Formula 1 United States Grand Prix preview

Circuit of the Americas, home of the Formula One United States Grand Prix

Circuit of the Americas, home of the Formula One United States Grand Prix

Four rounds and 100 points. That’s all that’s left in the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship.

Mercedes-AMG’s Lewis Hamilton leads the Drivers’ Championship, and right now nothing short of a miracle will see Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel return to the top spot since a 59-point gap separates the two drivers. You can be sure Ferrari will be working around the clock to ensure there are no more mechanical issues costing it crucial points.

Despite the championship title close to being decided already, there’s still plenty of action to look forward to in the remaining rounds. The next is the United States Grand Prix which is on this weekend at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.

This year will mark the sixth consecutive year the U.S. race has been held at COTA, a favorite among drivers for its 3.43-mile anticlockwise layout. In addition, there are more fast corners than Spa-Francorchamps and more slow corners than the Hungaroring—a combination that makes this circuit a huge challenge for teams looking for ideal car setup.

Unpredictable weather can also be an issue here. Looking at this weekend’s forecast for Austin, we should see fine conditions on Sunday’s race though Saturday’s qualifying session might be hampered by some wet weather. Pirelli has nominated its soft, supersport and ultrasoft tires.

Going into the weekend, Hamilton leads the Drivers’ Championship with 306 points. Vettel is second with 247 points and Bottas third with 234 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes leads with 540 points versus the 395 of Ferrari and 303 of Red Bull. Last year’s winner at the United States Grand Prix was Hamilton.

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In other F1 news, McLaren has confirmed that it has extended Fernando Alonso’s contract while Toro Rosso has confirmed that World Endurance Championship driver Brendon Hartley will be sitting in for Pierre Gasly this weekend. Toro Rosso has also called back Daniil Kvyat to fill in for Carlos Sainz who has replaced Jolyon Palmer at Renault.

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