Austin, TX (SportsNetwork.com) – While the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and
Camping World Truck Series are running at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend,
Formula One is racing about 220 miles south of Fort Worth at Circuit of the
Located 15 miles southeast of downtown Austin, COTA will host the United
States Grand Prix for the third time on Sunday. Lewis Hamilton, in his final
season with McLaren, won the inaugural USGP at this 3.426-mile, 20-turn
circuit in 2012, while Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel took the checkered flag
here last year. Vettel earned his eighth of nine consecutive grand prix
victories during the 2013 season.
Hamilton, now in his second season with Mercedes, has won the last four grand
prix — Italy, Singapore, Japan and Russia. He currently holds a 17-point lead
over his teammate and championship rival Nico Rosberg.
With Hamilton winning the Oct. 12 inaugural Russian Grand Prix in Sochi,
Mercedes clinched its first constructors’ championship in F1.
After Austin, F1 moves on to Sao Paulo for the Nov. 9 Brazilian Grand Prix.
The season concludes with the Nov. 23 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Drivers and teams
will score double the amount of points at Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton is seeking his second F1 world championship. His first title came in
“To win the very first Formula One Russian Grand Prix and help the team
achieve the first constructors’ championship for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two
finish, it couldn’t have got much better,” Hamilton said. “Of course, we still
have three races left to decide the drivers’ championship, starting in Austin,
which is one of the best weekends of the year.
“A lot of the American side of my family come to the race. Plus, I won the
first ever Formula One Grand Prix at the circuit back in 2012, so it’s a
special one for me. I really enjoy going there, and I’m looking forward to
another great race, hopefully ending up with another Stetson hat on the top
step of the podium.”
Rosberg has finished second in four of the last five grand prix, including the
previous two. He was forced to retire early in Singapore due to an electrical
“We target a big finish to the season in the final three races,” Rosberg said.
“It’s still all to play for in the battle for the drivers’ championship, and I
won’t be giving up the fight until the flag drops in Abu Dhabi.
“Hopefully, we can keep the entertainment going right to the end for the fans
out there enjoying the contest. The first step comes in Austin. I haven’t had
the best races there so far, but I’m determined to change that this year.”
Rosberg’s two finishes in Austin were: 13th (2012) and 9th (2013).
Sunday’s USGP will feature just an 18-car field since Caterham and Marussia
are both missing this race due to their current financial issues. Therefore,
the FIA, the governing body of F1, has revised its qualifying format for the
USGP. Instead of the slowest six cars being eliminated from Q1 and Q2, four
cars will exit following each of the first two qualifying rounds. Q3 will
remain the same, with 10 cars in that round.
The FIA confirmed on Friday that Vettel, the defending winner of the USGP,
will start the 56-lap race from pit late since he will use his sixth power
unit of the season in Austin. According to the new technical rules this year,
drivers are only allowed to use five power units before incurring a penalty.
The four-time world champion has claimed the pole for the first two USGPs.
Series: Formula One. Date: Sunday, Nov. 2. Race: United States Grand Prix.
Site: Circuit of the Americas. Track: 3.426-mile (5.513-kilometer), 20-turn
street circuit. Start Time: 3 p.m. ET. Laps: 56. Miles: 191.939 (308.405 km).
2013 Winner: Sebastian Vettel. Television: NBC.