PRIXVIEW – United States Grand Prix 2023

Features Prixview

Round eighteen sees F1’s second of three visits to the United States kicking off the Americas leg of the championship with four races in five weeks and the American sandwich of races with the country’s ‘national Grand Prix’ near the Texan capital and county seat of Austin. Since 2012, the country’s first purpose built Grand Prix circuit has been one of the highlights of the season.

The 3.426-mile Circuit of the Americas or COTA was created from scratch in the early 2010s and drew on inspiration from some of the best corners from around the world but it doesn’t make Austin feel like a jumbled up of circuits. It creates a circuit which drivers enjoy such as Maggots and Becketts (Silverstone), The Stadium Section/Sach, Parabolica  and Hairpin (Hockenheim), Diabolica/Turn Eight (Istanbul) and it own unique Turn One.

The circuit name reflects the fact Austin is in the southern central of the United States boarding Mexico, a mix of cultures from the US, Texas and Mexico. Austin is not only the state capital and county seat of Triv but also the hub for many festivals including COTA. The nature of Austin makes it perfect for the sprint format, long straights and fast following sections through Maggots and Becketts.

Austin is a circuit which drivers love because of its corners and overtaking opportunities, in the eleven races we have seen over the last twelve years there has been close racing between drivers and the odd surprise win. Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver with five of his six US GP wins being at COTA.

Austin is one of the few circuits to run anti-clockwise, the circuit contains more left-hand turns than right-hand ones, placing greater physical demands on the drivers whose bodies, particularly their necks, are more adapted to the lateral g-forces of clockwise circuits.

The race along with Netflix is credited with helping break the sport into Americas following the disastrous 2005 Grand Prix. Austin has created a. template with all the off track events as well as support series, this weekend marks the first United States Grand Prix and the first time the F1 Academy has run at the same venue on the same weekend as F1, it will officially be a full-time support series from 2024.

The United States Grand Prix, originally American Grand Prize, is the oldest non-European Grand Prix being first held in March 1908 to European Regulations by the percussor to the FIA. The pre-war years say the race held in Savannah, Georgia, which had staged two days of successful stock car races on March 18 and 19, 1908, won the rights to stage the event.

The following year the championship would not be formed until 1925, before evolving into F1 for drivers in 1950 and constructors in 1957. Despite the success of the Savannah event, it was decided that the 1909 race would be held on Long Island, in conjunction with the Vanderbilt Cup. The American entry into WWI in 1917 saw the race go on forty year hiatus.

Though the Indy 500 was by defacto the US Grand Prix in F1 between 1950 and 1957, the race was revived as a non-championship race in 1958. Then became the final race of the season, 1959 as the second race in the States briefly becoming the first country to host two world championship rounds. The first three years saw it alternate between riverside on the west coast and Sebring, Florida. Florida wouldn’t hold a race for sixty years until Miami joined in 2022.

The early 1960s would see domination by the Brits, Innes Ireland taking victory and the first for Team Lotus after finishing over four seconds ahead of Dan Gurney. Followed by Jim Clark in 1962, then Graham Hill for the next three years.

Hill’s 1964 win gave him the advantage going to the final race in Mexico City. Clark would take his only win of the 1966 season at The Glenn and again the following Mario Andretti would take his maiden pole in 1968.

This would be three years when several drivers would take their first, Jochen Rindt and Emerson Fittipaldi their first win in 1969 and 1970 respectively. Fittipaldi’s win would be on only his fourth start, after Stewart retired his new Tyrrell and Fittipaldi, driving a Lotus, held off a charge from Mexican Pedro Rodriguez in a BRM.

For most of its history, 1961 to 1967 the race was held at Watkins Glenn in New York,  these early history like Mexico City it would be dominated by the Brits. But 1968 saw Italian-American Mario Andretti take his first pole. This would be three years when several drivers would take their first, Jochen Rindt and Emerson Fittipaldi their first win in 1969 and 1970 respectively.

