Hamilton has won five of the nine races at COTA, Sainz has never failed to score and seven drivers have never previously picked up points at the United States Grand Prix. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the Circuit of the Americas!
🇳🇱 Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen won the 2021 United States Grand Prix, recording his third podium result at the circuit. He could have finished on the podium in 2017 too, if not for a time penalty for an overtake beyond track limits. Instead, fourth place had to do. He also finished an impressive fourth with Toro Rosso in 2015. Verstappen’s only retirement at the track came in 2016.
2018 is the only year that Verstappen has failed to reach Q3. He started 18th that year after an engine penalty, leading to a great comeback drive in the race. He similarly gained 12 positions in the previous year.
He recorded his first pole at the venue last year. Verstappen is yet to lose a position from where he started on any of his four finishes at the track.
🇲🇽 Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez recorded his first United States Grand Prix podium result in 2021 with third place. Perez has scored on all but two visits to COTA. In 2019, Perez finished tenth, ending a three year streak of eighth place results. 2012, when he finished 12th, and 2014, when he retired, are the only seasons that Perez has not scored at the track.
Perez has reached Q3 on five of his nine visits to America, with a best qualifying position of third last year. Perez has not out-qualified a team-mate at the track since 2015.
Aside from his 2014 retirement, Perez has never lost a position from where he started in the United States Grand Prix.
🇬🇧 Lewis Hamilton
He may not have won here since 2017, but Lewis Hamilton is the undisputed King of COTA. He has won five races at the track, and has finished on the podium in all but one of the nine race weekends held at the circuit. The only season where Hamilton has not finished in the top three at the Circuit of the Americas was in 2013, when he finished fourth.
In 2019, Hamilton ended a three-year streak of pole positions at the track. Before that, he qualified on the front row three times. He returned to the front row last year, qualifying second. 2018 is the only season that Hamilton has finished in a position lower than where he has started at the United States Grand Prix, while 2013 is the only season that he hasn’t led a lap of the race here.
🇬🇧 George Russell
George Russell finished 17th on his first United States Grand Prix outing in 2019 and bettered that with 14th place in 2021. He progressed to Q2 at the circuit for the first time last year, qualifying in fifteenth place – though he started at the back of the grid due to a power unit penalty.
🇲🇨 Charles Leclerc
From three appearances at the United States Grand Prix, Leclerc has failed to finish once – in 2018 – and finished fourth on his last two outings.
Leclerc has reached the final part of qualifying on both appearances at the circuit, with a best grid slot of fourth in 2019. He qualified fifth last year, out-qualifying a team-mate at the track for the second time.
🇪🇸 Carlos Sainz
In his six appearances, Carlos Sainz has never failed to finish in the top eight at the United States Grand Prix. He recorded his worst finish at the track with eight place in 2019. His best result is sixth with Toro Rosso in 2016, and he has finished in seventh on his four other outings.
Sainz has reached Q3 four times at COTA, recording his best qualifying result with sixth place in 2021.
2019 marked the first time that Sainz has lost a position from where he started at the United States Grand Prix – something which happened again last year.
🇦🇺 Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo has finished on the podium twice at the United States Grand Prix. Both times he finished in third place, in 2014 and 2016.
In 2019, after two consecutive retirements at the event, Ricciardo finished sixth for Renault. He finished fifth with McLaren last year.
The Australian has reached Q3 in every race at the track since 2014, with a best qualifying result of third in both 2015 and 2016.
His first year at Toro Rosso, in 2012, is the only time that Ricciardo has failed to out-qualify his team-mate at COTA.
🇬🇧 Lando Norris
Lando Norris has scored points on both visits to COTA. He finished seventh on his United States Grand Prix debut in 2019 and came home eighth last year. Norris has qualified in eighth for both of his races at the circuit, though he moved up to seventh on last year’s grid. He’s yet to out-qualify a team-mate at the track. Norris previously drove at COTA with McLaren in Free Practice 1 for the 2018 United States Grand Prix.
🇪🇸 Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso finished on the podium at Circuit of the Americas in the inaugural race here in 2012. That’s his only podium finish here – though he went on to record three more top six finishes, with fifth in 2013 and 2016, and sixth in 2014.
