Only two drivers have won at the Circuit of the Americas, three drivers have a 100% Q3 record and one driver hasn’t finished a race at this track since 2013. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the U.S. Grand Prix!
🇬🇧 Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has won every U.S. Grand Prix since 2014. Add to that his first victory here in 2012 and the 2013 race at COTA, in which he finished fourth, is the only one which he failed to win. He’s the only driver to have scored over 100 points at the circuit, with a 100% finish rate, a 100% points rate and a 100% Q3 rate. Hamilton has started from the front row at this track in all but the 2013 race, and has been on pole twice, in 2016 and 2017. He’s never a lost a position from his starting place at this circuit. 2014 and 2015 are the only years in which Hamilton was beaten by a team-mate in Qualifying at COTA.
🇫🇮 Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas scored his first ever Formula One points with his eighth place finish in the 2013 U.S Grand Prix. Since then, the Finn has picked up two more points scoring finishes at the track, both fifth places, in 2014 and 2017. On a track at which Bottas is yet to have a podium finish, he has one DNF from 2015. Bottas’ best qualifying result here is third, in 2014 and 2017, though 2013 remains the only year in which he hasn’t lost positions from his starting slot at COTA. He’s been beaten by a team-mate twice from his five qualifying appearances at the track, in 2015 and 2017. 2015 is the only time that Bottas has failed to reach Q3 here.
🇩🇪 Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel has set the fastest lap of the race in every U.S. Grand Prix held at COTA, except in 2015. He’s finished on the podium four times here, and is the only driver other than Lewis Hamilton to have taken a Grand Prix victory at the track, in 2013. Vettel has a 100% finish rate at the track, as well as a 100% points rate. He’s taken pole twice, in 2012 and 2013, and has one further front row start, which happened last season. Vettel has beaten a team-mate in Qualifying on four of his six appearances at the circuit, and has reached Q3 in every year except 2014, when he was eliminated in Q1 and started from the pit-lane.
🇫🇮 Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen has competed in five of the six races held at the Circuit of the Americas, having missed the 2013 event due to having back surgery. From his five appearances, Raikkonen has scored twice with a sixth place finish in 2013 and a podium finish last season, and has retired twice – in 2015 and 2016. The Finn has a 100% Q3 record at the circuit and has started from inside the top ten every year except in 2015, when he was demoted to eighteenth on the grid. 2016 is the only year in which Raikkonen has beaten a team-mate in Qualifying at this circuit. Raikkonen’s best qualifying performance here is fifth, which he’s achieved three times – in 2012, 2016 and 2017.
🇦🇺 Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo has two podium finishes at the U.S. Grand Prix. Both were third place finishes, which came in 2014 and 2016. Having recorded his first DNF at the track last season, Ricciardo’s only other points finish here was in 2015, when he finished tenth. Ricciardo’s best qualifying here is also third, which happened in both 2015 and 2016. Ricciardo has reached Q3 at the circuit in every season since he joined Red Bull, and has started inside the top ten on five occasions. He hasn’t been beaten by a team-mate in Qualifying at COTA since 2012.
🇳🇱 Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen was stripped of a podium finish here last year. Having taken third place from Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap, Verstappen was given a five second penalty for going off track and gaining an advantage, dropping him to fourth place in the final order. The Dutch driver has finished fourth here twice, having also done so in 2015. His only other result here is a DNF in 2016. Verstappen has never failed to qualify in the top ten, with a best grid slot of fourth in 2016. The only time he’s failed to start from in the top ten was last season, when he took a fifteen-place grid penalty for a change of power unit. Verstappen is yet to beat Daniel Ricciardo in qualifying at COTA.
🇲🇽 Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez has scored on four of his six U.S. Grand Prix appearances. With just one DNF in 2014, Perez has scored points every other year since 2013, with a best of fifth in 2015. He’s finished in eighth at this track for the last two seasons. Perez has qualified in the top ten three times here, in 2013, 2015 and 2017. He hasn’t beaten a team-mate at the track since 2015. Perez has never lost a position from his starting place in the five races he’s reached the end of at this track.
🇫🇷 Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon scored points at the U.S Grand Prix for the first time last year with a sixth place finish. Having qualified seventh and beaten his team-mate on Saturday, he moved up one position on the grid to finish where he started.
