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Race information - United States 2016 // F1 crosses the pond for the popular Austin event

Published by Christine

For a relatively new entry to the Formula One calendar, the US Grand Prix has bucked the trend and provided some pretty good racing over the last couple of seasons. However, last year was something of a washout, with qualifying delayed until just a few hours before the race itself! This year, all fingers are crossed that we can have a sensible weekend, as there's enough going on in the sport to be concentrating on without the weather intervening to that degree.

Event schedule

Rosberg holds a commanding position in the championship after Hamilton has been the victim of bad luck and poor starts for the last few races. With over 30 points between the two Mercedes drivers, the defending champion has a lot of work to do to get back to the top, but it's still possible and four races is a lot of time for anything to happen.

The bad start syndrome is not just affecting Hamilton, as other drivers have struggled with the new race start process this year. In fact, Felipe Massa talked just this week about how starts can be a fifty-fifty luck of the draw event. With the Austin track featuring a short uphill run to the first corner, it's going to be really interesting to see who can get away well this Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Haas F1 team will be celebrating their home race, being the only F1 team from the USA in the sport at the moment. Nico Hülkenberg will also be happy after signing a new deal with Renault - it'll be worth watching to see if he aims to go out on a high at Force India, or if he's just counting the days until he can get into a new car now.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
21 OctFridayFree Practice 116:00
GMT +01:00
10:00
GMT -05:00
Free Practice 220:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT -05:00
22 OctSaturdayFree Practice 316:00
GMT +01:00
10:00
GMT -05:00
Qualifying19:00
GMT +01:00
13:00
GMT -05:00
23 OctSundayGrand Prix20:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT -05:00

Support racing for this event includes Masters Historic Racing and Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.

Expected conditions

Unlike last year's slightly crazy wet weather conditions on Friday and Saturday, there's talk of sunshine for both practice and qualifying. The clouds are due to move in as the weekend draws on, but the clouds should contain their moisture and there should be no rain hitting the track at any point. We'll see!

Mostly sunny skies

Austin, Friday

25℃

  • Low 11℃
  • Humidity 41%

Mostly sunny skies

Sunny to partly cloudy

Austin, Saturday

28℃

  • Low 13℃
  • Humidity 37%

Sunny to partly cloudy

Sun and areas of high clouds

Austin, Sunday

29℃

  • Low 19℃
  • Humidity 55%

Sun and areas of high clouds

Circuit history

Circuit information
CircuitCircuit of the Americas
LocationAustin
CountryUnited States
TimezoneGMT -06:00
Race debut2012
Laps56
Length5.513 km
Distance308.405 km
Line offset0.323 km

This is the fifth F1 race to be held at the Circuit of the Americas, as the Austin-based track beds in and starts to get comfortable with its motorsport status. The track has only been slightly tweaked from last year, with a couple of bumps smoothed out, and some additional kerbing added in. That doesn't sound like much, but kerbs have been causing problems all season long, so keep a wary eye out for them.

Unlike many of the recent new additions to the F1 calendar, COTA's layout has been applauded for providing relatively exciting racing. The first corner is a wonder to behold, the staggering uphill, blind left hand corner providing a challenge at every point of the weekend. Even once that is completed, the rest of the track is no easier, with a mixture of faster and slower corners, plus a tight hairpin at turn 11.

Although a lot of fun to watch, the track can be tough for drivers due to the high levels of concentration required, and for the cars as well. It's a medium downforce track but can be particularly tough on brakes, so any drivers who have been struggling with those components (hint, Grosjean) will need to be mindful, particularly on race day.

Results for the 2015 United States Grand Prix
SessionDriverTeamTime
Free Practice 1Nico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:53.989
Free Practice 3Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:59.517
QualifyingNico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:56.824
Grand PrixLewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:50:52.703
Fastest lapNico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:40.666

Tyre compounds

This week, Pirelli have gone a step softer on the tyre compound spectrum than they did in Japan, with the medium, softs and supersofts on offer for drivers. The US track hasn't been resurfaced but has had some of the more serious bumps ground down, so tyre wear should be manageable through the race. It's the first time we've seen the supersoft at the track, so we could see some fast laps times as the sessions unfold.

As usual, Rosberg and Hamilton have opted for different strategies, with Hamilton going for one extra set of mediums to his teammate. The Ferrari duo, as well as both Saubers and Romain Grosjean, have all decided to bring only one set of white compounds each, however, opting to err on the softer side of the selection.

Selected tyre sets per driver
Medium tyreSoft tyreSupersoft tyre
Lewis Hamilton346
Nico Rosberg256
Sebastian Vettel157
Kimi Räikkönen157
Valtteri Bottas337
Felipe Massa247
Daniel Ricciardo436
Max Verstappen436
Nico Hülkenberg337
Sergio Pérez328
Kevin Magnussen436
Jolyon Palmer526
Daniil Kvyat337
Carlos Sainz337
Marcus Ericsson157
Felipe Nasr157
Fernando Alonso346
Jenson Button346
Pascal Wehrlein355
Esteban Ocon355
Romain Grosjean157
Esteban Gutiérrez247

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
DayAttendeeRepresenting
ThursdayValtteri BottasWilliams Martini Racing
Romain GrosjeanHaas F1 Team
Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
Nico HülkenbergSahara Force India F1 Team
Kevin MagnussenRenault Sport F1 Team
Sebastian VettelScuderia Ferrari
FridayCyril AbiteboulRenault Sport F1 Team
Maurizio ArrivabeneScuderia Ferrari
Gene HaasHaas F1 Team
Christian HornerRed Bull Racing
Monisha KaltenbornSauber F1 Team
Toto WolffMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
SaturdayThree fastest drivers
SundayFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process includes a former F1 driver to offer added insight. These stewards are overseeing the weekend's action.

FIA stewards
NamePosition
Silvia BellotMember of the Royal Spanish Automobile Federation Board of Directors, FIA Women in Motorsport Commission Member, and FIA steward.
Mark BlundellFormer Formula One driver, CART racer and Le Mans 24 Hours winner.
Paul GutjahrPresident of the FIA Hill Climb Commission, board member and President of Auto Sport Suisse SARL

All content in the series United States 2016