As Lewis Hamilton has his first chance to take a fifth title, we head to a track where the two championship protagonists have dominated over the years – the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Here are all the stats you need ahead of the 2018 U.S. Grand Prix!
?? COTA RACE WINNERS
There have been six Grands Prix held at the Circuit of the Americas, but only two different winners. Lewis Hamilton has the most wins here, having won all but one of the races here. Sebastian Vettel is the other winner at COTA, having taken victory back in 2013. Mercedes are the team with the most wins here. They’ve won all of the last four races at the track.
The smallest win margin at the track came in the race’s inaugural year, in which Lewis Hamilton took victory ahead of Sebastian Vettel by just 0.675 seconds. Hamilton’s 2017 win currently holds the record for the largest win margin at COTA. He won last year’s event by 10.143 seconds.
The average win margin at the track is 4.798 seconds. Four of the six races here have been won by less than five seconds.
?? ON THE PODIUM AT COTA
From the six races here, eight different drivers have finished on the podium.
Lewis Hamilton has the most podiums of any driver at COTA, having finished in the top three five times. There are five other drivers on the 2018 grid who’ve previously scored a U.S. Grand Prix podium finish. Sebastian Vettel has finished on the rostrum four times, Daniel Ricciardo has two podium finishes here, while Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen have each finished on the podium in Texas once.
?? COTA POLESITTERS
Three different drivers have taken pole over COTA’s six-year history. Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are the only drivers to have taken a pole position here, and all three of them are tied on two poles. All three of the drivers took their two poles in consecutive years.
Mercedes are the team with the most poles at the track. They’ve taken the top spot on the grid four times, and in every year since 2014. Red Bull, with whom Sebastian Vettel set the pace for in 2012 and 2013, are the only other team to have taken pole at this track.
The smallest pole margin at COTA came in 2013, when Sebastian Vettel took pole by 0.103 seconds. The largest pole margin came in the following season, when Nico Rosberg took pole by 0.376 seconds.
The average pole margin at COTA is 0.191 seconds.
?? SATURDAY TO SUNDAY
Three of the six races here have been won from pole. There has never been a race at the track which hasn’t been won from the front row of the grid.
?? SUNDAY STATS
The Safety Car has made an appearance in three of the six races at COTA. In addition, 2016 featured a Virtual Safety Car period, but no actual Safety Car stint.
The 2015 race has the record for the most Safety Car periods in a Grand Prix at the track. There were two Safety Car stints in that race, as well as two VSC periods.
The 2015 race is the only Grand Prix so far at COTA to have been affected by rain.
The longest and shortest races here have a time difference of just over seventeen minutes. The longest race here, unsurprisingly, was the rain-affected 2015 running of the event, which was won in a time of 1:50:52.703. The shortest race came in 2017, which Lewis Hamilton won after 1:33:50.991.
The highest number of finishers in a Grand Prix at this track was in 2012, when 22 drivers reached the chequered flag. The least number of finishers came in 2015, when just twelve drivers made it to the end of the race.
On average, seventeen cars make it to the end of the race here.
There is yet to be a red-flagged race at COTA.
?? CHAMPIONSHIP GLORY
There has been one World Champion crowned at COTA. Lewis Hamilton won his third title here back in 2015. The Constructors’ honours have been won here twice. Red Bull won their third title in a row in 2012, while Mercedes won their fourth in a row here in 2017.
The winner of this race has gone on to win that year’s championship four times. Meanwhile, the leader of the championship after a Grand Prix at COTA has never failed to go on and win the title.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. 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 Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.