Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

USGP preview: Lewis Hamilton gunning for a third Stetson but will rain ruin his race?

If Lewis Hamilton wins the US Grand Prix in Austin on Sunday, with Nico Rosberg second and Sebastian Vettel third, a result that has already occurr...

USGP preview: Lewis Hamilton gunning for a third Stetson but will rain ruin his race?
Listen to this article

If Lewis Hamilton wins the US Grand Prix in Austin on Sunday, with Nico Rosberg second and Sebastian Vettel third, a result that has already occurred on four occasions so far this season, Hamilton will win the Formula 1 world championship with three races to spare.

However, heavy rain at the Circuit of the America’s is forecast for much of the weekend and a wet race could occur for the first time in the circuit’s F1 history, as low temperatures and pressures in the west meet with moisture coming from the Gulf of Mexico, according to Ubimet, the official weather service provider of the FIA.

When the World Endurance Championship visited the Texan track in 2014, a heavy thunderstorm broke two hours into the race and forced a 50-minute suspension after several cars skated off the circuit.

Austin

Ubimet predicts that both Friday practice sessions will be wet and unsettled weather will remain throughout Saturday.

Ubimet’s chief F1 meteorologist, Steffen Dietz, said: “During [Saturday] afternoon some further, but weaker showers are still expected, so the starting grid could easily be jumbled by the rain too."

Two heavy rain showers have been predicted for Sunday and at least one is expected to hit the track during the Grand Prix. However, “their intensity should not be comparable to the amounts of the two previous days,” according to Ubimet’s report.

Assuming he survives the wet weather, Hamilton can clinch his third F1 world title if he outscores Vettel by nine points and Rosberg by two.

The USA has been the scene of six previous title deciders, in 1959, 1970, 1974, 1977, 1981 and 1982 – with the most recent occasion the year Keke Rosberg, Nico’s father, won his only F1 championship.

Lewis Hamilton

If he does claim the 2015 title on Sunday, Hamilton will become Briton’s second three-time world champion, after Sir Jackie Stewart, but will be the first British driver ever to secure back-to-back F1 championships.

Speaking ahead of the race in Texas, Hamilton explained that despite his 66-point lead, he would not be changing his approach and is not taking the title for granted.

He said: “Austin is definitely one of the highlights of the year for me. I love the States and spend a lot of time over there, so it’s a weekend I always look forward to.

“I’ve learned from experience that nothing is ever done until it’s done in this sport, so I won’t be taking anything for granted going into the weekend. I’m going into this next race with the same approach I’ve had all year. There are four races left for me to get this Championship tied up and as long as it’s done by the time I cross the line in Abu Dhabi that’s what really counts.

“I’m excited to get out there, give my best and if I can come away with a third Stetson hat that would be unbelievable."

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes, which wrapped up the constructors’ championship last time out in Russia, can secure its 50th pole position this weekend if one of its drivers comes out on top during qualifying in Austin.

The German marque can also claim its 25th 1-2 finish this weekend, a result that it likely lost in Sochi after Rosberg suffered a throttle pedal failure.

After that incident, which forced Rosberg out of the race, Mercedes’ technical boss, Paddy Lowe, explained that his team would be working hard to avoid a repeat event this weekend.

He said: “Nico’s retirement unfortunately prevented what looked a likely 1-2 finish. As a result, his push for the Drivers’ Championship now looks to be a tough task – but you can never give up in this business and we know Nico certainly won’t be doing so.

“At the same time, we go to Austin with the potential to secure that title with Lewis, who has been in superb form. It’s up to us to provide both drivers with the tools they need to close out a successful end to the campaign.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - United States Grand Prix - Practice Day - Austin, USA

“It’s our fourth visit to the Circuit of the Americas, which is a very interesting circuit. Multiple elevation changes, a good variety of corners and a track surface which makes it tricky to understand the tyres, all combine to provide a good challenge."
shares
comments
Modern F1 drivers “don’t get to develop as men” - Mansell
Previous article

Modern F1 drivers “don’t get to develop as men” - Mansell

Next article

Nasr says Sauber needs "bigger steps" in 2016

Nasr says Sauber needs "bigger steps" in 2016
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022