The 2012 Formula 1 season saw return of grand prix racing to the United States for the first time since 2007 with an all-new venue in Austin, Texas.
The Circuit of The Americas (COTA) is the first purpose-built F1 facility in the US designed for any and all classes of racing and was officially opened by the venue’s ambassador and 1978 F1 world champion, Mario Andretti.
Its signature element is a 5.5-kilometre (3.4-mile) Grand Prix circuit, located southeast of the Texan capital, and .
The 20-turn, anticlockwise track, designed by Hermann Tilke in collaboration with American architectural firm HKS, construction of which began in January 2011, draws inspiration from the best circuits around the world, as well as taking advantage of the site’s natural topography to include dramatic elevation changes of up to 40 metres.
- Lap distance: 5.513km. Total distance: 308.405km (56 laps).
- 2016 pole: Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes, one minute 34.999 seconds.
- 2016 winner: Hamilton
- Race lap record: Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull, 2013. 1:39.347.
- Start time: 1900 GMT (1400 local)
- Triple world champion Lewis Hamilton has 61 career victories from 204 races and is second in the all-time list behind Michael Schumacher (91). Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has 46.
- Champions Mercedes have won 10 of 16 races this season.
- Ferrari have won 228 races since 1950, McLaren 182, Williams 114, Mercedes 74 and Red Bull 54. Former champions McLaren and Williams have not won since 2012.
- There have been five different winners this season so far — Hamilton (eight), Vettel (four), Valtteri Bottas (two), Daniel Ricciardo (one), Max Verstappen (one). That is the most in a season since 2013.
- Hamilton has an all-time record 71 career poles and, after Suzuka, has started on pole at every circuit on the calendar.
- Mercedes have been on pole in 68 of the last 74 races.
- Four drivers have started on pole this season — Hamilton (10 times), Vettel (three times), Bottas (twice) and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
- Vettel can take the 50th pole of his career. Only three drivers have achieved that so far.
- Hamilton has 115 podiums to date and is second on the all-time list behind Schumacher (155). Vettel has 96, Raikkonen 88.
- Hamilton has 11 podiums this season, Vettel and Bottas both have 10. Ricciardo has had nine, the most he has ever scored in a single campaign.
- Hamilton is 59 points clear of Vettel.
- Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson is the only driver yet to score this season.
- Hamilton has 21 scoring finishes in a row, the longest such run of his career. Raikkonen holds the record of 27. Hamilton and Force India’s Esteban Ocon are the only drivers to have finished every race so far.
United States Grand Prix
- Austin is hosting a race for the sixth time and is the only U.S. round on the calendar.
- There are no American drivers in F1. Haas is the only U.S.-owned team.
- Hamilton and Vettel are the only current drivers to have won previously in the United States.
- Hamilton has won four of the five races in Austin, while starting only once on pole there, and five of the last six in the United States. Vettel won in Austin in 2013 with Red Bull.
- Hamilton clinched his third title at the track in 2015.
- New Zealand’s Brendon Hartley will be making his Formula One debut at Toro Rosso. He will be his country’s first F1 driver in 33 years, the last being Mike Thackwell in 1984.
- The last New Zealander to score a point in Formula One was Chris Amon at the 1976 Spanish Grand Prix.
- Sunday will also be the 50th anniversary of New Zealander Denny Hulme winning the world championship at the 1967 Mexican Grand Prix.
- With Jolyon Palmer departed, Hamilton will be Britain’s only driver in the race. The last time the country was reduced to just one representative was the 2005 Monaco Grand Prix.