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F1 Tracks: Circuit of the Americas - United States Grand Prix

'Keep Austin Weird' is a slogan you'll see around the typically un-Texan town which is a fitting choice of venue for a Formula 1 track in the heart of NASCAR country.

Formula 1 had not visited the United States for four years prior to the first race at the Circuit of the Americas in 2012, but the track is now one of three US circuits on the calendar.

A crowd of 117,429 turned up for the inaugural event, but with the advent of Netflix's hit F1-based show Drive to Survive the sport's popularity in America has soared and weekend attendance now regularly tops 400,000.

Always a colourful and energetic affair, the United States Grand Prix has become a firm favorite with drivers, teams and the public while the traditional late-season date means the race often has a significant bearing on the championship.

The circuit itself features a number of corners modelled after popular turns on other circuits, such as Silverstone's tightening esses section and the multi-apex Turn Eight at Istanbul.

The lap features a very steep uphill climb to a tight first corner where the road is very wide, allowing for late braking and several possible lines through the turn. It is one of three regular overtaking spots around the lap.

What2024 United States Grand Prix
WhereCircuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas
WhenSunday, October 20th, 2024
How to watchESPN

Click here for all you need to know about the United States Grand Prix.

Where is Circuit of the Americas?

Circuit of the Americas is in Travis County, which lies in south central Texas. The circuit was built on an 890-acre plot of undeveloped land 20 miles outside of central Austin.

When was Circuit of the Americas first built?

Construction of the circuit began on New Year's Eve 2010 and despite the project overrunning by five months, the track was opened on 21st October, 2012, four weeks prior to the inaugural grand prix.

The circuit's many undulations do not follow the natural lie of the land and had to be created artificially.

How long is Circuit of the Americas?

Unchanged since the first running of the race, the layout measures 5.513km and features 20 turns.

When did Circuit of the Americas first host an F1 race?

The first race took place on 18th November, 2012, four weeks after construction had been completed.

With the venue having relatively recently been a building site and situated in something of a dustbowl, the track surface was extremely slippery for the opening day of practice.

In spite of that, everyone managed to avoid crashes, although the teams gathered little meaningful data as the track surface evolved rapidly as dust was removed and racing rubber laid down.

The problem persisted in qualifying but Sebastian Vettel, the dominant driver at the time, claimed pole position for Red Bull.

Lewis Hamilton, who had spent much of the race running in third position, made a late charge to pass Vettel for the lead 15 laps from the end to secure his final win for McLaren.

The race was the second grand prix to be staged in Texas, a Dallas Grand Prix having been part of the 1984 season. That event, in July, had been run in blisteringly hot conditions which led to the track braking up. 

The Dallas race is best remembered for Nigel Mansell passing out while trying to push his Lotus over the finish line after its transmission had failed on the home straight. 

Who has won the most F1 races at Circuit of the Americas?

Lewis Hamilton has won in Texas five times, including four in a row between 2014 and 2017, which is his most recent victory at the track. He also won at Indianapolis in 2007, making it six United States Grand Prix wins in total for the Briton.

Hamilton's 2015 victory also saw him seal his third world championship at the expense of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. 

The circuit also witnessed Hamilton secure his sixth title by finishing second in the race to Valtteri Bottas in 2019.

What is the F1 lap record at Circuit of the Americas?

Charles Leclerc holds the track record after lapping in 1min 36.169sec in his Ferrari on lap 44 of the 2019 race.

The fastest ever lap of the circuit was Bottas' pole-position effort from that year, a 1min 32.029sec at an average speed of 134mph.

Does Circuit of the Americas host any other events?

The track is heavily used throughout the year, starting with the Sports Car Club of America's meeting in February. NASCAR visits in March, while April's action is on two wheels as the MotoGP World Championship rolls into town.

Major sportscar series visit throughout the summer before October's F1 action, followed by regional single-seaters and more sportscar racing in November.

What is the weather like at Circuit of the Americas?

The weather is most often warm and sunny for the US Grand Prix, but one notable exception was in 2015 when qualifying had to be postponed until the morning of the race due to persistent heavy rain. Even then a result was declared after only two of the scheduled three qualifying sessions had taken place.

Friday afternoon's scheduled practice session had already been cancelled because of the weather, and the rain continued until the middle of Sunday. But while the race began on a wet track, the cars were all on dry tyres by the finish.

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