Preview the 2017 USGP, where Lewis Hamilton could become F1 champion again.
Painting the pit lane pink, COTA and Formula One join forces with Susan G Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organisation, to raise funds and awareness at the USGP. The race at which Lewis Hamilton could clinch title number four, two-years after his last title-success – clinched at the Circuit of the Americas.
— Toro Rosso (@ToroRossoSpy) October 17, 2017
More momentum swung in favour of the Silver Arrow in Japan, as Lewis Hamilton secured his first pole at Suzuka and turned P1 on Saturday into the top step of the podium come Sunday. Pulling further away from title-rival Sebastian Vettel, as once again the German hit problems.
Three in a row, now, for Sebastian Vettel. An unwanted hat-trick of issues that has seen the former championship-leader slip further away from his first Ferrari title. To now reside 59 points behind.
Starting with a first corner crash on lap one in Singapore as Vettel eased left off the line and towards Verstappen and Raikkonen. Then a turbo failure in qualifying for the Malaysia Grand Prix that saw the German start the race from the back of the grid. And now, a spark plug failure in Japan.
Three blows that could prove fatal and the defining moments in the title-battle between Hamilton and Vettel that fans have sought after for years. Pitching two of the best drivers on the grid, and two of the all-time greats, against each other in a straight fight in the two best cars.
The 59-point gap that now separates Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has put the Briton in a prime position to take his fourth title and match the German’s tally.
Even in a position to take the title with three rounds to spare, despite not leading the points table at any stage in the first half of the season. Always chasing the Prancing Horse instead of leading and controlling.
For Hamilton to take the title this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas, a circuit Hamilton has flourished at since the return to Formula One stateside in 2012, he would have to outscore Vettel by 16-points. Making his chances of taking the title very slim, and more than not unlikely in this round.
But the possibility is there for Lewis to take another title in America. With victory, and Seb finishing sixth or lower, enough for championship number four. Or should Vettel finish ninth or lower, and Bottas fail to win with a very outside chance at a maiden title, Hamilton would need second place to take the crown.
The constructors’ crown, meanwhile, is likely to be clinched in Austin. More so than the drivers at least. With Mercedes needing to outscore Ferrari by 17-points to take a fourth successive teams championship. Currently standing 145-points clear of the Italian outfit.
But while the attention for some may be on the Ferrari garage, waiting or expecting another mechanical gremlin to bring an end to Vettel’s title chances. Formula One wants some to be on Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A worldwide annual campaign that highlights the importance awareness, education and research into fighting the disease is.
For this, F1 will be painting the pit lane pink with partner with Susan G Komen – the world’s leading breast cancer organisation. Bringing both on and off-track events to the race weekend as part of their ‘Drive for the Cure’ program.
Fans will have the opportunity to help raise vital funds in the fight against breast cancer with [ink-themed merchandise available and the opportunity to directly donate to the cause.
Away from the track, the issue will be shared on Formula 1’s global social media channels, with fans and followers encouraged to share stories and experiences of those affected by breast cancer worldwide.
Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1 said: “This ground-breaking partnership will mark a very special moment on this year’s Formula 1 calendar as we physically alter key elements of a Grand Prix weekend to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“We are in a unique position as one of the most watched sports in the world – and the only truly global sport that competes annually- with over half a billion fans across the globe to help elevate awareness for such an important cause.
“This is an opportunity to use the Formula 1 platforms as a force for social good and rally support for the fight against breast cancer, a disease which affects millions of people every year.”
“It is gratifying to see the entire Formula 1 community, from the teams, drivers, the FIA, sponsors and broadcasters, unite and focus its collective will to give back.”
Another aspect of the weekend will see Pirelli join the pink-pact with the ultrasoft tyres ditching the purple branding. Taking pink to the track with a high selection of the softest P Zero compound being flown out to Texas. The perfect look for the pink-panthers at Force India.
While at Toro Rosso, Pierre Gasly is back off to Japan to contest the Super Formula title. Meaning the man brought in to replace Daniil Kvyat is replaced by, er, Daniil Kvyat. Handing the Russian a return to Formula One.
While Jolyon Palmer’s Japanese Grand Prix sudden departure from Renault, thanks most likely to a hefty pay off, will see Carlos Sainz join Renault on loan from Red Bull earlier and more in line with the French manufecturer’s original plan.
Meaning another vacant seat at Toro Rosso was made. Grasped by Brendon Hartley. A New Zealander who won the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hour and currently leads the 2017 World Endurance Championship for Porsche, alongside Timo Bernhard and fellow Kiwi Earl Bamber.
Brendon also has previous F1 experience as test and reserve driver to Toro Rosso in 2008, Red Bull in 2009 and 2010 before a move to be Mercedes’ test driver in 2012 and ’13.
The Circuit of the Americas track remains unchanged since the 5.513KM track, designed by Hermann Tilke in collaboration with the American architectural firm HKS, was opened on October 21, 2012, by COTA ambassador and 1978 F1 world champion, Mario Andretti.
The design of the first purpose-built F1 circuit in the United States drew inspiration from other great circuits from the F1 calendar including Silverstone, the home of the British Grand Prix, Hockenheim, one of the homes of the German Grand Prix, and Istanbul, the former home of the Grand Prix of Turkey. All these elements helped the circuit soon became a favourite of fans and drivers.
Despite taking inspiration from other tracks, the COTA design also has some elements of its own which makes it one of the best on the calendar with the changing elevation levels affecting the flow of the track, with the steepest part being the turn one hill. As well as the elevation changes, the long back straight tees up endless overtaking opportunities which are aided by DRS during the race.
For the potentially championship-deciding USGP, the Austin action comes live to fans in the UK on both Sky Sports and Channel 4.
Sky Sports F1
18/10 – 20:30 – F1 Report: Preview
19/10 – 17:00 – Driver Press Conference
19/10 – 20:30 – Paddock Uncut
20/10 – 15:45 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
20/10 – 19:45 – Practice 2
20/10 – 22:00 – Team Press Conference
20/10 – 22:50 – The F1 Show
21/10 – 16:45 – Practice 3
21/10 – 21:00 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports Mix)
22/10 – 18:30 – Race
=> 18:30 – Track Parade
=> 19:00 – Pit Lane Live
=> 19:30 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 22:30 – Paddock Live
25/10 – 20:30 – F1 Report: Review
Channel 4 F1
20/10 – 15:55 – Practice 1 (via More4)
20/10 – 19:55 – Practice 2 (via More4)
21/10 – 16:55 – Practice 3
21/10 – 21:00 – Qualifying
22/10 – 19:00 – Race
=> 19:00 – Build–Up
=> 19:35 – Race
=> 22:10 – Reaction
BBC Radio F1
19/10 – 21:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
20/10 – 15:55 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
21/10 – 21:55 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
22/10 – 19:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)