F1 would return to Indianapolis in the 2000’s with the road course being used.

For much of its running, the race has been held at Watkins Glen in New York State. The 1973 race became famous as Sir Jackie Stewart announced he was retiring without telling his wife, but he later withdrew after his team-mate was killed in practice. That handed the Constructors’ Championship to Lotus.

Two years later James Hunt’s win put him in touching distance of the title. There have been other races the Caesar Palace Grand Prix, Detroit and Dallas have all held races. While talks of the New York race which have been talked about has never materialised. The next venue was Phoenix in Arizona in 1989.

America dropped off the calendar in 1992, before returning to Indianapolis and a road course. During this period Michael Schumacher dominated with five wins in eight years. Days after the 9/11 attacks the race became the first major sporting event after, also saw the great commentator Murray Walker hang up his microphone for the last time as full-time commentator.

The 2005 race only three teams start because of a tyre farce and saw Schumacher win from pole. Lewis Hamilton could seal his fourth title this weekend if results go his way, the Englishman has won five out of six races in America, including one at Indy. The odds would be in his favour given Mercedes wins at Silverstone, Shanghai and Valtteri Bottas’s win in Bahrain, as this circuit has elements of all these circuits.

Facts and figures

Race 2017 United States Grand Prix
Venue Grand Prix Circuit, Circuit of the Americas, Travis County, Austin, Texas
Circuit Length 5.516 km (3.427 mi)
Laps 56
Race Distance 308.896km (191.939 mi
Lap Record 1:39.347 (Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing, 2012)
Most wins drivers Michael Schumacher (5)
Most wins manufacture Ferrari (9)

Event timetable

  Local BST
P1 10:00-11:30 16:00-17:30
P2 14:00-15:30 20:00-21:30
P3 11:00-12:00 17:00-18:00
Qualifying  16:00-17:00 22:00-23:00
Race 14:00 20:00

What happened in 2016?

Lewis Hamilton took a third win in Austin to keep his hopes of a fourth world championship alive after beating Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. The German made a bad start allowing Hamilton to take his fourth victory in the United States.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo finished third ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. While Ricciardo’s team-mate Max Verstappen retired that handed the Mercedes a free pit stop as the Virtual Safety Car deployed. While it was a disappointing race for Kimi Raikkonen who was forced was forced to retire after his Ferrari team failed to attach a wheel properly because of a cross-thread wheel nut.

Haas finished their first home race with a single point from Romain Grosjean.

Full Race Report Full Result Google Collection

How Hamilton can win a fourth title in Austin

  • Hamilton will win the title if he wins the race in Austin and Vettel fails to finish higher than sixth
  • Hamilton will win the title if he comes second and Vettel comes no higher than ninth
  • Hamilton cannot win the title if he comes third or below in Austin

How Mercedes can win a fourth title in Austin

  • Mercedes need a tenth place minimum to seal the title in Austin.
  • Mercedes could not score any points in the remaining races and still be champions.

2015 vs 2016 Race Data

  P1 Fastest P2 Fastest P3 Fastest Q1 Fastest Q2 Fastest Q3 Fastest Race Time Fastest Lap
2016 01:37.428 01:37.358 01:36.766 01:37.428 01:37.358 01:34.999 01:38:12.618 01:39.887
Diff -16.561 N/A -22.751 -19.243 -19.466 N/A -12:40.115 -1.221
2015 01:53.989 CANCELLED 01:59.517 01:56.671 01:56.824 CANCELLED 01:50:52.703 01:40.666

Note – the 2015 race was heavily interrupted by Hurricane Patricia

A lap of Circuit of the Americas

Sebastian Vettel coming through nineteen and heads to the outside of the circuit along the kerb before easing off the kerb but stays on the outside of the circuit as he rises up into Turn one. He runs through the centre before crossing to the outside and steers back into the centre before accelerating through Two going into the Maggots and Beckets style corner, keeps his foot down but eases slightly for Six.

Through Seven, Eight and Nine before opening up his car, staying on the outside cross the track back to the outside. He pushes the Red Bull along the straight all the way into Twelve before easing off, running close to the apex and then to the outside on the run to thirteen.

Lifts off the breaks arounds the apex and straight through the kink into Sachs style corner. Good through the long corners which make up sixteen to eighteen. Carries the speed through on the way to Nineteen hits the apex, before running to the outside stays there and through the apex. Heads to the outside where he stays dip[s off before crossing the line with 1:39.347


Driver Ultrasofft Supersoft Soft
Hamilton 7 3 3
Bottas 7 4 2
Ricciardo 7 4 2
Verstappen 7 4 2
Vettel 7 5 2
Raikkonen 7 3 1
Perez 8 3 2
Ocon 8 3 2
Massa 9 2 2
Stroll 9 3 1
Alonso 9 2 2
Vandoorne 9 3


Kvyat 8 3



8 3 2
Grosjean 1 5



2 4 2


2 3 2
Sainz 2


Wehrlein 3 3


Ericsson 2 4



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