MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: United States GP


After a three-week break, Formula 1 ventures to the United States this weekend for one of the biggest and most popular events of the season.

The Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas is a superb facility that has become a firm home for Formula 1 in the USA after just two grands prix. The third event this year is set to be one of the biggest and best yet, with a number of fan events taking place in the city across the course of the weekend – and of course, Halloween is always done in style.

With just three races to go, the 2014 F1 season is nearing its end, and the fight for the championship is becoming a little one-sided. With four wins in a row, Lewis Hamilton now enjoys a 17-point lead over teammate Nico Rosberg, with the latter failing to win a grand prix since the middle of July. His rut needs to come to an end soon if he wants any chance of following in his father’s footsteps and becoming world champion.

Ahead of the race in Austin, the MotorSportsTalk team has once again made its predictions for the grand prix weekend. Here’s what we think might go down in the Lone Star State…

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race winner: Lewis Hamilton. Can anyone stop Lewis Hamilton at the moment? The answer appears to be no. Four wins in a row and looking on top of the world, the Briton is edging ever closer to his second F1 title. His record in the United States is a mightily impressive one, having lost just once. It’s hard to see Nico stopping him this weekend.

Surprising finish: Valtteri Bottas. COTA should suit Williams nicely, and Bottas nearly caused an upset in Sochi up against the flying Silver Arrows of Hamilton and Rosberg. The Finn has been one of the breakout stars of the 2014 season, and another podium finish could yet be on the cards.

Most to prove: Nico Rosberg. Essentially, does he have what it takes to be a world champion? Lewis is in the form of his life, and it will take something titanic from Nico to bring it to a halt. Now is the time to make it happen – pinning his hopes on Hamilton DNFing in Abu Dhabi isn’t good enough.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race winner: Lewis Hamilton. How often do you get a shot to win five in a row twice? He missed at his first chance this year but I think he completes it this weekend in a country he loves and goes so well at.

Surprising finish: Felipe Massa. Massa’s gone well at Austin the last two years in a less than ideal Ferrari and in a much better car this year, may be the Williams driver more likely to upend the podium over teammate Valtteri Bottas. I’d put money on either of them reaching the top three this weekend and I could see Massa doing it with a bit of luck.

Most to prove: Nico Rosberg. Down 17 in the championship and with only a ninth as his best result in Austin, must rise to the occasion. He simply cannot afford to lose any more ground in the championship… although if he does, it builds more angst over double points in Abu Dhabi.

Christopher Estrada (@estradawriting)

Race winner: Lewis Hamilton. If he can avoid mechanical woes, expect Hamilton to keep his current rampage going in Texas. A fifth consecutive victory – and his second career win in Austin – would be another devastating blow delivered on Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in their World Championship battle.

Surprising finish: Nico Hulkenberg. Sochi was a setback for Force India in their fight with McLaren for fifth in the Constructor’s. But while Hulkenberg finished out of the points in Russia, he’s been solid at Austin (eighth in 2012, sixth in 2013). Having been out-raced lately by teammate Sergio Perez, he’s needing a good run.

Most to prove: Nico Rosberg. Rosberg has to start pulling points off of Hamilton this weekend. And now that Mercedes has secured the Constructor’s title, the German may be more inclined to take chances on the track in order to make that happen. Keep an eye on him.

Jerry Bonkowski (@JerryBonkowski)

Race winner: Lewis Hamilton. It’s hard to pick against the Hamilton Express. With wins in more than half (nine) of the first 16 races, including triumphs in each of the last four, Hamilton is likely to continue to roll Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas. With two more races after the U.S. Grand Prix (Brazil on Nov. 9 and the season finale on Nov. 23 in Abu Dhabi), Hamilton can move significantly closer to clinching the championship with a win in Austin.

