Start, Circuit of the Americas, 2015

Rain likely during race day at Austin

2017 United States Grand Prix weather

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The United States Grand Prix weekend could be affected by rain again, though not as badly as it was two years ago.

Persistent rain throughout Friday and Saturday in 2015 meant second practice had to be cancelled, qualifying was postponed to Sunday and Q3 could not be run at all. The race began on a damp track which then dried out.

This time drivers can expect dry running during the build-up to the race but the main event itself is at greatest risk of rain. A low pressure band arriving from the north-west is expected to bring rain with it on Sunday morning, but its progress across the country only needs to slow a little for it to arrive in time for the 2pm start.

There is a low chance of occasional showers during Friday and Saturday. Air temperatures will fall just short of 30C but on race day the cooler conditions will bring that down to the mid-twenties.

Lower track temperatures have tended to favour Mercedes so far this year, while Red Bull and McLaren are likely to be the most encouraged by the prospect of rain.

For more updates on the track conditions and forecasts during each session keep an eye on F1 Fanatic Live and the F1 Fanatic Twitter account.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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28 comments on “Rain likely during race day at Austin”

  1. Hamilton has won all the last 8 rain effected races

    1. Guybrush Threepwood
      19th October 2017, 11:07

      How many before he had the most dominant car ever?

      1. LCH car is nowhere near as dominant as Vettel’s Red Bull or Schumachers Ferrari’s were in they WC years. Those results were only in doubt if there was an accident or failure, this year has been so much closer because the Merc isn’t always the best car.

        1. With a statement like that it is clear that you’ve only started watching F1 in 2014…

        2. Red Bull’s dominance in 2010-2013 wasn’t even as close as Mercedes in 2014-2016. And 2 cars this year are miles ahead, and only Vettel is capable of doing well in the wet (Raikkonen and Bottas are awful in the wet), and for the first wet affected race this year, Hamilton got lucky with a safety car, and for the second, well, he got lucky with a 4 man demolition.

          1. Yeah, tell me …

          2. Not true, hamilton has always been strong in the wet, vettel sometimes, but not at his or verstappen’s level. If it rains I expect a hamilton-verstappen battle, depending on how red bull compared to mercedes here, but yes, raikkonen and bottas are even worse than vettel and stroll is good too on the wet.

      2. Monaco 2016 and Singapore 2017 without the fastest car on the grid.

      3. As a matter of fact Lewis has won at least 3 wet races before he got “the most dominant car” dude

        1. So in 8 seasons and around 150 races in a top flight team before 2014 he won 3 in the wet? Doesn’t seem that great to me…

          But we know Lewis is good in the wet.

          1. I see you keep cherrypicking. “before 2014 he won 3 in the wet” perhaps to put it into perspective- how many wet races were they in that period?

      4. Silverstone 08, Belgium 2010 off the top of my head. In any case, rain is the “great equaliser” and nullifies any car advantage. Keep trying.

        1. This is nonsens; put Hamilton in a Mercedes and clone Hamilton in another car and the difference will be roughly the same as in the dry. The thing with rain is that it will give a good driver in a bad car a good opportunity to beat a not so good driver in a better car. Assuming that a sauber and a merc are on par in the wet is hilarious.

    2. I believe the last rain effected race was won by Renault’s inflatable banana. ;-)

  2. Bad News for everybody apart from Hamilton and Verstappen.

    1. I’m not so sure… clearly Hamilton and Verstappen seem to excel more than others in these conditions, but a wet race also makes the situation a lot more of a lottery, especially when not in the lead. Doubts start to creep in about strategy, there are drying tracks to think about, visibility isn’t as good, safety cars are more likely…

      It’s impossible to ignore Hamilton’s “wet record” and the way that Verstappen has performed in the few wet races he’s been a part of, but never underestimate the unpredictability of a wet race.

      1. I fully agree (but I hope/think great drivers in the wet can just a little bit influence that lottery 🤓)

    2. Not true, this is great news for mclaren. They’re usually good at COTA anyway and adding in rain will make them even more competitive hopefully

    3. Don’t forget Stroll.

      1. @david-beau
        One swallow doesn’t make a summer, one outstanding wet session doesn’t make an outstanding wet driver. Only time will tell if Monza was a one-off or indicative of noteworthy skill in wet conditions.

        1. Stroll was also good at singapore in the rain!

          1. @esploratore
            I agree that he didn’t make any mistakes in the race Singapore and scored some valuable points for Williams, but on the other hand, there’s hardly any evidence that he actually drove well.
            He gained two places at the start, and also beat Massa to the first corner, that was good.
            But without the accidents at the front, that would’ve put him in 16th. He did finish 8th, but without the retirements of Vettel, Räikkönen, Verstappen, Alonso, Kvyat and Hülkenberg, he would’ve finished outside the points. He didn’t overtake anyone on the track during the race, but he lost a place to Vandoorne after making a mistake. Other than starting better than Grosjean and Massa and gaining the aforementioned places due to retirements, he gained two positions due to pit stops by Ocon and Magnussen, who had started on Wet tyres, while Stroll had started on Intermediates and only needed a single tyre change in the race.
            He did beat Massa, but the comparison between them was particularly overshadowed by their different strategies, with Williams splitting their approach at the start to make sure that at least one of them is on the right tyres. That turned out to be Stroll, and Massa’s strategy went from bad to horrible when they failed to pit him behind the Safety Car, so that he was left out on the track with tyres that were so badly off the pace that he had to pit twice (for Inters and then for dry tyres) within 7 laps, which cost him a lap. He still ended up in the train of cars that was held up by Stroll.

            All of this is just to say that I struggle to call Stroll’s race a good race. His result was good, but most of that was due to other drivers’ problems. It definitely wasn’t a bad race, since he didn’t make too many obvious mistakes (the camera only captured the one that cost him a position against Vandoorne). His pace was good enough to snatch track position off Ocon and Magnussen, who needed an additional pit stop. But the question is: How much was that worth when that pit stop was due to them starting on the wrong tyre, requiring early pit stops because it lacked pace?
            I find it extremely hard to spot any positive evidence for Stroll’s good performance. In that respect, the Singapore GP was very unlike qualifying in Monza, where he:
            – beat his team mate on merit (and quite clearly so)
            – qualified ahead of cars that are normally clearly faster than his.

            Long story short: I stand by my “one swallow” comment.

          2. @nase: yes, it makes sense what you said, indeed he was verstappen-like at monza and just drove an ok race in singapore, we’ll have to see, hope we can finally get a full wet race in austin, or at least something like singapore, 1\3 of the race on a partially wet surface, wet races are always more interesting.

  3. Austin 2015 may be the best race I’ve seen.

    The prospect of another wet and potentially championship deciding race is tantalising.

    1. Big shout… it was very good. Here’s hoping it comes down on Sunday!

  4. I doubt we’ll get a rain-hit session as wet-weather conditions are very uncommon for Austin at this time of year. 2015 was just a rare exception to the rule. Furthermore, the last two race weekends only one session was rain-affected despite it being predicted to hit more than just one session, and that happened despite the fact the risk of rain is significantly higher in both Sepang and Suzuka than in Austin.

  5. Shades of Austin 2015….

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