Alonso has retired from each of his last three appearances at the circuit.
From his last five appearances here, Alonso has reached Q3 only once. His best qualifying result is sixth, recorded in 2013 and 2014, while 2012 and 2021 are the only seasons in which he has been out-qualified by a team-mate at the venue.
🇫🇷 Esteban Ocon
From his four appearances so far at the United States Grand Prix, Esteban Ocon has scored only once.
He finished sixth in 2017, bagging eight points. He also finished eighth in 2018, but was disqualified from the event as his car exceeded fuel flow limits on the opening lap of the race. Ocon failed to finish the race last year.
Ocon has reached the final part of qualifying twice at the Circuit of The Americas, with a best qualifying result of sixth in 2018. 2016 is the only season that Ocon has been out-qualified by a team-mate at the track.
🇫🇷 Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly has failed to score on all three of his United States Grand Prix appearances so far. His best result here is 12th, in 2018. He finished 16th in 2019 and retired from the race in 2021.
Gasly reached Q3 here for the first time in 2019 and went on to record his best qualifying result here last year with ninth place. He has out-qualified his team-mate on all three visits to the track.
He gained seven places from where he started in 2018, but lost six positions in the 2019 race.
🇯🇵 Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda scored points on his first appearance at Circuit of The Americas last year, finishing in ninth place. He reached Q3 for the event, qualifying in tenth.
🇩🇪 Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel won the United States Grand Prix in 2013 and has taken a further three podium finishes at the track.
Until 2019, Vettel had a 100% finish rate at the track and had never finished below seventh. However, that came to an end in 2019 as he retired from the race.
Vettel has taken pole at COTA twice – in 2012 and 2013 – and qualified on the front row every year between 2017 and 2019, though he started only fifth on the grid in 2018. 2014 and 2016 are the only seasons that Vettel has been out-qualified by a team-mate in Texas.
Vettel has gained at least ten places in two races here. He started from the pit-lane and gained eleven places in 2014 and gained ten places in the following year’s race. He also gained eight positions in 2021, driving from 18th to tenth.
Since leading almost every lap in 2013, Vettel has led only eight laps at the event in the last seven races.
🇨🇦 Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll has not yet scored a point at the United States Grand Prix. His best finish so far at the track came in 2017, when he finished 11th. He has a 100% finishing rate at the track.
2019 marked the first time Stroll has progressed past Q1 at the circuit, qualifying in 14th place.
🇹🇭 Alex Albon
Alex Albon finished fifth on his first appearance at the United States Grand Prix in 2019. He started the race from sixth place after being out-qualified by his team-mate.
🇨🇦 Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Latifi made his first appearance at Circuit of The Americas in 2019. He drove for Williams in Free Practice 1. In his first race appearance last year, he finished 15th having started one position further up the grid.
🇫🇮 Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas took his first United States Grand Prix win, and his first podium finish at the event, in 2019.
Circuit of The Americas is the track at which Bottas first scored at in Formula 1, finishing eighth in 2013. He has finished fifth here three times, with 2015 – when he retired – and 2016 being the only seasons that the Finn has failed to score.
He finished sixth here last year. Bottas has reached Q3 at the track on every occasion except 2015, when he set the twelfth fastest lap time. Bottas took pole for the first time at the circuit in 2019.
2013 and 2021 are the only years that Bottas has finished the United States Grand Prix in a better position than where he started from.
🇨🇳 Zhou Guanyu
Zhou Guanyu has no past racing experience at Circuit of The Americas.
🇩🇪 Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher came home 16th in the 2021 United States Grand Prix, one position ahead of his team-mate. He qualified 19th for the event but moved up to sixteenth on the final grid.
🇩🇰 Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen has not scored at the United States Grand Prix since his first appearance at COTA in 2014. He finished eighth that year. He was last classified in a race here in 2017, having been disqualified in 2018 and failing to finish in 2019.
2014 is also the only year Magnussen has qualified in the top ten at the track, while his last appearance in 2019 is the only time he has out-qualified his team-mate.
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.