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The United States Grand Prix - did you know?

19 Oct 2015

Did you know that Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are the only current drivers to have won in the USA, or that the Circuit of The Americas is one of just four anticlockwise tracks on the calendar? Ahead of the 2015 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix in Austin, we present some of the more obscure facts and figures about the race...
  • The Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas is one of the most undulating tracks on the calendar, with a difference of 30.9m between the highest point (Turn 1, 157.4m above sea level) and the lowest point (between Turns 19 and 20, 126.5m above sea level).
  • This year's race is the fourth to be held at COTA. It is one of just four anticlockwise circuits on the calendar (the others are Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Brazil).
  • Austin is the sixth venue to have hosted the United States Grand Prix following Sebring (1959), Riverside (1960), Watkins Glen (1961-80), Phoenix (1989-91) and Indianapolis (2000-07). Of course, Indianapolis also plays host to the Indy 500 which was a round of the F1 world championship between 1950 and 1960.
  • A further four American venues have hosted rounds of the world championship under different race titles. They are Long Beach (1976-83), Las Vegas (1981-82), Detroit (1982-88) and Dallas (1984).
  • American drivers have won 33 rounds of the world championship (the tenth highest total for any nationality) - yet an American has never won the United States Grand Prix. However, US racing legend Mario Andretti did win the United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach in 1977.
  • Alexander Rossi will be the only American on the grid for this year's race. The Californian is the 152nd American to have started a world championship event, but only the 48th to have started a Grand Prix (the other 104 only took part in the Indy 500 between 1950 and 1960).
  • Statistically the most successful driver in United States Grand Prix history is Michael Schumacher with five victories. Jim Clark, Graham Hill and last year's Austin winner Lewis Hamilton all have three wins on American soil.
  • Aside from Hamilton (who won at Indianapolis in 2007 and COTA in 2012 and 2014), the only other current driver to have won in America is Sebastian Vettel, who took victory in Austin in 2013. Six other members of the grid have US podiums to their names - Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean, Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Rosberg.
  • In terms of manufacturers, Ferrari have the best record in United States Grand Prix history with nine victories. However, the Scuderia are yet to triumph at COTA, with McLaren (2012), Red Bull (2013) and Mercedes (2014) taking the spoils in the three races to date.
  • If he finishes nine points ahead of Sebastian Vettel and two points ahead of team mate Nico Rosberg, Hamilton will become the first British driver in F1 history to claim back-to-back world titles. Moreover, he will become just the second British driver in history (after Jackie Stewart) - and the 10th all-time - to score three or more world championship crowns.
  • Hamilton has won nine races so far this season, and he'll need to win the remaining four if he wants to match Sebastian Vettel's single season record of 13 victories, set in 2013.
  • Vettel, incidentally, holds the lap record in Austin, going round in 1m 39.347s in the 2012 race. The German, who made his F1 debut in the United States in 2007, also claimed the first of his two successive United States pole positions in 2012. Nico Rosberg is the only other man to have taken pole in Austin.
  • And finally, Sauber will celebrate their 400th Grand Prix in the United States. Their first was the South African Grand Prix in 1993, and since then they have claimed one win, 26 podium finishes, one pole position, five fastest laps and 808 points. Will they add to that tally in Austin?