Fittipaldi’s win would be on only his fourth start, after Stewart retired his new Tyrrell and Fittipaldi, driving a Lotus, held off a charge from Mexican Pedro Rodriguez in a BRM. Following his death in FP2 at Monza Jacky Ickx retired from the race in 1970 with a broken fuel line,, dropping him out the championship battle.

The US has been key in deciding championships in the 1970s and 2010s, the 1974 decider was one of them. Tied on points it was simple between them,  would seal the title. Regazzoni had issues with his Ferrari and dropped out of the points, allowing Fittipaldi finished fifth which won him his second Drivers’ Championship.

1976 the penultimate race of the season saw James Hunt take victory and close the gap to Niki Lauda going into the final race in Fuji. The Englishman won again closing the gap after being Mario Andretti by two seconds. Andretti would be champion the following season.

In the late 1970s the circuit began to deteriorate. Drivers began complaining about the bumpy track surface, and the teams and press were concerned over facilities, the lacklustre level of security and rowdy fans. It eventually dropped off the calendar and was replaced by several races in America going by city or state names.

Texas first held a race in Dallas in 1984 which was won by Keke Rosberg, but the heat of the summer caused several problems for the drivers with  Nigel Mansell took pole position in the other Lotus-Renault and led the first half of the race, before suffering a gearbox failure at the very end and collapsing from exhaustion while trying to push his car over the finish line.

The US GP was briefly back on the calendar between 1989-91 was dominated by the rivalry between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, The 1989 race saw Prost win his only Grand Prix in the United States by taking advantage of Senna’s engine electronics problems. The 1990 race saw Jean Alesi harrying Senna for several laps; the Tyrrell driver went on to finish second behind Senna.

The circuit had to be changed for the 1991 race due to the construction of a new Phoenix Suns basketball arena, and the revised circuit was generally seen to be an improvement. Senna won the race from pole position.

In the early 2000s the race returned to Indianapolis and a newly built road course within the oval, that season saw a record attendance for a Grand Prix in America. Michael Schumacher took victory his fourth in a row allowing him to overtake Mikka Häkkinen as they both fought for their third championship, the German took victory and his third world championship.

2005 saw one of the e most controversial race weekends known as ‘IndyGate’ all the Michelin-supplied teams were forced to withdraw after a series of tyre failures through the final corner because of tyre failures. Of the six starters, Schumacher was the eventual winner, with his teammate Rubens Barrichello finishing second.

Lewis Hamilton took back-to-back wins in 2007 and 2012, the seven-time champion win in 2007 followed a week after his first win in Montreal. Hamilton took victory ahead of his teammate Fernando Alonso the team’s first one-two since Häkkinen and David Coulthard in 2001

After five year off the calendar, the race moved to the first purpose-built F1 circuit in Austin, a circuit which is regarded as one of the best of the newer circuits on the calendar because of its flowing nature, especially in the first sector, it suits a driver who can attack in the medium and high-speed corners. Red Bull will be strong here as Max Verstappen looks for his third consecutive win in Austin.

Hamilton, his 2015 win saw him clinch his third championship after passing teammate Nico Rosberg in the closing stages. The race full of incidents only saw twelve cars reach the finish line, with Max Verstappen repeating his best result of the season in fourth.

Kimi Raikkonen’s final win of his career came in 2018, the Finn made a one-stop race work setting a record for the number of races between wins having last won in Melbourne at the start of 2013, a hundred and thirteen races previous. It was also Ferrari’s first win at COTA and the first in the US since 2006.

2019 saw Valtteri Bottas take victory ahead of Hamilton, who wrapped his sixth. There was no race in 2020 due to the pandemic. In 2021 Max Verstappen had put pressure on him in the closing stages, but his charge was halted when Kevin Magnussen had a brake failure on the final lap.

