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Circuit of the Americas

Formula 1 circuit

Circuit of the Americas
Credit: Mercedes
Vital statistics for Circuit of the Americas
CircuitCircuit of the Americas
CountryUnited States
Race debut2012
Results for the 2017 United States Grand Prix
Pole positionLewis Hamilton
Race winnerLewis Hamilton
Fastest lapSebastian Vettel

The Circuit of the Americas is one of the most successful of the new entrants to the Formula One world. Although contract negotiations looked as though it could halt the appearance of COTA in 2012, the race went ahead, with great success. The imposing first corner heads straight uphill to a blind and extremely tight left hand corner, and the rest of the track echoes the best of F1 circuits - Turkey's Turn 8, Hockenheim's Stadium and more.

F1 history

The return of the United States Grand Prix in 2012 did a lot of good mending the rift that had occurred between Formula One and the US. The Circuit of the Americas track was a highlight amongst the new breed of circuits, a race that wasn’t boring, a track that wasn’t dull. The 2013 race couldn’t live up to the expectations placed upon it, the championship was already over and Sebastian Vettel was riding high on a wave of domination. But even so, the fans and drivers still appreciate what the track has brought to F1, and what it has done to mend relations.

There hasn’t been an American driver since Scott Speed left Formula One in 2007, and two years before that, the ill-fated US Grand Prix of 2005 left the country with a bitter taste in their mouths. Concern about the safety of the tyres left most of the field withdrawing from the race, and only six cars participating. Since then, F1 has been working to make amends and the arrival of this new race helped. The potential for another Grand Prix in New Jersey will also lend a hand, although that race was initially on the calendar for 2014 before being postponed.

The sole US race takes place at the Circuit of the Americas, a new track that has cherry picked some of the best features of other popular events on the calendar. Highlight corners include the best from Brazil and Hockenheim, as well as the fiendishly difficult Turn 8 from the Istanbul track. It’s the first corner that garners the most attention, however, with an impressive elevation lift leading up to a blind left hand corner. For the first few years, we expected chaos at that corner but the drivers took it steadily and avoided huge incidents. It’s still an excellent challenge to start off any lap, though.

The rest of the lap, running anti-clockwise, features more hills and troughs, as well as a handful of straights broken up by chicanes. The back straight ends in an exceptionally slow corner, whilst the final sector includes the multi-apexed corner that mimics the idea in Turkey.

Elevation changes are something the Circuit of the Americas has over other new tracks added to the calendar in recent years. That, and the passionate fans that flood the track each year to cheer on Formula One. Although the US has several of their own high-profile motorsport series to fight for attention, Formula One can hold its own in the country, and this track is just the one to support it.

Learn more about Circuit of the Americas with the Pocket F1 Handbook.