Formula 1 Austin: Tight F1 driver’s race comes to Circuit of the Americas

F1 Austin

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands waves to the crowd as he walks from his car after qualifying Sunday’s Formula One Turkish Grand Prix at the Intercity Istanbul Park circuit in Istanbul, Turkey, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Verstappen will start in second place after Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain who was fastest was give a 10 place penalty with Hamiton’;s teammate Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland now on pole. (Umit Bektas/Pool Photo via AP)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s the return of Formula 1 to Circuit of the Americas after there was no U.S. Grand Prix in 2020. Austin will be site of quite a battle in the Driver’s World Championship.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen holds a six-point lead over seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) with six races to go in the season.

Hamilton has won five of the eight races in Austin, but his last win was 2017 at COTA. The 24-year-old Verstappen has won five races this season including the last two while Hamilton also has five wins.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Botas is the reigning U.S. Grand Prix champion and sits in third place in the Driver’s standings. Bottas will leave Mercedes as the end of this season and join Alfa Romeo.

Bottas has had to play “second fiddle” to Hamilton and will now be Alfa Romeo’s top driver. That opens the door for 23-year-old George Russell to leave Williams racing and join Hamilton at Mercedes.

Haas racing is the only American-owned F1 team, but it has been a struggle. Mickey Schumacher, the son of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, and Nikita Mazepin have yet to win a point for the Kannapolis, North Carolina-based team.

A second F1 race will be held in the United States next year with the inaugural Miami Grand Prix on May 8.

Drivers will be on the track for two practice sessions on Friday at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Qualifying will be from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday with the 56-lap race set to start at 2 p.m. Sunday.

How to watch the U.S. Grand Prix

What: Practice No. 1
When: 11:30 a.m.

What: Practice No. 2
When: 3 p.m.

4 p.m.

What: United States Grand Prix
When: 2 p.m.

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