The Formula 1 World Championship is arriving at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, this weekend (November 1-3) for the 2019 United States F1 GP, seventeenth appointment in the season’s calendar. After his latest victory in Mexico, Lewis Hamilton will have another chance to seal his sixth title in the USA.
Hamilton is certainly odds-on to achieve it. He only needs to finish eighth or better, or something even simpler, he needs for Valtteri Bottas not to win. In either case, the #44 would be just one crown away from Michael Schumacher’s record seven.
This is also one of the Briton’s favourite racetracks. Here in Austin, Hamilton has taken five of the seven editions since 2012. And that’s not all, it was at COTA that the Briton sealed his third world title in 2016.
Ferrari, on the contrary, is under a lot of pressure. After giving away the victory to Mercedes for the third race in a row, emotions are running high at La Scuderia. Repeating Kimi Raikkonen’s 2018 victory would be a good way to provide some much-needed joy.
In Mexico, another of Ferrari’s strategic mistakes had Charles Leclerc demoted from first to fourth position. Sebastian Vettel, who started in second, could do nothing to prevent the Germans from winning, aided as usual by their great tactical moves.
Presumably, both Ferrari drivers will continue with their particular internal struggle. The German veteran, currently one place and six points below his Monegasque teammate in the standings, will want to prevent the young rookie from finishing the season ahead of him. Texas could be the scenery of another fratricidal duel, just as it happened in Mexico, where Vettel and Leclerc even had a light touch.
Both the reds should also keep a close eye behind them, with Max Verstappen closing in on them in the standings. The Dutchman’s performance has been somewhat erratic since his return from the holiday break, but he nonetheless occupies the fifth place in the standings with 220 points. Verstappen will also be eager to make up for his shocking performance in Mexico
Another hot spot is the struggle to lead the middle zone. With 77 points, Pierre Gasly has dethroned Carlos Sainz from the sixth place. The Spaniard –100th races at Austin– is now seven with 76 points. The third contender for the coveted sixth position and the most likely candidate to finally take it is Alex Albon (74 points) and his very powerful RB15.
This, however, is one of Sainz’ favourite tracks. In Texas, he has had three seventh and one sixth positions during his spectacular debut with Renault in 2018.
As for the places still up for grabs in the constructors’ standings, McLaren has practically secured fourth. The team from Woking has 111 points, 38 more than Renault. The latter’s fifth place, however, is under threat from Toro Rosso and Racing Point both tied at 64 points and just eight points away from the French.
F1 United States GP Stats
- First edition: 1959. Winner: Bruce McLaren (Cooper-Climax).
- Number of races: 41. Venues: Watkins Glenn (15), Austin (8), Indianápolis (8), Detroit (4), Fénix (3), Sebring (1), Riverside (1), Dallas (1).
- Most winner drivers: Lewis Hamilton (6), Ayrton Senna (5), Michael Schumacher (5).
- Most poles drivers:
- Ayrton Senna (5), Michael Schumacher (4) y Lewis Hamilton (4).
- Most wins by team: Lotus (10), Ferrari (8) y McLaren (7).
- Most poles by team: Lotus (10), Ferrari (7) y McLaren (6).
Circuit of Las Americas facts & figures
- Track length: 5.513 meters.
- Turns: 20 (9 right-handed and 11 left-handed).
- Laps: 56.
- Race distance: 308,405 km.
- Highest-lowest altitude: 157,4 m/126,5 m
- Tyre stress: Medium (3).
- Adherence: Low (2).
- Aerodynamic load: Medium (3).
- Asphalt abrasion: Low (2).
- The accelerator is fully pressed 58 % of the time at each lap.
- The track has 2 DRS zone.
- A low configuration of the aerodynamic load, similar to Monza’s.
- Average pit-stop: 21 seconds.
- Tyre range: Hard, C2; Medium, C3; Soft, C4.
- Fastest in-race lap: 1:13.392 -Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes (2018).
- Fastest pole: 1:13.237 – Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes (2018).
- Top registered speed: 345,1 km – Kevin Magnusen – Renault (2016).
- Race direction: Counterclockwise.
Images of ‘2019 United States F1 GP’ : F1.com