Getty Images

Cumulative results heading into fifth USGP at COTA

Leave a comment

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.

2015 2014 2013 2012
1 44 Lewis Hamilton GB Mercedes 2 1 2 1 5 4 2 1
2 6 Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes 1 2 1 2 12 9 17 13
3 5 Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari 13 3 PL 7 1 1 1 2
4 7 Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari 18 16-R 8 13 DNP DNP 4 6
5 19 Felipe Massa BRZ Williams 7 17-R 4 4 13 12 11 4
6 77 Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams 16 19-R 3 5 9 8
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
11 20 Kevin Magnussen DEN Renault 7 8
12 30 Jolyon Palmer GB Renault First USGP
13 26 Daniil Kvyat RUS Toro Rosso 4 13-R 17 15
14 55 Carlos Sainz Jr. SPN Toro Rosso 20 7
15 9 Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber 14 15-R DNP DNP
16 12 Felipe Nasr BRZ Sauber 15 9
17 14 Fernando Alonso SPN McLaren 9 11 6 6 6 5 7 3
18 22 Jenson Button GB McLaren 11 6 12 12 15 10 12 5
19 31 Esteban Ocon FRA Manor First USGP
20 94 Pascal Wehrlein GER Manor First USGP
21 8 Romain Grosjean FRA Haas 10 18-R 16 11 3 2 8 7
22 21 Esteban Gutierrez MEX Haas 15 14 20 13

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:

  • Ferrari
  • Red Bull
  • Renault (as Lotus)
  • McLaren

Finishing results are below:

2015 2014 2013 2012
Car 1 Car 2 Car 1 Car 2 Car 1 Car 2 Car 1 Car 2
Mercedes 1 2 1 2 4 9 13 16
Ferrari 3 16-R 6 13 5 12 3 4
Williams 17-R 19-R 4 5 8 17 9 10
Red Bull 10 13-R 3 7 1 3 2 23-R
Force India 5 14-R 16-R 17-R 15 22-R 8 15
Renault 8 18-R 9 11 2 14 6 7
Toro Rosso 7 13-R 10 15 11 16 12 24-R
Sauber 9 15-R 14 18-R 6 13 11 14
McLaren 6 11 8 12 7 10 1 5
Manor 12 20-R DNP DNP 18 21 19 20

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
Leave a comment

As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”