2021 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix Preview

This weekend is set to see Formula 1 return to action at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. Also in action at COTA this weekend is W Series which is set to conclude its 2021 season with a double header of races.

In W Series Alice Powell will start the race weekend leading the drivers’ championship from Jamie Chadwick on countback, the two level on 109 points. Powell has however won three races this season compared to Chadwick’s two.

Third in the driver standings is Emma Kimilainen who is the only other driver with a mathematical chance of winning the championship. The Finn heads to Austin 34 points behind Powell and Chadwick, a total of 50 available across the double header. It is worth noting that Kimilainen has only one win to her 2021 record, where she triumphed in Spa-Francorchamps.

Aside from the race victories, Powell has one second place finish and no third place finishes, Chadwick by comparison has two second place finishes and a third place finish, and Kimilainen has no second place finishes and two third place finishes.

The top three in the drivers’ championship were also the top three in the previous race which was held at Zandvoort. Altogether there have been eight different drivers, out of 20, to have finished on the podium in W Series in 2021 so far.

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In Formula 1 Max Verstappen will start the weekend with a six point lead over Lewis Hamilton at the top of the drivers’ championship. This is after the Dutchman finished second in the last round in Turkey, while Hamilton fought his way through the field, after an engine penalty, to eventually finish fifth.

The race in Turkey was won by Valtteri Bottas who starts the United States Grand Prix third in the driver standings, 79.5 points behind Hamilton. Bottas now has a 32 point gap to fourth placed Lando Norris who finished seventh in Turkey.

Bottas and Verstappen were joined on the podium in Istanbul by Sergio Perez, the Mexican’s third podium finish of the 2021 season. It sees Perez start the latest Grand Prix weekend of 2021 fifth in the drivers’ championship, 10 points behind Norris and 18.5 points ahead of sixth placed Carlos Sainz.

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In the constructors’ championship Mercedes head to Austin with a 36 point gap to second placed Red Bull.

Third, and 157.5 points behind Red Bull, is McLaren. The Woking based team have a 7.5 point gap to fourth placed Scuderia Ferrari. This is after McLaren only managed to secure a single points finish in Turkey, thanks to Norris’ seventh place. Ferrari meanwhile managed to claim fourth and eighth with Leclerc finishing in the former position and Sainz finishing in the latter, the Spaniard having served a grid penalty for engine changes.

Fifth in the constructors’ standings is Alpine who are 128.5 points behind Ferrari and 12 ahead of AlphaTauri in sixth. this is after Alpine only managed to secure a tenth place finish in Turkey, compared with AlphaTauri who claimed sixth thanks to Pierre Gasly.

Behind AlphaTauri is Aston Martin, 31 points separating the two. Aston Martin managed to get one car in the points, Lance Stroll finishing ninth while a daring strategy to change to slick tyres for Sebastian Vettel failed, the German having to settle for eighteenth in Turkey.

Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21 – Lance Stroll” by Jaimie Wilson is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Williams remain eighth having failed to score any points in Turkey. The Grove based team still have a 16 point gap to nearest rival Alfa Romeo in ninth.

It was generally a competitive race weekend for Alfa Romeo in Turkey with their two cars finishing just outside the points in eleventh and twelfth. The Swiss based team continue to have a seven point gap to tenth placed Haas, the American team still being on zero points for the 2021 season.

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