Hard as it is to believe, this year marks the fifth United States Grand Prix at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas.
Lewis Hamilton heads into the weekend needing to secure his fourth win here in five years, having only lost in 2013 when Sebastian Vettel won for Red Bull.
Hamilton, then of McLaren, made a famous pass of Vettel to win in 2012, and then has done the same on Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg each of the last two years to win in 2014 and 2015.
Last year’s win sealed his third World Championship. Twelve months later, Hamilton heads to Austin down 33 points to Rosberg with four races remaining – even if he wins out, Rosberg would still win the title if he finished second in each race.
Hamilton has not scored a pole here though. Rosberg’s won the last two, Vettel the first two before the change in formula prior to 2014.
Vettel was in the record books for the furthest back to start at COTA to make it to the points; he came from the pit lane (18th) to seventh for Red Bull in 2014. Last year though, Carlos Sainz Jr. beat that mark by coming from 20th to seventh in the water-logged and heavy attrition race.
Only 10 drivers have competed in every USGP at COTA. They are, with their best finish:
- Lewis Hamilton (three wins)
- Nico Rosberg (two second-places)
- Sebastian Vettel (one win)
- Felipe Massa (two fourth-places)
- Daniel Ricciardo (one third-place)
- Sergio Perez (one fifth-place)
- Nico Hulkenberg (one sixth-place)
- Fernando Alonso (one third-place)
- Jenson Button (one fifth-place)
- Romain Grosjean (one second-place)
Here’s been the podiums the first four years:
- 2015: 1-Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 2-Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), 3-Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
- 2014: 1-Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 2-Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), 3-Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
- 2013: 1-Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), 2-Romain Grosjean (Lotus), 3-Mark Webber (Red Bull)
- 2012: 1-Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), 2-Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), 3-Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
Here’s the cumulative results of all drivers competing in this year’s United States Grand Prix with their records at Circuit of The Americas. Hamilton, of note, also has a win at the previous USGP site in Indianapolis in 2007, a race where Vettel made his Grand Prix debut and scored a point by finishing eighth for BMW Sauber.
Hamilton and Vettel are the only two drivers, additionally, who have scored in every USGP at COTA.
Three drivers – Jolyon Palmer, Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein – make their USGP debuts.
The grid is ordered below based on 2015 Constructor’s Championship standings, by team.
|7||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Red Bull||3||10||5||3||10||11||18||12|
|8||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Red Bull||8||4|
|9||11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Force India||5||5||11||17-R||7||7||15||11|
|10||27||Nico Hulkenberg||GER||Force India||6||14-R||13||16-R||4||6||6||8|
|13||26||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Toro Rosso||4||13-R||17||15|
|14||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||SPN||Toro Rosso||20||7|
Key: ST-Started, FIN-Finished, R-Retired, PL-Pit Lane, DNP-Did Not Participate but was active in that season
Here’s the team breakdown of every USGP result at COTA since 2012. Haas, of course, makes its debut this year.
Eight of 10 teams scored here last year, the only exceptions being Williams and Manor. This race also marks Sauber’s most recent points scoring appearance, with Felipe Nasr having come ninth last year.
A funny statistical quirk is that the grid size has not been the same in successive USGPs at COTA since it started. There were 24 cars in 2012, then 22 in 2013, down to 18 in 2014 with Manor and Caterham absent, then back to 20 last year with Manor’s return, and back to 22 this year with Haas’ arrival.
Teams that have scored at the USGP at COTA every year are:
- Red Bull
- Renault (as Lotus)
Finishing results are below:
|Car 1||Car 2||Car 1||Car 2||Car 1||Car 2||Car 1||Car 2|