Race & Circuit Guide

Round 18 of 22
Race Lenovo United States Grand Prix 2023
Venue          Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas
Configuration 2012
Circuit Length 5.513km (3.426mi)
Sprint Laps 19
Race Distance 104.747km (65.094m)
Grand Prix Laps 57
Race Distance 308.405km (191.634mi)
Lap Record Race 01:36.169 (Monaco Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, 2019)
Outright 01:32.029 (Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 2019)
Most wins drivers Sir Lewis Hamilton (6)
Most wins manufacture Ferrari (10)

Fast facts

  • No American has ever won the US GP since it has been a round of the World Championship. However, a total of six American drivers have won the United States Grand Prix, all except one when it was known as the American Grand Prize. Mario Andretti won the 1977 United States Grand Prix West
  • In 2019, Lewis Hamilton became the first driver to clinch the Driver’ Championship in the United States twice. He previously won the 2015 title at the Circuit of the Americas.
  • Many drivers consider the United States Grand Prix as one of their favourite races on the calendar. The challenging track, passionate fans, and vibrant atmosphere make it a memorable experience for both competitors and spectators.
  • Eleven circuits have previously hosted grands prix: Sebring, Riverside, Watkins Glen, Phoenix, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas (Creasers Place, Long Beach, and Indianapolis and Miami, Las Vegas (Street Circuit) becomes number twelve in four weeks’ time.

Event timetable


Local (CDT)



Practice 12:30-13:30 18:30-19:30
Qualifying 16:00-17:00 22:00-23:00


Sprint Qualifying 12:30-13:15 18:30-19:30
Sprint 17:00 23:00


Race 14 20:00

What happened in 2022?

Carlos Sainz beat his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc six-hundredths of a second to take pole position. The Spaniard lighted up the times on his final run despite gusty conditions catching his teammate out in Q3 both look close throughout qualifying. However, a new PU for Leclerc saw him drop to eleventh on the grid.

Max Verstappen was three hundredths further behind, but the mood at Red Bull was sombre less than an hour after the death of the team’s owner Diedrich Mateschitz, and accusations by rivals of ‘cheating’ after being found to have breached the cost cap, they deny those claims. The Dutchman put his car nearly two-tenths ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez, as the two drivers looked unable to challenge for pole position this weekend.

Neither Haas made it out of Q1, Kevin Magnussen being one of the drivers who was pushed out by late improvements.

Verstappen won the race following a race long battle with Lewis Hamilton, beating him by three seconds after they had a late duel in the race. Although Mercedes looked defenceless to stop Verstappen which wasn’t helped by a botch pit stop, which allowed Mercedes into the closing stages.

He then lunged passed Hamilton in the closing stages of the race taking the lead with three laps to go. Verstappen’s thirteenth win of the season puts the Dutchman level with Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel on F1’s single-season win record, with thirteen win one in a season for the multiple world champions.

Charles Leclerc was third after recovering from a ten-place grid penalty for a power unit change, giving Ferrari a podium after teammate Sainz’s retirement. The safety cars allowed him to gain positions in the pit stops and jump both Perez and Russell.

Sainz who started from pole position lost out to Verstappen at the start before being shunted into Russell as the Spaniard locked up and spun at the start resulting in the water leak, and his eventual retirement.

Race Result – 1) M. Verstappen, Red Bull, 01:42:11.687 | 2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +00:05.032| 3) C. Leclerc, Ferrari, +00:07.501

What to watch for?

Red Bull goes into this weekend as the favourites as they have been all season, as we know last time out in Doha Max Verstappen wrapped up his third title. I think after doing three in a row does he almost have that fatigue drivers can get and subconsciously switch off, I doubt it given the way he is performing this year and that begs the question how many races can he win with five left this season.

Normally after the championship is sealed all the drivers become unleashed and we get these bizarre results. I wouldn’t dismiss if Red Bull runs into difficulty in these remaining races, surprises but we know they are strong and have largely got it right this season.

Austin is a circuit which suits Red Bull it’s a high-speed and downforce circuit bringing together several circuits where we know they have been very strong this season, this is the start of another triple header with five races in three weeks. Red Bull can be beaten but they need bad luck and say the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes to have a chance this weekend I think they need luck.

