Welcome to Austin, Formula One
For the first time since 2007, the United States will host the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX. Previously held in Indianapolis, the United States Grand Prix dates to 1908 and was one of the premier races on the Formula One World Championship schedule.
Austin, Texas will be the site of this year's event at the recently constructed Circuit of The Americas. Covering over 1,000 acres, The Circuit is the only FIA-certified Grade 1 track in the United States, and one of only 26 Grade 1-certified motorsports facilities in the world.
The Circuit of the Americas track is a 3.4-mile circuit track with capacity for 120,000 fans and an elevation change of 133 feet. It will also be the site of the 2013 Grand-AM, 2013 MotoGP Championship, and 2013 V8 Supercars Championship.
The new circuit poses several challenges for teams and drivers. With a limited amount of time to prepare for the new surface, drivers will rely on simulators and pre-race practice to develop a better understanding of the twist and turns of Circuit of The Americas.
Pedro de la Rosa of HRT stated, "The truth is we don’t know much about this circuit. All I know about it is from what I’ve seen on the Internet. The first thing that strikes you about this track is the number of gradient changes and how extreme they are. The important thing is for our car to adapt well to this circuit and we will dedicate Friday to learning the track and setting up the car."
Many teams and drivers are in this position, which should even the field for next weekend's race. The team who can adapt the fastest will likely win this year's United States Grand Prix!
United States Grand Prix Preview
The excitement of United States Formula One racing is amplified by what is on the line at the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX.
This weekend's race is likely to decide both the 2012 drivers’ and constructors’ titles for the Formula One World Championship.
Current Driver Standings
The race for the Formula One Drivers' Championship has come down to Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. With two races remaining, Vettel holds a 10 point lead on Alonso for this year's World Championship.
If Vettel can hold on to the points lead, he will become the first driver to win three consecutive Formula One World Drivers' Championships since Michael Schumacher. Vettel will face a far greater challenge this year as opposed to 2011. Last year, Vettel clinched the World Championship by Race 15 with a 122 point margin. With only 10 points separating first and second, Vettel will need to finish ahead of Alonso to secure his third consecutive championship.
Alonso is no stranger to winning World Championships. A two-time winner in 2005 & 2006, Alonso looks to recapture some of the momentum he gained earlier in the season. A three time winner in 2012, Alonso hasn't won a race since July when he captured the German Grand Prix. A win in Austin will put pressure on the resurgent Vettel and line-up a showdown in Brazil later this month.
Current Team Standings
|1.||Red Bull Racing-Renault||422|
Along with Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Racing-Renault is poised to capture its third straight Formula One World Constructors' Championship. With two races remaining and 82 point lead, it's virtually assured that Red Bull Racing-Renault will win this year's championship.
Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel have combined for seven wins in 2012, including four out of the last five races. Hard to believe that it's been a far cry from their 2011 performance where Webber and Vettel combined for 12 wins that season!
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa need an impressive showing in Austin to keep them in the running. A one-two finish in Austin is needed from Alonso and Massa, including some additional poor performances from Red Bull Racing-Renault. It's a lot to ask, but it could happen!