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Following a tense finish to last week’s Mexican Grand Prix, Formula One has quickly moved up the continent and into the United States of America – to Austin, Texas for the third-to-last round of the 2019 championship. Join The Roar for a live blog from 6:10am AEDT.
Despite a comprehensive victory in Mexico, Lewis Hamilton still requires four points over his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to clinch his sixth world championship, which he now can do in Austin.
The Circuit of the Americas is a 5.5km mishmash of some of the best circuits in the world, combining high-downforce sections as in the first and third sectors, with the long straights like in Sector 2.
It’s a 56-lap grand prix across the bumpy asphalt and with unprecedented cold temperatures across the weekend, there is a chance that this creates trouble with tyre performance during the race. But as seen in Mexico, teams may not shy away from using the hard tyre for a one-stop strategy.
While Hamilton is the one who has had great success in the United States, including four consecutive wins from 2014 in Texas, it was Bottas who claimed pole position for the race – leaving the Briton in fifth.
Sebastian Vettel completed the front-row, while Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc make up the second row of the grid ahead of Hamilton and all set to start the race on the medium tyre.
In the battle of the midfield, Renault will start a lot closer to McLaren who again occupy the fourth row headed by Carlos Sainz – who will contest his 100th grand prix, along with Verstappen and Kevin Magnussen.
Daniel Ricciardo starts from inside the top ten, while Renault teammate Nico Hulkenberg will have a free choice of starting tyre from eleventh – to give the team strategy options.
American team Haas faces another difficult race, struggling still with their tyre wear during the race. There is little chance that either Magnussen or Romain Grosjean will feature in the points.
With the race being wide open across the top six drivers, it all appears that it’ll come down to who’s quickest with their strategy calls to get the crucial track position. This is something that Ferrari haven’t done in recent races – despite being quicker than Mercedes.
Tune in then on The Roar from 6:10am AEDT for live blog coverage of the United States Grand Prix, as we see if only the second ever six-time world champion will be crowned in Formula One.