United States Grand Prix Betting Tips & Preview – Sunday 21st October 2018

United States Grand Prix Track Guide

Can Lewis Hamilton wrap up the Formula 1 title this weekend? There are still four more races ahead of us, but the British driver has almost got across the line. It’s tough to see him throwing away his lead at this stage, while Sebastian Vettel has looked too shaky in recent weeks to keep the pace.

This season was built up as one with a thrilling title race, but slowly Mercedes have risen to the top yet again.

There’s every chance that Hamilton will wrap up yet another world title with a victory in Austin this weekend, and given his current form, it’s hard to back against him taking maximum points.

Top Tips

Lewis Hamilton to win @ 8/15

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

The United States Grand Prix returned to the sport in 2012 following a four year break and in recent years it’s been dominated by one man. Hamilton won here back in 2007 and has won five more times since the race returned. This is the seventh straight year that Formula 1 has visited the States, and it’s set to play a big part in the final stages of the campaign.

RoundCountryCircuitRace Distance
18/21 United States Circuit of the Americas 308km / 56 Laps

Schedule

 DateStart TimeFinish TimeForecast ConditionsTV Coverage
Practice 1 Fri 19th October 16:00 17:30 Dry / 16° -
Practice 2 Fri 19th October 20:00 21:30 Dry / 16° -
Practice 3 Sat 20th October 19:00 20:30 Dry / 18° -
Qualifying Sat 20th October 21:00 22:00 Dry / 17° Sky F1
Race Sun 21st October 19:10 21:10 Dry / 17° Sky F1

Last Season's Result (2017)

Last year saw more joy for Hamilton in the States, and he beat Vettel to maximum points. That win helped Mercedes clinch the constructors’ title, despite Ferrari taking two podium spots. It was a comfortable victory for the British driver, who had a lead of over 10 seconds on his nearest challenger, which extended his lead in the title race.

Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo were the high profile retirees here last year, but Max Verstappen made up for his Red Bull teammate as he finished fourth. Valtteri Bottas rounded off the top five, despite starting from third place in the grid. Following his strong display in the last race, he’ll expect better in this visit to Austin.

PositionDriverCarGrid PositionPoints
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1 25
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 2 18
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 5 15
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 16 12
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 3 10
6 Esteban Ocon Force India 6 8
7 Carlos Sainz Renault 7 6
8 Sergio Perez Force India 9 4
9 Felipe Massa Williams 10 2
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 11 1

Race News: Hamilton Hailed and Schumacher Emerges

Hamilton has been praised by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, ahead of the driver lifting his fifth world title. Wolff took the time to praise, “class act” Hamilton, who is in excellent form. Wolff went on to add that the reigning world champion is, “more complete than ever before”, which is a worrying thought for the rivals who have failed to keep pace with him in years gone by.

Hamilton is reigning champion yet again, but a theme this season has been looking towards the future. Plenty of teams are trying out young talent who could dominate down the line, with Hamilton set to own this era of F1. One man who is aiming to make the step up to F1 level is Mick Schumacher, son of Michael. After his Formula 3 win, he’s tipped to become a future great of the sport, and the young Mercedes driver is another praised by Wolff this week.

Analysis: Title on the Line in Austin

Lewis Hamilton heads into this weekend’s race with the title very much in his hands once again. A fifth world championship would be the mark of a real great, and he has the chance to secure that in the States. The Mercedes man has a 67 point lead over Sebastian Vettel, and that does look like a big enough gap that Hamilton will secure success this season. However, there’s a very real chance of him landing it this weekend.

Hamilton knows that a race win on Sunday would put huge pressure on his rival. If he takes maximum points, then Vettel has to finish second. The Ferrari driver is the only man left who can mathematically catch Hamilton, but if he fails to finish in the top two – like he has done in the last four races – then the advantage falls to the Mercedes man, who could wrap things up with three races to spare.

Final Verdict: Hamilton To Win

We can’t see past Hamilton, especially after winning this race six times. He has won the last four GPs held in Austin, and he’s also won six of the last seven overall this season. That excellent form marks him out as the clear favourite, and we see Hamilton securing the points he needs on Sunday. We think the champion is still well priced at 8/15 to kick on and win here, while he’s been priced down to 1/2 to take pole position in qualifying. We also think Valtteri Bottas can beat Vettel to a top two place, and he’s priced at 4/7 to claim a spot on the podium this week.

About

Circuit of the Americas 2018 Grand Prix

There few grander stages in the F1 calendar than that of the United States Grand Prix. It’s one of the biggest and one of the loudest, and this is mainly because of its base being in Austin, Texas, where everything is bigger!

The track was brought in to replace that of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which has held the Grand Prix up until 2007. When funding stopped, the US was without a Grand Prix, but when plans were set a foot in 2010 to create a new track that was designed with F1 racing at the forefront, the Circuit of Americas was born and with it a new home for F1 in the US from 2012 onwards.

