The USA GP has had a somewhat peripatetic history. Forty races have gone by the name of the US Grand Prix, hosted at Watkins Glen twenty times, Indianapolis 8, Circuit of the Americas 7, Phoenix 3, Riverside and Sebring with one apiece. But that’s not the end of it, because F1 USA was a number plate sometimes seen on more than once car at the same time.
Apart from the USA GPs, there were also events in Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas and Long Beach, from the 70s to the mid-80s. Even the Indianapolis 500 was part of the picture, counting for the F1 World Championship in its early years, but usually no European drivers took part and it dropped off the F1 calendar in 1961.
F1 Austin and the return in the USA
But let’s get up to date. After a five-year hiatus, Formula One made a much-anticipated return to the United States in 2012, with Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, known as COTA providing a new home for the event.
It’s seen a good mix of F1 tradition and the modern delights of the Texan capital city. Inspired by some of grand prix racing’s great venues, the 5.5km circuit features sections that take their cues from Silverstone’s Becketts-Maggots complex, Hockenheim’s stadium section and Istanbul’s long multi-apex Turn 8.
The signature stretch, however, might just be the run from the start-finish line up a steep incline to an almost blind hairpin. Praised by drivers and attended by massive crowds, COTA looks set to be a superb long-term home for F1 in the US.
Follow us in a few moments for the latest updates and results from the United States Grand Prix, as the second practice session is about to get underway, with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc at the wheel of the SF90, ready to continue evaluating the ideal set-up ahead of the qualifying session and the race on Sunday.