Formula 1 left Suzuka behind to now head towards the United States Grand Prix at COTA. The usual track in Austin, Texas, is already waiting for the Great Circus for a new adventure on its circuit. Formula 1 continues its course and is about to reach the end of its calendar established for the 2022 championship. We arrived at the North American track with only the constructors’ title at stake, since the drivers’ title was decided in Japan a few days ago, Max Verstappen is already a two-time world champion and will not have to wait for next season to compete with that title in his possession. We will see what the United States Grand Prix holds for us this weekend, Formula 1 warms up.
History of the United States GP:
On this occasion we must go back in time to 1959, because it was in that year when the Great Circus debuted in the United States on December 12, very close to the date of the Christmas celebrations. Given the recent history, better known by most, we know that it has not had a single headquarters, but if we go further we see that has ridden on various circuits throughout the country. Going back to the debut, its venue was Sebring, in the state of Florida, a former military racetrack that is recognized for being the oldest active mixed track in the country. The fastest lap is in the power of Fernando Alonso, but not precisely in F1 but in the WEC. In 1960, the Riverside Circuit in California was established as its headquarters, inaugurated in 1957 and closed in 1989, it owes its appearance in F1 to a provisional circumstance. Well, they were waiting for the Watkins Glen Circuit, which debuted in 1961 and remained a permanent venue until 1975. The New York track holds the record for hosting the American event to date.
After those participations he was absent for a while, to later return in 84 on the Dallas track with a street design in Fair Park. Only a year later he moved to Detroit and stayed there until 88, another street plan located in Belle Isle, Michigan. In 1989 the venue chosen was Phoenix, until 1991, shooting on another urban circuit in Arizona. After a time rolling on the streets there was again a break from Formula 1 in the United States. But they ended up returning in 2000, although to settle for a season on circuits as such, specifically in Indianapolis until 2007, but not without controversy. After that short stage he stopped visiting the country again, but F1 returned in 2012 to stay, at least to date, but already in Austin.
The Circuit of the Americas was completed in 2012, the same year of its debut in F1designed by Hermann Tilke, is related to some tracks known by the category such as Silverstone, Hockenheim, Istanbul Park or Suzuka.
As to the winners of the american eventin order of celebration from its inception to date we have Bruce McLaren as the first, Stirling Moss, Innes Ireland, Jim Clark, Graham Hill three times in a row, Clark twice again, Jackie Stewart in ’68, Jochen Rindt , Emerson Fittipaldi, François Cevert, Stewart again, Ronnie Peterson, Carlos Reutemann, Niki Lauda in ’75, Keke Rosberg twice in a row, Ayrton Senna three times in a row, Alain Prost, Senna again in two more times, Michael Schumacher , Mika Hakkinen, Rubens Barrichello in 2002, Schumi again four more times, Lewis Hamilton in 2007 and 2012, Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton again four more times, Kimi Räikkönen, Valtteri Bottas in 2019 and after the return in 2021, Max Verstappen is the last winner of this appointment.
When it comes to teams, Ferrari leads the table with 10 wins on American soil, Lotus and McLaren tied with 8 wins for second place. Mercedes has 5 wins, BRM 3. With 2 are Tyrrell and Red Bull, with a win they close the Williams table.
Technical notes on the plot of the Americas
Number of laps: 56
Circuit length: 5,513 kilometers
Total race distance: 308,405 kilometers
Lap record: 1:36.169 – Charles Leclerc, 2019
Traction level: 80%
Tire stress level: 80%
Downforce level: 80%
Asphalt grip level: 60%
Asphalt abrasion level: 80%
As happened at last year’s event, Pirelli is once again betting on its mid-range compounds: C2 (hard), C3 (medium) and C4 (soft). We must not forget that, before the last edition, the circuit underwent a resurfacing of 40% of its entiretytaking place at the following points: the finish straight (including the pit lane exit), the exit of turn 1, the section that goes from the exit of 9 to 10, the final part of 11 and until 12, and the one that links curves 15 to 19. The winning strategy of the last appointment was the two-stopHowever, this could change this season, as the drivers will compete on this track for the first time on 18-inch tires.
For its part, just as it was established in Japan, the second Free Practice session, which will last up to 90 minutes, will serve to test the 2023 slick-wheel prototypes. As a noteworthy fact, those teams that employ a young driver in the first practice, will be able to carry out their own program during a part of the afternoon session.
The Circuit of the Americas has two DRS zones: the first detection zone is located 150 meters after curve 10, while the first activation zone is located 65 meters after curve 18. For its part, the second detection zone is 250 meters beyond the curve 11 and the second activation zone is located 80 meters after turn 20. This is a track where overtaking can be carried out, so the show is assured in the race.
Meteorology, bets and schedules
Sun and heat is what awaits the drivers this weekend in Austin. After two watertight events, it seems that the sky is going to give a truce during the next days of competition. And it is that maximum temperatures will range between 29ºC and 32ºC, being Friday the least hot day. Regarding the minimum, they will increase as the days go by, going from 15ºC to 19ºC on Sunday. Thus, drivers and teams should not worry about the sky on this occasion, because except for a few scattered clouds, the sun will shine throughout the weekend. A little more war will give the wind, which will also increase for the race, although in principle it should not have too much impact on the performance of the single-seaters.
If Max Verstappen already starts the weekend as the favorite after proclaiming himself world champion in Suzuka, the antecedents also play in his favor, and the fact is that the Dutchman already won in Austin last season. Another that usually performs remarkably in North American territory is Mercedes, and more specifically Lewis Hamilton. Brackley’s men need a strong performance to cling to the fight for second place in the Constructors’ World Championship. They will not have it easy, although the United States is not the favorite test of their closest rival, Ferrari, so all is not lost. To do this, George Russell must recover his best version after two races in a row suffering. We do not know how this battle between Germans and Italians will be experienced, but the truth is that it seems that those of the “Cavallino Rampante” should look further back and less forward.
There is also a nice fight for the lead in the middle of the grid. Despite the fact that at the moment Alpine is the team that occupies fourth place in the World Cup, the McLaren team has already shown in previous editions how good it is at the Circuit of the Americas, so that those of papaya have a great opportunity to make up for what happened in Japanese territory and try to recover the position they lost a little less than two weeks ago. We will see if they are joined by an unexpected guest such as Alpha Tauri or Aston Martin, although it seems less likely considering the performance of each throughout the campaign in dry conditions.
2022 United States Grand Prix Schedule*
Free practice 1 – 9:00 p.m.
Free practice 2 – 00:00h
Free practice 3 – 9:00 p.m.
Classification – 11:00 p.m.
*Spanish peninsular time