Surprising finish: Sebastian Vettel. Call it a gut feeling, but Vettel could very easily win for a second straight year at Austin (even though we’re picking Hamilton). Vettel looked outstanding when he won in last year’s race (while Hamilton finished a distant fourth). It definitely has not been the season that Vettel had hoped for, so any chance of redemption would be heightened with a win at Austin. Not coincidentally, it would also be Vettel’s first win of the season, if he can pull it off, and likely his best chance at victory in the three remaining races. Bottom line, we think it’ll be Vettel vs. Hamilton head-to-head all the way to the checkered flag on Sunday.

Most to prove: Nico Rosberg. Can Rosberg stop Hamilton’s championship? With just three races left, it’s a very difficult feat. But Rosberg isn’t about to pull over and let Hamilton coast to the championship, either. He’ll give his Mercedes teammate everything he can handle. There’s nothing like putting pressure on the guy who’s leading the championship chase, and hoping he makes a costly mistake.


IndyCar results, points after Detroit Grand Prix


DETROIT — Alex Palou topped the results of an NTT IndyCar Series race for the second time this season, extending his championship points lead with his victory in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who also won the GMR Grand Prix (and the Indy 500 pole position) last month, holds a 51-point lead over teammate Marcus Ericsson (ninth at Detroit) through seven of 17 races this season.

Ganassi, which placed all four of its drivers in the top 10 at Detroit, has three of the top four in the championship standings with Scott Dixon ranked fourth after a fourth at Detroit.

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Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden is third in the standings after taking a 10th at Detroit. Pato O’Ward slipped to fifth in the points after crashing and finishing 26th

Here are the IndyCar results and points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:


Click here for the official box score from the 100-lap race on a nine-turn, 1.645-mile street course in downtown Detroit.

Lap leader summary

Full lap chart

Best section times

Full section data

Event summary

Pit stop summary

Here is the finishing order in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix with starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (1) Alex Palou, Honda, 100, Running
2. (7) Will Power, Chevrolet, 100, Running
3. (9) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 100, Running
4. (4) Scott Dixon, Honda, 100, Running
5. (13) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 100, Running
6. (12) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 100, Running
7. (2) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 100, Running
8. (11) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 100, Running
9. (6) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 100, Running
10. (5) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 100, Running
11. (24) Colton Herta, Honda, 100, Running
12. (17) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 100, Running
13. (8) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 100, Running
14. (20) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 100, Running
15. (15) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 100, Running
16. (18) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 100, Running
17. (25) Jack Harvey, Honda, 100, Running
18. (14) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 100, Running
19. (23) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 100, Running
20. (19) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 97, Running
21. (22) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 97, Running
22. (26) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 97, Running
23. (21) David Malukas, Honda, 85, Contact
24. (3) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 80, Contact
25. (27) Graham Rahal, Honda, 50, Contact
26. (10) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 41, Contact
27. (16) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 1, Contact

Winner’s average speed: 80.922 mph; Time of Race: 02:01:58.1171; Margin of victory: 1.1843 seconds; Cautions: 7 for 32 laps; Lead changes: 10 among seven drivers. Lap Leaders: Palou 1-28; Power 29-33; O’Ward 34; Palou 35-55; Power 56-64; Palou 65; Rossi 66; Newgarden 67-68; Kirkwood 69; Ericsson 70-76; Palou 77-100.


Click here for the points tally in the race.

Here are the points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:



Engine manufacturers

Pit stop performance

Top 10 in points: Palou 273, Ericsson 222, Newgarden 203, Dixon 194, O’Ward 191, Rossi 176, McLaughlin 175, Power 172, Herta 149, Rosenqvist 148.

Rest of the standings: Grosjean 145, Kirkwood 142, Lundgaard 136, Ilott 116, VeeKay 108, Ferrucci 105, Armstrong 101, Rahal 99, Malukas 91, Daly 88, DeFrancesco 81, Castroneves 80, Harvey 78, Canapino 77, Pagenaud 72, Pedersen 61, Robb 55, Takuma Sato 37, Ed Carpenter 27, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, Tony Kanaan 18, Marco Andretti 13, RC Enerson 5, Katherine Legge 5.

Next race: IndyCar will head to Road America for the Sonsio Grand Prix, which will take place June 18 with coverage starting at 1 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.