This is our first double sprint weekend I think it will be interesting to see how teams use what they learned in Lusail for this weekend, the conditions are not as extreme in Texas at this time of the year. Mercedes, I think is on the up but there are some frictions could start to emerge between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, Hamilton has however take responsibility for the collision in Doha.

The midfield battle should be closer this weekend because Austin is a good circuit for racing, but its also hard on tyres and though I think we are not going to see the same situation as Doha this could be a multi-stop race. Though I don’t think we will know that until Sunday morning.

This is a very important time of year in the battle for fifth in the constructors as that’s worth a lot of money for teams. McLaren are now in that battle given their remarkable turnaround since the summer, they are only eleven points behind Aston Martin in the constructors. I believe that they have switched positions in terms of performance since the summer.

They are unlikely to be caught unless Alpine win serval races and they have poor results, but I think they can score points but it’s about consistency in results.

2021 vs 2022 Race Data

P1 Fastest

P2 Fastest

P3 Fastest

Q1 Fastest

Q2 Fastest

Q3 Fastest

Race Time

Fastest Lap


01:36.857 01:36.810 01:35.825 01:35.297 01:35.246 01:34.356 01:42:11.687 01:38.788


+01.983 +01.864 +01.124 +01.144 +01.782 +00.892 +09:25.135 +00.303


01:34.874 01:34.946 01:34.701 01:34.153 01:33.464 01:33.464 01:33:36.552 01:38.485

2022 Lap time comparison

Fastest Time
Fastest Time
Fastest Time
Fastest Time
Fastest Time
Fastest Time
Race. Time
01:37.332 +00.475 01:39.698 +02.888 01:36.401 +00.576 01:36.148 +00.851 01:35.692 +00.446 01:34.947 +00.591 01:42:16.710 +00:05.023 +00:05.023
Red Bull
01:37.081 +00.224 01:39.575 +02.765 01:35.825 +00.000 01:35.864 +00.567 01:35.294 +00.048 01:34.448 +00.092 01:42:11.687 +00:00.000 +00:00.00
01:36.857 +00.000 01:36.810 +00.000 01:36.145 +00.320 01:35.297 +00.000 01:35.246 +00.000 01:34.356 +00.000 01:42:19.188 +00:07.501 +00:02.478
01:37.856 +00.999 01:37.627 +00.817 01:37.449 +01.624 01:35.465 +01.168 01:36.341 +01.095 01:35.690 +01.334 01:43:05.472 +00:53.785 +00:08.970
Aston Martin
01:38.041 +01.184 01:40.806 +003.996 01:37.151 +01.362 01:36.695 +01.398 01:36.398 +00.786 01:35.598 +01.242 01:43:17.041 +01:05.354 +00:10.276
Alpha Tauri
01:37.810 +00.945 01:40.178 +03.368 01:37.290 +01.465 01:36.577 +01.280 01:36.740 +01.494 N/A 01:43:22.606 +01:21.763 +00:01.706
01:37.713 +00.856 01:41.310 +04.500 01:36.928 +01.103 01:36.446 +01.149 01:35.988 +00.742 01:35.876 +01.520 01:43:06.765 +00:55.07 +00:01.293
01:38.922 +02.065 01:40.084 +02.697 01:37.622 +01.694 01:36.949 +01.652 N/A N/A 01:43:17.521 +01:05.834 +00:00.480
Alfa Romeo
01:38.276 +01.419 01:37.525 +00.715 01:37.310 +01.485 01:36.656 +01.359 01:36.321 +01.075 01:36.319 +01.963 01:43:27.851 +01:16.164 +00:03.289
01:38.422 +01.565 01:41.853 +05.043 01:37.904 +02.079 01:36.932 +01.635 01:36.368 +01.122 N/A 01:43:55.275 +01:43.588 +00:13.101


White Hard (C2)

Yellow Medium (C3)

Red Soft (C4)

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