Despite the title fight being wrapped up in Japan, there is a lot still to play for as F1 heads to Austin, Texas for 2022 US Grand Prix.
Having already wrapped up the drivers’ title in Japan, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen now comes to Austin looking to chase the record for most race victories in a single season with four races left of the campaign.
Red Bull meanwhile are looking to wrap up their first constructors’ title since 2013 as they must outscore Ferrari by 19 points, in order to end the teams’ championship fight with three races to spare.
Away from the front of the grid, several drivers and teams are still squabbling over lower positions in both championships, meaning that there is still plenty to play for across the grid.
Now, here is a full preview of everything that you need to know ahead of 2022 US Grand Prix.
Circuit: Circuit of the Americas
Race Distance: 308.405km
Tyre Compounds: C2, C3 & C4
|Friday 21 October||FP1||8:00pm|
|Friday 21 October||FP2||11:00pm*|
|Saturday 22 October||FP3||8:00pm|
|Saturday 22 October||Qualifying||11:00pm|
|Sunday 23 October||Race||8:00pm|
*FP2 has been extended to 90 minutes in order to allow teams to conduct 2023 tyre testing for Pirelli, having been prevented from doing so in Japan due to wet conditions.
Five Key Pointers
- Having encountered bumps around the circuit last year, teams could use Friday Practice to explore the smoothness of the track layout and discover whether bumps still remain in various corners.
- Despite Mercedes’ woes this season, Lewis Hamilton has finished on the podium in nine of 10 visits to Circuit of the Americas so expect him to be competitive this weekend.
- A clean start with brakes up to temperature will be key for those who find themselves in midfield heading into the tight opening uphill corner in the race.
- Braking will be key at Turn 11 because any lock-ups could leave drivers out wide and vulnerable down the back straight towards Turn 12, where gusty wind could cause rear stability issues.
- Should teams be forced to do a two-stop strategy like in 2021, expect timing of the pit stops and on-track traffic to potentially play a crucial role in the race result.
FP1 Driver Changes
As part of a new rule requiring teams to run a rookie driver in FP1 sessions across the season, several teams have opted to make one of their FP1 driver changes in Austin, so here is which teams are running rookie drivers – with omitted regular drivers – in parathesis – returning from FP2 onwards;
- Ferrari – Robert Shwartzman (TBA)
- McLaren – Alex Palou (Daniel Ricciardo)
- Alfa Romeo – Theo Pourchaire (Valtteri Bottas)
- Haas – Antonio Giovinazzi (Kevin Magnussen)
- Williams – Logan Sargeant (Nicholas Latifi)
Last Time Out
After a two-year absence, F1 returned to America in 2021 for a dramatic US Grand Prix as last season’s title contenders – Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen engaged in a cat and mouse tussle, of which Verstappen emerged victorious en route to his maiden title.