Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019

Hamilton’s coronation? Five US Grand Prix talking points

2019 United States Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton is very likely to win the world championship this weekend, and F1 is preparing to reveal more about its future plans for 2021.

Here are this weekend’s talking points.

Hamilton coronation

It’s not unrealistic that Valtteri Bottas could leave Austin still with a chance of winning the championship. But the only likely scenario in which this would happen is if he wins the race and Hamilton retires for some reason.

Hamilton’s 10th victory of the season last weekend means he needs just four points between now and the end of the year to secure his sixth world championship title. And he’s only failed to do that once, in Germany, where he was ninth.

The odds favour a Hamilton coronation this weekend, which would be the second time he’s clinched the title in America, following his 2015 triumph.

F1 2021

The new regulations package for the 2021 F1 season has been debated since Liberty Media took over the sport three years ago. The championship owners are now preparing to publicly reveal for the first time the fine detail of how it intends to overhaul the sport.

RaceFans has already revealed many key details of the proposed changes, including the introduction of a ‘budget cap’ and a radical overhaul of aerodynamics to improve the quality of racing. But will there be more surprises lurking in the finished regulations?

Most importantly of all, have Liberty Media done enough to keep all the current competitors happy, and persuade the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Honda to extend their commitment to the sport beyond the end of next year?

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Haas at home

Tony Stewart will drive his NASCAR at COTA
Tony Stewart will drive his NASCAR at COTA
There’s an irony in the fact home team Haas is planning to run a NASCAR at the Circuit of the Americas on the same day F1 presents its 2021 rules package. Ferrari’s late CEO Sergio Marchionne famously responded to Liberty’s first indications of its plan for the sport by remarking “I don’t want to play NASCAR globally” and hinting Ferrari will walk if it doesn’t like what it see.

For the Haas F1 drivers, getting to play in a Stewart-Haas NASCAR will be a welcome break from the slog in their VF-19, which remains in something close to its Australian Grand Prix form as the team’s efforts to upgrade it went seriously awry and sent them up a blind alley. Mexico was a horror show for the team: Romain Grosjean was beaten by George Russell’s Williams.

Will their home race go any better? This is more like their kind of circuit, particularly as its high-energy sequence of corners at the start of the lap should help them generate energy in the tyres. But they mind also find the finicky car is susceptible to the relatively low temperatures which are forecast.

Racing Point’s late charge

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019
Grudge match: Racing Point are hunting Renault
Racing Point have made steady progress since introducing a package of upgrades for their RP19 in the races which immediately followed the summer break. They’ve been chipping away at Renault’s points lead over them – aided, of course, by Racing Point’s successful protest against their Anglo-French rivals in Japan.

The two teams are now separated by nine points and Toro Rosso in a close three-way fight for fifth in the championship. It would be a remarkable achievement for Racing Point if they can steal that away.

If they manage it, they will largely have Sergio Perez to thank, as he is the team’s most consistent points-scorer by far. Lance Stroll has contributed just three of the team’s 33 points since the summer break.

Ferrari’s pole-to-defeat streak

Ferrari’s record in the last three rounds reads as follows: Three pole positions, zero victories. That is an uncommon achievement these days: No other team has done so since 2013.

They won here last year, of course, but there’s no reason why Mercedes and Red Bull shouldn’t be in good shape at this track either. We could have a proper three-way fight this weekend, which will hopefully make up for the championship being all over bar the shouting.

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Author information

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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8 comments on “Hamilton’s coronation? Five US Grand Prix talking points”

  1. Hamilton certainly win title if he finishes in top 6 and only way that wont happen is if he is taken out in 1st corner and Bottas wins the race in which case title fight will go to Brazil.

    1. Hamilton certainly win title if he finishes in top 6 and only way that wont happen is if he is taken out in 1st corner and Bottas wins the race in which case title fight will go to Brazil.

      Top 8.

      1. Knowing he is driving Mercedes he can cruise around and still comfortably finish in Top-6.

        1. I thought that: qualify for Q3, then try to qualify 5th or 6th and stay out of trouble in the first lap, cruising round and collecting the points without overstressing the engine. Job done. He’s not going to though, is he? Thankfully :o)

          1. then try to qualify 5th or 6th

            Thats an awfully risky place to be for first corner incidents.

  2. Stopped supporting Lewis entirely when he started his whole vegan eco crusader crap. Yeah keep flying around the world burning more fuel in one race than I use in a year, while telling me to eat a diet that literally kills babies. I don’t care if he wins the championship, he is a million miles from having the class or intelligence of a Stewart or Mansell.

    1. Good for you!

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