Track Highlights

Circuit of the Americas View of the Main Straight from Turn 1

The track is made up of 20 turns in total and comes in at 5.513km, making it a mid-size race track. One of the most interesting facts about the track is that it’s one of only 5 that are run anti-clockwise, which means that there is a much greater pressure that is applied to the driver and their necks. Given that the drivers are sued to right handers more than left handers, it means that it provides great strain, so it’s a physically demanding circuit to drive on for both the cars and the drivers.

Even though the race kicks off with a long straight and fast flowing bends, the average speed of 195km/hr means that it’s just under the season average on the F1 calendar at the minute. The track comes with a lot of elevation changes, and this coupled with very small breaking zones means that there are plenty of overtaking opportunities, given that the margin for error with drivers so little.

Drivers start along the long straight and work down to the lowest part of the track before working their way up a steep elevation change to the first corner. Turn 1 is a tight left hander and one of the most interesting parts of the track as the race starts, often with drivers having to tip toe around to keep out of too much trouble. The corner is actually blind when they get there, so they need to use reference points to know when to break.

The track drops downhill dramatically from there into the series of S turns and this is where the drivers are really feeling how their car works, with the downforce planting the driver into the car and almost having the sensation that it’s trying to throw them out of the car.

Turn 11 is a tight harpin, but one of the best places to overtake on the track. The turn is very wide at the apex which allows plenty of room for overtaking. But, the DRS straight follows directly after this turn, so it’s sometimes tough to get those overtakes to stick. Many drivers actually wait through 11 and then pull off their overtake down the DRS to make it really clean.

Turn 12 and 13 work from a left to right hander. What you won’t see on TV is that these corners are both heavily banked, so the car almost instinctively follows them around, although traction can sometimes be an issue if drivers get on the throttle too soon when they exit.

Turn 15 is one of the hardest turns on the circuit and it’s another tight hairpin. The drivers will be fighting with making sure that they are able to get traction both on the approach to the corner and then exiting the corner, as well. They will have to wait until the car is fully round the bend before then being able to apply max throttle.

Turn 17, 18 and 19 and three right handers that run simultaneously. The drivers tend to really enjoy this as they are all flat out. But it’s imperative that they hit the apex on 17 as if they miss it it’s going to be almost impossible to save it through 18 and 19 as a result. This can be a good overtaking spot if drivers have got a good drive out of 15 and then set up around here flat out.

The final corner is a tight left and it’s another that the apex is very hard to pick because of the track rising and dropping so quickly. A good run is imperative though, as this will take them back down the home straight and through the final DRS zone. It’s then a straight sprint down the hill, before coming sharply back up the hill and back into turn 1.

The track is without doubt a favourite with most of the drivers. It’s got everything from fast straights, tight corners, accessible DRS zones and plenty of overtaking opportunities. Since it’s introduction in 2012, the site is now firmly one of the most anticipated races for both drivers and fans.

History

Aerial view of the Circuit of Americas US Grand Prix in 2018

The US Grand Prix had been without a home since Indianapolis were unable to get the financial backing needed for the race following the 2007 US Grand Prix. It wasn’t until 2010 that plans were finally laid out to get an all-purpose racetrack built, primarily for F1, but also for a host of other motor racing events, as well.

Red McCombs

Construction started in December 2010 and it was announced that Texas Billionaire, Red McCombs, was the largest investor for the 890-acre site in Travis County, Texas. McCombs has a history of motor cars, with their fortune being built around McCombs Automotive Group and the group also were owners of the San Antonio Spurs and the Denver Nuggets at one point.

The site had originally been earmarked as a residential area, but that was soon put on the back burner when ideas about the F1 track started to come to fruition. Initially McCombs wanted to call the site “Speed City”, but naming rights were later sold to advertisers for a fee of $7 million.

Designing the Track

The designers behind the track were that of Tilke Engineers and Architects. They’ve a long running history of work within new F1 tracks, including designing tracks in Sepang, Bahrain, Shanghai, Istanbul, Valencia, Yas Marina and Korea, to name just a few.

Work started in 2010 and it was reported that it would take 2 years to build. But, in 2011 they received a stop-work order as the site had been built unknowingly on a floodplain. Eventually the things that needed to be ticked off the list were and the 2012 deadline was back on track, albeit a couple of months later than originally planned.

First Grand Prix at Newly Built Track

Charlie Whiting, the then FIA-appointed Race Director for Formula 1, visited the track June 2012. He pre-approved the track to go ahead with the US Grand Prix that was pencilled in for September that year. Whiting later re-visited the track just 6 days before the US Grand Prix and was satisfied with the work that had been done, before approving the track to host the race. A crowd of over 117,000 people attended the first Formula 1 race, with attendances remaining steady ever since.

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