20 October: Practice 1 (10:00) / Practice 2 (14:00)
21 October: Practice 3 (12:00) / Qualifying (15:00)
22 October: Race (14:00)
Track: Circuit of the Americas
Location: Texas, USA
First race: 2012
Length: 5.513 km/ 3.425 m
Fastest lap: 1:39.347 (Sebastian Vettel, 2012)
2016 winner: Lewis Hamilton
America is next up on the F1 calendar and it could be a deciding weekend yet again.
With Ferrari’s fall from grace in recent races, not only could Mercedes wrap up the constructors this weekend but Hamilton could snatch the title with 3 races still to go.Mind you it won’t be that easy as Hamilton needs Vettel to finish lower than 6th or lower to have any chance of taking his 4th championship, even then he still needs to win.
However, that is something Hamilton is used to doing as he has won all but one of the 5 races held around this track, that one being in 2013 when Vettel went on a clean run of 9 straight wins to take that years title.
This track could potentially favour either Mercedes or Ferrari with the high-speed esses o sector one and the long back straight, there’s a good mix here which isn’t surprising given most of the track was inspired by several current an previous circuits.
Two big things to look out for this week as well are the new signings of Sainz at Renault and Toro Rosso stand in Brendon Hartley, who will make his F1 debut having been a reserve for the team back in 2010.
Although Sainz isn’t expecting to match Hulkenberg straight off the bat, it will be interesting to see how he matches up to the German and how he settles in ahead of a full season with French team next year.
Brendon on the other hand, I’ll admit I hadn’t heard of him before he was announced, will be the first New Zealander to race in F1 since Mike Thackwell in 1984. Don’t expect much, but if he can bet close to the points then he can pat himself on the back.
Top 5 prediction