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  • Matthieu Piekarski

#23 - 2017 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX

Updated: Feb 24, 2019



Howdy Folks, welcome to Texas. This weekend, everyone in Formula 1 is going pink, including this blog. The reason we are all going pink, is to show our support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to help in the research against Cancer. Let's unite and increase our impact for those fighting and protect future generations from the disease by donating to the Susan G. Komen Foundation by clicking here.

Even though there are still 4 races left on the calendar, it all feels like this is the end of the F1 season. Of course, last time I was announcing that Japan would be a turning point to the championship and it was. But somewhat now it has left me and surely you readers, with a bitter taste for the remaining races. All of this due is to a 59 euros spark plug that failed on Vettel's car. So what now?

Well Lewis could win the championship this Sunday, if Vettel finishes outside the top 5. As a spectator, especially to showcase the growing American viewers, we need to give them a proper demonstration of F1 with the top teams battling it out until the final lap to claim victory, with the cherry on the cake a "Vettel Remontada" and also an intense battle between Lewis and Sebastian.

Ont the constructor side, this weekend will most likely, see Mercedes AMG F1 be crowned Constructor World Champion for the fourth consecutive time. Very impressive and they deserver our respect for that.

2018 drivers upadate, as confirmed, Alonso will be staying in Formula 1 next year. In my opinion, it was the best thing to do and for the F1 community. Only question is, will it be sufficient to win another world championship?

Announcing Alonso's contract renewal makes me think of how times flies, I am restraining myself from saying "I look already forward to 2018", because as a pure F1 fan, I want to keep on seeing action and suspenseful races until the last GP in Abu Dhabi. For 2017, I want to continue making predictions that if you correlate my predictions with the actual result, well let's be honest and admit that they haven't always been right. But that is the magic of sport and of Formula 1, so come on 2017 spice it up one last time.

The Grand Prix Weekend

Since 2012, Formula 1 has been coming to the COTA (Circuit of the Americas) and it's one that numerous drivers appreciate enormously, why? Because the layout combines numerous turns inspired by the legendary circuits that are Spa-Francorchamps, Silverstone, Hockenheim and Istanbul Park

From an F1 fan perspective, this venue in Texan is worth the trip, firstly everything is bigger in Texas, you have to see it to believe it. Furthermore, the Americans know how to put on a show for any event, hands down. Parallel with the racing event, around and within the track there are numerous spectacles to keep you occupied when no one is racing. This weekend Justin Timberlake and Stevie Wonder are headlining the after race show, all of this included in the normal F1 ticket entry price, why can't we get that in Europe?

New Faces

Ladies and Gentleman, meet Brandon Hartley from New Zealand, never heard of him? Well he used to be part of the Red Bull Junior program until he was fired because they didn't see potential in him and my sources say he had difficulty coping with F1 pressure. 5 years later, he was won Le Mans with Porsche and is now in a Toro Rosso (replacing Gasly, as he is competing for the championship in Super Formula in Japan). It is still grey on whether the #USGP is his only appearance, or if he will race again this season. There is also the possibility that if he impresses this weekend, he could be lined up with Gasly next season.

Dannil Kyvat is back, i wish I could say he is a phoenix rising from the ashes, but every time he comes back we expect him to impress us and he doesn't. I do not see a future in Formula 1 for him, he never made an impact and don't really understand why Red Bull keep him.

The final driver is not really a new face, it's a familiar face in a new team. Carlos Sainz Jr. traded his Toro Rosso race suit for a yellow Renault one. Watch closely how he compares to Hulkenberg.

Weather

Subtropical climate needs to be taken into account, especially for the setup of the cars. At night, during the month of October it is very cool and during the day high 20s Celsius, this makes it hard to find the right balance from one-session to the next.

Thundery weather is predicted for the three day event, with rain expected on both Friday and Saturday. Sunday looks to be clear, but we wouldn't mind a bit of unpredictable weather as Austin has provided us with in the past.

Pirelli Tyres

Pursuing on what was said with the weather and climate, this will spice up the strategies, therefore do not be surprised to see teams using all three compounds (Ultra Soft - Supersoft - Soft). The ultra-soft will be pink this weekend, so don't be confused to see this tyre used quiet often and will definitely bring down the lap record on Saturday afternoon. But who will claim the lap record this weekend?

Will Lewis be crowned World Champion this weekend?

Lewis doesn't think so, I don't think so either. My earliest guess would be next week in Mexico. There is a good chance he could win, but for a fans perspective wouldn't it be awesome to have Vettel win and Lewis DNF (Did Not Finish), just to spice up the show a bit.

Final remark on the #USGP for us in the European Time-Zone, I strongly wish we had more US GP, as having F1 late during the day is so much more enjoyable then during the day. Friday and Saturday night, will be spent in a sports bar where you are surrounded with aficionados and for those not interested in the sport, can still be present and have a drink. That sounds better than watching Free Practice and Quali in the office or at home alone. Based on my university studies, I would conclude that this would benefit local economies, therefore Liberty Media (owner of F1) bring us more F1 races in North America.

Prophecy for the US Grand Prix

GP Winner: Lewis Hamilton, he loves the US and is a four time winner of this Grand Prix (out of a total of 5 in Austin). Vettel is the other and only driver to have won here, but the big question mark remains over reliability of the car. It won't be easy for Ferrari, but I give them a 40% chance of winning.

Pole Position: Lewis Hamilton

Joker: Three jokers this weekend. The first, is newbie Brendon Hartley, as this will be his first ever Grand Prix. Secondly, Carlos Sainz Jr. will be discovering his Renault car. Thirdly, I am attributing the Joker card to Vettel, whatever his result will impact the driver's championship, plus he goes into the race with the mindset "I have nothing to lose". .

Safety Car: No, statistically speaking it is 50% chances of a safety car.

Pit Stop: Mercedes AMG F1, just for the mechanics to have a victory on their Constructor's Championship win day.

In conclusion, I want to finish my blog with the F1 viral video published by McLaren when announcing that Fernando Alonso will be staying with them next year. It's is honestly well made and an amazing way to announce the continuation of the partnership:


That is your lot from me, enjoy US GP and don't forget that you can chat with me all weekend long via this website.

Take Care,

MP

#F1

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