🇨🇦 Lance Stroll
On his debut U.S Grand Prix appearance last season, Lance Stroll finished just outside the points in eleventh place. He qualified in seventeenth, exiting in Q1 and failing to beat his team-mate, and moved up to fifteenth on the grid as a result of other drivers’ grid penalties.
🇷🇺 Sergey Sirotkin
Sergey Sirotkin has no past experience at the Circuit of the Americas.
🇩🇪 Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg hasn’t finished a race in Texas since 2013. Since scoring points in the first two races at the track, with eighth place in 2012 and sixth in 2013, Hulkenberg has failed to finish the race on his last four attempts. While engine troubles let him down in 2014 and 2017, collisions in 2015 and 2016 ended his Sunday afternoons early. The German has beaten a team-mate in Qualifying on half of his appearances at the track. He’s reached Q3 four times, and has a best starting slot of fourth in 2013. He’s never gained a position from his starting place at any race here.
🇪🇸 Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz made his debut for Renault here last season. He has a 100% finish record and a 100% points scoring record at the track, finishing seventh in 2015 and 2017, and coming home sixth in 2016. His debut season is the only time he’s been beaten by a team-mate on a Saturday at the circuit, as well as the only time he’s failed to reach Q3 here. Sainz has never lost a position from his starting slot in a race at this track, gaining thirteen places in 2015, four in 2016 and finishing where he started last season.
🇫🇷 Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly has no past F1 experience at COTA, having skipped last year’s race to compete in the final event of the 2017 Super Formula season.
🇳🇿 Brendon Hartley
Brendon Hartley made his Formula One debut here last season. Having qualified eighteenth, Hartley lined up nineteenth on the grid and came home in a respectable thirteenth place.
🇫🇷 Romain Grosjean
Romain Grosjean has scored points on three of his six appearances at the Circuit of the Americas, including finishing as runner-up in the 2013 race. Grosjean has scored just one point so far with Haas at their home track, having finished tenth in 2016. Grosjean’s best qualifying here is third, in 2013, which is also the last time he reached Q3 at this circuit. Grosjean has beaten a team-mate in qualifying four times in Texas. Last season was the first time the Frenchman failed to gain a position in a race at the track.
🇩🇰 Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen has never beaten a team-mate in Qualifying at the U.S Grand Prix. His only Q1 appearance so far here came in 2014 – since then he’s been eliminated in Q1 in both 2016 and 2017. The Dane qualified in last place for last year’s race in Texas, but moved up the grid to start seventeenth. 2014 is the only time he’s scored points here, with an eighth place finish. He’s finished twelfth and sixteenth in the last two years. Magnussen has a 100% finish record at the circuit.
🇪🇸 Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso’s third place here in 2012 remains his only podium appearance in Texas. Since then, he’s finished fifth twice (in 2013 and 2016) and sixth once (in 2014). He recorded his first DNF at the track last season. Alonso has never qualified in the top five here, but 2015 and 2016 are the only times he’s failed to reach Q3. 2016 is the only time he’s started from outside the top ten, a year in which he lined up twelfth on the grid. 2012 is the only time Alonso has been beaten by a team-mate in Qualifying at this track.
🇧🇪 Stoffel Vandoorne
In his only appearance at the Circuit of the Americas so far, Stoffel Vandoorne reached Q2 last year, qualifying in thirteenth before being bumped down to last on the grid as a result of penalties. The Belgian gained eight places during the race to finish twelfth.
🇸🇪 Marcus Ericsson
Marcus Ericsson is the only driver on the current grid to have beaten his team-mate in qualifying at every appearance he’s made at COTA. The Swede has never scored points here, with a best finish of fourteenth in 2016, and has retried once – in 2015. Ericsson has qualified in sixteenth on every appearance at the track, but started from a best of thirteenth last year thanks to other drivers’ grid penalties. Ericsson has never made it out of Q1 at the U.S. Grand Prix.
🇲🇨 Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc will compete in his first U.S. Grand Prix this weekend but has some experience of the track, having driven for Sauber in Free Practice 1 here last season.
Nicky Haldenby is a freelance writer from Scarborough, England. After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fourth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, and sister site GPDestinations, where he shares regular race previews and articles focussed around the latest in Formula 1 calendar and venue news. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky can also be heard regularly as a guest on various Formula 1 radio shows and podcasts.