Categorized | Featured Stories, News, Previews

F1 2016: United States Gp Preview – Rosberg v Hamilton In Texas

The F1 paddock travels halfway around the world from Japan to the lone star state of Texas and the Circuit of the Americas for the 16th round of the season.

The Circuit of the Americas (COTA), designed by F1 architect Herman Tilke, hosted its first race in 2012. As one of the newest circuits on the calendar it doesn’t quite fit into the mold of a modern circuit. While it does have acres of run-off areas like its modern counterparts its in the layout where you can see a real throwback to old school circuit. The Esses section in Sector 1 is especially reminiscent of the Maggots-Becketts section at Silverstone with a hint of Suzuka bleeding into the combination.

“The track in Austin is sick, I love it. It has a lot of unique features like the wide apex at turn one, you could fit about four cars side by side through there. There are loads of opportunities to overtake and have fun throughout the whole track. It has fast flowing sections and hairpins, pretty much everything I like in a track,” says Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

F1-2012-austin-texasIn 2015 a colossal level or rain mired the Texas grand prix weekend and severely impacted the level of spectators in the stands. However, the weather forecast for the 2016 race weekend is lot sunnier, literally and figuratively. Twelve months ago Lewis Hamilton arrived in Texas with one hand on the driver’s title but one year later it’s a much different story for the Mercedes driver. He trails teammate Nico Rosberg by 33 points with a maximum of 100 points still available.

This means that even if Hamilton wins all four of the remaining races it does not ensure that he will win the title. Even if this situation eventuates Rosberg would still need to finish third in at least one of the races for Hamilton to be champion.

But in the dominant era of Mercedes there has never been a better chance for Lewis Hamilton to show a real champion’s courage. Not ever has any driver or champion been revered for winning from the front but rather for how they respond when the odds are against them. Grand prix in the United States have been an enormously rewarding for Hamilton. As a rookie he won in North America at Indianapolis in 2007 and has won three of the four races held in Texas. It stands to reason, barring unreliability, that the reigning world champion will be difficult to beat in Texas.

CircuitOfTheAmericasLet’s not diminish the performance of Nico Rosberg in 2016. The metronomic way he has been inching his way to the title has been extraordinary. Few could argue that he wouldn’t deserve the title at the end of it. And he’s, mostly, aced it off the start line this season. The beauty of the fight between Hamilton and Rosberg, despite the latter’s points lead, is that it is impossible to predict. There still hasn’t been a true wheel-to-wheel race between the two either. Perhaps Texas is primed for just such a battle.

About Natalie Le Clue

Natalie Le Clue is an F1 aficionado of the most dedicated vein. And, true to form for any F1-enamoured junkie, she readily admits to crying the first time she saw a F1 car, calling it an ‘overwhelming moment’. Natalie has won the 2010 gSport Woman In Media award, the 2015 Woman In Media Print award, and has been named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in South African Sport by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Natalie is currently serving as SAfm's F1 correspondent. Follow Natalie on Twitter @nlc27

Leave a Reply

twitter-2   facebook   rss 

Countdown to Next Race


2017 Chinese GP Broadcast Times

Free Practice 1Thursday 22:00Friday 04:00Friday 05:00Friday 10:00
Free Practice 2Friday 02:00Friday 08:00Friday 09:00Friday 14:00
Free Practice 3Saturday 00:00Saturday 06:00Saturday 07:00Saturday 12:00
QualifyingSaturday 03:00Saturday 09:00Saturday 10:00Saturday 15:00
RaceSunday 02:00Sunday 08:00Sunday 09:00Sunday 14:00

2017 Drivers Championship

1 Sebastian Vettel25
2 Lewis Hamilton18
3 Valtteri Bottas15
4 Kimi Raikkonen12
5 Max Verstappen10
> Full Championship Table