2021 Austin GP: What You Need to Know & Race Predictions
Image of 2019 Austin GP.
This weekend Austin, Texas welcomes drivers and over 120,000 fans to the 'Circuit of The Americas'. A 5.514km (3.426 mile) racing track that has been welcoming F1 fans since 2012, the year we saw Lewis Hamilton's last win with McLaren before his transfer to Mercedes for the 2013 season.
So, what do we need to know about the track beforehand?
The Circuit of The Americas is considered one of the best modern track layouts, with an exciting number of places to overtake, it's great for encouraging the battle fever for both driver and fan. If you're lucky enough to be pitched up at the hill on Turn 1 you can see nearly the entire circuit, overtakes and all. Or perhaps sitting in the main grandstand while you enjoy the benefits of an in-seat food and drink service is more your taste - very American! All this while being able to enjoy the vibrant nightlife and embracing the "Keep Austin Weird" culture - the cities official slogan. It's not hard to see why this circuit is an anticipated season favourite.
Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo embracing the Texas culture in 2018 for the Austin GP.
Now let's get down to it - race predictions. So far the last few races have seen Mercedes turn it around from the early Red Bull victories by Verstappen but can they keep this up in Texas?
Hamilton has proven since the tracks opening in 2012 that he is nothing short of comfortable when it comes to racing there. He holds the most victories for the track and doesn't seem keen to cut this winning streak anytime soon. Valterri Bottas, also a current Mercedes driver, won in Austin in 2019. So the team are more than capable to secure a win there this weekend.
The long straights and high-speed corners at COTA provide an immense advantage to the Mercedes cars as they hold more power. Despite Red Bull having upgraded in this area, their car may find it slightly more difficult to keep up with the power of the Mercedes.
"I do think we need to step it up a bit to be in the fight until the end of the season." admitted Verstappen in an interview with Sky F1.
Despite this, Max Verstappen has yet to finish below fourth at an Austin GP. With improved power in the Red Bull car combined with his thirst to beat Hamilton at any cost, Red Bull could still stand to make it an epic fight for first at COTA.
I wouldn't get too set on making predictions though. As this season has shown us multiple times, anything can happen in Formula One.