Y’all better gather ’round because the NBC Sports Group original digital series, Paddock Pass, is coming along with Formula 1 to Circuit of The Americas for the United States Grand Prix in Austin.
Yes, we acknowledge speaking Texan is an unfortunate but necessary task you have to do in at least one post over the course of the weekend.
The latest edition of the digital only series from the lone U.S. round on the calendar has a bevy of topics to look into as NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton takes you inside the COTA paddock.
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are closing in on their fourth World Championships, Fernando Alonso has at long last confirmed his return to McLaren in a Honda-less world, Brendon Hartley’s making his F1 debut at Toro Rosso, Carlos Sainz Jr. is switching to Renault and the Haas F1 Team looks to bring home the bacon on home soil between Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen as they look to solidify a grasp on seventh place in the Constructor’s Championship.
The latest episode is below.
Joel Eriksson snatched pole position for Saturday’s qualifying race ahead of the Macau Grand Prix after a thrilling fight with McLaren youngster Lando Norris and Ferrari junior Callum Ilott.
Norris headed into the second stage of qualifying on provisional pole after lapping almost a second faster than any other driver in Thursday’s first opening session, and remained in contention early in Q2.
Norris was the first driver to dip into the 2:10s with a time of 2:10.744, only for Eriksson to go 0.024 seconds faster minutes later and snatch pole away.
Despite a later effort to try and reclaim pole, Norris was unable to improve his time, and opted to remain in the pits for the final five minutes of the session after using up his allocated tires.
Ilott was the final driver to put in a serious bid for pole position, falling 0.09 seconds short with his final qualifying lap to sit third on the grid for the qualifying race.
Maximilian Gunther claimed fourth place for Prema Powerteam ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Dan Ticktum, with Mick Schumacher taking P7.
Yuhi Sekiguchi wound up eighth despite a late crash that brought out a red flag, while Sergio Sette Camara and Guanyu Zhou completed the top 10 positions in qualifying.
Saturday’s qualifying race will help form the grid for Sunday’s main event, the 64th Macau Grand Prix.