Austin is the first of a series of four races—three of them in a row—on the American continent. And we will start with the Grand Prix of the United States, a country with a deep automotive tradition but has not seen F1 take root until recent years, thanks to the initiatives launched by Liberty Media in different sections.
The Circuit of the Americas has continuously hosted the American GP since 2012, with the only exception being 2020, when the event was canceled due to the pandemic. I would describe the COTA as a full track with a medium to high level of downforce. Turn 1, which turns left, comes after an incredible climb of 22 meters and is only 200 meters from the starting line. This situation makes the start of the GP very interesting, with many drivers looking for the best line from different points. This turn begins with the first fluid sector, characterized by a series of medium- and high-speed curves that lead to a hairpin (11). Immediately comes a long straight that leads to the last part of the route, characterized by a gentle, 90-degree turn.
The wheels are subjected to lateral forces, which are relatively balanced between the two axles, so there is no specific corner where the car suffers special stress. In any case, it is important to have good traction on slow corners. The asphalt is quite bumpy despite the partial resurfacing done last year, an aspect that can cause some tire slippage, which can cause overheating. The most common deterioration in Austin is thermal, and graining is rare. The race is often held in the fall, a time of the year when the weather can be very changeable, even for short periods. Therefore, it is not surprising to see the alternation of sun and rain, as well as a wide range of temperatures.
The Sprint format comes to Austin for the first time, another opportunity for fans who are more passionate about modern F1 and eager to enjoy the spectacle.
- Circuit of the Americas drivers can use the C2 as P Zero White (hard), the C3 as P Zero Yellow (medium), and the C4 as P Zero Red (soft).
- Medium and hard compounds were used on this track last year. The winner of that race, Max Verstappen, made his first and last move with Medios, and for the central part, he chose Hard. In 2022, there will be two neutralizations of car safety.
- Austin will host a Sprint weekend for the first time in history. The program, therefore, includes a free session on Friday and the GP classification. On Saturday, the shootout and the short race will take place.
- This weekend, the 75th GP will be held in the United States. A total of 11 circuits take part in these races, with Watkins Glen leading with 20 editions, followed by Indianapolis with 19.
- Austin has held 10 F1 Grand Prix, five of which were won by Lewis Hamilton, the last one in 2017. Just a decade ago, in 2007, the Briton achieved his first victory in the category in Indianapolis.
- The layout of the Circuit of the Americas, designed by Herman Tilke, was inspired by several legendary sections of other circuits: the one covering turns 3 to 6, similar to the Maggotts-Becketts complex at Silverstone, the one connecting turns 12 to 15; The section from Hockenheim and 16 to 18 reminds me of the legendary turn 8 of Istanbul Park.
- The F1 Academy will share the Formula 1 bill for the first time in Austin to celebrate the final event of the year. This category, which is intended for female drivers and relies on Pirelli as the sole tire supplier, will hold three races that will serve to crown their first champion. Marta García (Prema) leads the classification with 235 points, followed by Lena Buhler (ART Grand Prix) with 187 and Hamda Al Qubaisi (MP Motorsport) with 179.
F1 USA schedules:
The 2023 Formula 1 World Championship can be followed through DAZN F1 in Spain as well as through Movistar +, which plans to regain exclusive rights for the next campaign. Meanwhile, in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, and Peru, they broadcast the competition through Star + and ESPN. From Mexico, the broadcast channel is Fox Sports, while in the United States, you can watch F1 on ESPN.