No victories have been recorded away from the front row at COTA. Here’s everything you need to know about each grid slot’s history at Circuit of The Americas!
THE STATS IN BRIEF
- Polesitter always finished on podium
- No wins outside the front row
- 4th retired from 4 of last 6 races
- 18th has furthest back podium
|Grid||Last Win||Last Podium||Last Points||Last DNF||Best Finish||Points %|
Five of the nine races held so far at the Circuit of the Americas have been won from pole position. The polesitter has never retired from the U.S. Grand Prix during its tenure in Texas, and the driver starting from the front has never failed to finish in the top three. In 2018, Lewis Hamilton recorded the lowest finishing position so far for a polesitter at this track by finishing in third place.
Second on the grid has given almost as many wins at the Circuit of the Americas as pole and is the furthest back grid slot to win at the circuit. The driver starting here has been victorious on four occasions. Part of that is because of the track layout, with second on the grid generally having the better line heading into the first corner of the race. The driver starting from second has led after the first turn in three of the last five races at the track. In 2019, Sebastian Vettel became the first driver to retire having started from the front row of the grid at COTA. It was the first time that the driver starting here has failed to finish on the podium.
From the nine United States Grands Prix held at Circuit of the Americas, only four have resulted in podium finishes for the driver starting third. The driver starting third has finished third in the last two COTA races. The first race here, in 2012, is the only one in which the driver starting third has failed to score. That year, Mark Webber retired having started third on the grid.
With four DNFs in four of the last six COTA races, fourth had become an unenviable place to start the United States Grand Prix from. Every year between 2015 and 2018 saw a Red Bull start from here, and on all four occasions – Daniil Kvyat in 2015, Max Verstappen in 2016 and Daniel Ricciardo in 2017 and 2018 – the car failed to see the chequered flag. Furthermore, in the five races where the driver starting here did manage to finish, the position has never finished in a better place than where it started from.
Kimi Raikkonen’s retirement in 2016 is the only non-finish so far for the driver starting from fifth. Aside from that, 2021 was the first time since 2013 that the driver starting fifth on the grid has lost a position by the end of the Grand Prix. This grid slot has celebrated three podium finishes – third places for Daniel Ricciardo and Raikkonen in 2014 and 2017 respectively and the runner-up spot for Lewis Hamilton in 2019.
Of the nine races held so far at the Circuit of the Americas, the driver starting sixth has scored seven times. The times that they failed to score were in 2015 and 2018. Nico Hulkenberg retired from proceedings in 2015, while Esteban Ocon originally finished eighth in 2018 – but was disqualified as his Force India car exceeded fuel flow limits. No driver has finished on the podium from here. The best finishing position from sixth on the grid is fourth, for Sebastian Vettel in 2016.
The first race at Circuit of the Americas resulted in a podium finish for Fernando Alonso, who started seventh. Seventh on the grid has not reached those heights again, with Nico Hulkenberg’s sixth place in 2018 being the best result. There have been two retirements from seventh, for Felipe Massa in 2015 and Nico Hulkenberg in 2016.
The driver starting from eighth has retired from three of the last four races at COTA. Fernando Alonso was sidelined with engine problems in 2017, Romain Grosjean was out following an early race collision in 2018 and Pierre Gasly suffered suspension issues in 2021. The position has only scored points three times, in 2012, 2015 and 2019, with a fourth place finish for Max Verstappen in 2015 being the best result so far.
Daniel Ricciardo recorded the best result from ninth on the grid in 2019, coming home in sixth place. Valtteri Bottas repeated the feat in 2021. The driver starting ninth has scored more often than not, with six points finishes in the nine races here. Two races have resulted in non-finishes for the driver starting ninth. Adrian Sutil was out on the first lap in 2014, while Charles Leclerc retired in 2018.
2019 marked the first time since 2015 that the driver starting from tenth failed to score at the United States Grand Prix. 2013, 2015 and 2019 are the only years that this grid slot has not picked up points at COTA, with Romain Grosjean’s retirement in 2015 being the only time that the driver starting here has failed to finish. The best result from tenth on the grid is sixth, recorded by Carlos Sainz in 2016.
Eleventh on the grid has secured points finishes in five of the last six races in Texas. In 2021, Esteban Ocon became only the second driver to record a DNF from this grid slot. Felipe Massa has the best finish from the eleventh grid position so far at COTA, having finished fourth in the inaugural race in 2012. The grid slot’s only other DNF came in 2014, when Sergio Perez retired. Paul di Resta’s fifteenth place in 2013 is the only other time that the driver starting here has failed to score.
The driver starting twelfth has scored four times at COTA, but has not picked up a point since 2016. The driver starting here was not been classified in the 2018 or 2019 United States Grands Prix. Kevin Magnussen was disqualified in 2018, while George Russell failed to finish in 2019. The best result from twelfth on the grid is fifth, recorded by Jenson Button in 2012 and Fernando Alonso in 2016.
Sebastian Vettel scored a podium finish from thirteenth on the grid at the 2015 United States Grand Prix – but that’s the only time that starting from this grid slot has resulted in a points finish. Of the nine races at COTA, five have seen the driver who started here finish in a better position than thirteenth. There have been two retirements from this grid slot, for Nico Hulkenberg in 2014 and Fernando Alonso in 2018.
Fourteenth on the grid is one of only two grid slots in Texas to have recorded four DNFs. Meanwhile, Jean-Eric Vergne’s tenth place finish in 2014 is the only time a driver starting here has picked up a point.
Fifteenth is one of four grid slots to have never recorded a retirement at the Circuit of the Americas. The driver starting here has scored twice, with a tenth place finish for Jenson Button in 2013 and ninth for Felipe Nasr in 2015.
Two of the last four Texas races have resulted in points-scoring results for the driver starting the United States Grand Prix from sixteenth on the grid. The best result from here is fourth place, which is where Max Verstappen finished in 2017. Meanwhile, Marcus Ericsson finished tenth in 2018. There have been two retirements so far from this grid slot – in 2013 and 2015.
Seventeenth on the grid at COTA has never failed to reach the end of the race. Despite this, the driver starting here has scored only once, with Romain Grosjean finishing tenth for Haas in 2016.
Eighteenth is the furthest back grid slot from which a podium finish has been recorded at the Circuit of the Americas. Max Verstappen finished as runner-up in 2018 having started back in eighteenth. Sebastian Vettel’s tenth place in 2021 is the only other time that this grid slot has scored. Eighteenth on the grid has retired from the race twice.
Jenson Button’s ninth place finish in 2016 is the only time that the driver starting nineteenth at the Circuit of the Americas has scored. Three retirements have been recorded from this grid slot, including in each of the last two races at the track. Will Stevens was out in 2015, Robert Kubica retired in 2019 and Fernando Alonso failed to reach the end of the race in 2021.
During the United States Grand Prix’s tenure at COTA, the twentieth grid slot has never retired. It has had two points-scoring finishes. Carlos Sainz finished seventh in 2015, while Brendon Hartley finished ninth in 2018. The grid slot has been left vacant twice – in 2014, due to a shorter entry list than usual and in 2019, due to Sergio Perez starting from the pit lane.
Two pit lane starts have been made at the Circuit of the Americas, with both of them resulting in points-scoring races. Sebastian Vettel finished seventh having started from the pit lane in 2014, while Sergio Perez finished tenth from the pits in 2019.
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, Motorsport Guides and WTF1. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.