It is time for the 2018 United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. This is the 7th time that a Formula 1 Grand Prix is held in Austin and overall 40th time that the United States Grand Prix has been the part of Formula 1 calendar.
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have a comfortable lead in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ standings and it will take a miracle for either Sebastian Vettel or Ferrari to snatch either of the titles from them. To be precise, If Lewis Hamilton wins the 2018 United States Grand Prix and Sebastian Vettel finishes 3rd or lower, Lewis Hamilton will be crowned Formula 1 Champion for the 5th time and all that with 3 races to spare.
I have prepared a blog on the 2018 United States Grand Prix which includes the latest news, storylines, as well as some stats to go along with betting advice. Read on!
The History of the United States Grand Prix
Formula 1 and the United States have a history of love and hate over the last 7 decades. A strong motorsport history in the United States, especially in stock car racing (NASCAR) has always been an obstacle to growing Formula 1 popularity in the US.
The first Formula 1 United States Grand Prix race was held in 1959 at the Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. The following season United States Grand Prix was held at the Riverside International Raceway in California. The United States finally settled at the Watkins Glen International, where the United States Grand Prix was held from 1961 until 1980.
After an 8-year hiatus, United States Grand Prix made a comeback in 1989 with a Phoenix Street Circuit, where the race was held until 1991. Another 8-year hiatus followed from 1992 until 1999, until in 2000 the organizers finally brought back the United States Grand Prix to Indianapolis, where it was held until 2007.
Finally, the United States Grand Prix settled at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas after another hiatus from 2008 to 2011. The race has been held there ever since. The track in Austin is one of the drivers’ favorites on the calendar, due to plenty of overtaking opportunities and difference in elevation at the different ends of the track.
Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver in the history of the United States Grand Prix with 6 wins in 2007, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. He is closely followed by the legendary Michael Schumacher who has won the race in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Other drivers with multiple wins at the United States Grand Prix include Graham Hill (1963, 1964, 1965) and Jim Clarke (1962, 1966, 1967) with 3 wins apiece and Jackie Stewart (1968, 1972), James Hunt (1976, 1977), Carlos Reutemann (1974, 1978) and Ayrton Senna (1990, 1991), who have won the race on two separate occasions each.
When it comes to constructors, the United States Grand Prix has been incredibly competitive. The most successful constructor at the race has been Ferrari with 9 wins (1975, 1978, 1979, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006), followed by McLaren (1976, 1977, 1989, 1990, 1991, 2001, 2007, 2012) and Lotus (1960, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1973) with 8 wins apiece.
In recent history, Mercedes have been the dominant constructor at the United States Grand Prix with 4 straight wins in Austin from 2014 until 2017. Only other constructors to win multiple United States Grand Prix races are BRM (1963, 1964, 1965) and Tyrrell (1971, 1972).
The Season So Far
So far, it has been an eventful 2018 season in Formula 1. Ferrari came out of the gates firing at all cylinders as Sebastian Vettel won the first two races in Australia and Bahrain. Ferrari has shown impressive pace and seemed to have gained a step on their close rivals Mercedes.
What happened in China was a surprise for everyone, as Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo claimed his first victory of the season. In a chaotic race, Ricciardo used his opportunity and stole a victory in an inferior car.
The pressure was on Mercedes to respond after a slow start to the season. They got lucky in Baku, where Lewis Hamilton claimed his first victory of the season. An unexpected safety car sprung Lewis Hamilton into the lead, which he kept until the end of the race.
2018 Spanish Grand Prix was another winning display for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes 1-2 finish vaulted Lewis Hamilton atop the Drivers’ Standings. The race in Barcelona is often a turning point in the season, as most of the teams bring major updates to the cars on this circuit, which have an important effect on the performance during the rest of the season.
Legendary Monaco Grand Prix was held two weeks ago in Monte Carlo, where Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo delivered a fantastic driving performance with a broken MGU-K, stealing the victory in front of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
2018 Grand Prix of Canada was expected to be a coming out party for Mercedes in 2018 season, as this was a track they have dominated as of late. A track which is notorious for favoring the teams with the best power unit was supposed to suit Mercedes. None of it came through, as Mercedes failed to bring their engine upgrades to Montreal and Ferrari demonstrated a dominant package in a Sebastian Vettel win.
Mercedes once again found themselves under pressure to deliver. They were late with their power unit upgrade in Canada, and they have moved it to the 2018 French Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton delivered an excellent performance to win the French Grand Prix in a chaotic race which saw Sebastien Vettel crash into several drivers on the start.
What followed was the home Grand Prix for Red Bull in Austria, where Max Verstappen pulled out his first win and Red Bull’s third of the season, in a race which saw both Mercedes’ drivers retire from the race due to technical problems.
The final race of the tripleheader was held at the 2018 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. An early incident on the first lap, ended up costing Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton a chance to win. Ferrari’s Sebastien Vettel ended up winning the race for his 4th win of the season.
Formula 1 season made a return to Hockenheimring for the 2018 German Grand Prix, Sebastien Vettel’s home race. In a race full of surprises, Lewis Hamilton scored a fantastic win, finishing 1st after starting 14th on the grid. Sebastien Vettel had the win secured but he made a costly mistake late in the race and ended up on the gravel and out of the race.
The last race before the summer break was the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix where Mercedes managed to put together a dominant package that was too much for Ferrari to handle. Lewis Hamilton managed to win the second race in a row and leave for the summer break with a 24-point gap to 2nd placed Sebastian Vettel in the Driver’s Championship standings.
The first race after the summer break was the Belgian Grand Prix at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Although, Lewis Hamilton managed to qualify on pole in a rain-soaked qualification round, Sebastian Vettel managed to secure a win at Spa-Francorchamps with a pass on the first lap, just before the safety car hit the track due to an incident at the start of the race.
Formula 1 moved on to the legendary Monza Autodrome track for the 2018 Italian Grand Prix. Despite locking out the front row in qualifying in their home Grand Prix, Ferrari disappointed once again. Vettel contacted Lewis Hamilton on the 1st lap and ended up falling behind to the back of the pack, while Kimi Raikkonen’s win was ruined by a damaged tire and he couldn’t keep Hamilton behind him.
Entering the 2018 United States Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton leads the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship with 331 points, a 67-point lead over Sebastian Vettel. When it comes to constructors, Mercedes is 1st with 538 points, a 78-point lead over 2nd placed Ferrari.
Stats to Consider When Betting on the 2018 United States Grand Prix
- If Lewis Hamilton wins the 2018 United States Grand Prix, it will be the 5th time in-a-row that he has won it. This would be only the second time in the history of Formula 1 that a driver has won the same race 5 times in-a-row. The first driver to ever do it was Ayrton Senna who dominated the Monaco Grand Prix from 1988 to 1993.
- All of the United States Grand Prix races in Austin, at the Circuit of the Americas have been won from the front row of the grid, making the qualifying of key importance for the race success.
- If Lewis Hamilton wins the race in Austin and Sebastian Vettel finishes 3rd or lower on the grid, Hamilton will be crowned a Formula 1 Champion for the 5th time.
- He would be only the 3rd driver to ever accomplish that feat in Formula 1 history, after Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher.
Pole Position Betting Preview
With recent improvements on the car and dominant drives from Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes is the team to beat at the 2018 United States Grand Prix. It is no surprise then that Lewis Hamilton is the main favorite for the pole position at 1.50 odds.
He is followed by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at 3.25 odds for the pole position. The rest of the favorites are Valtteri Bottas at 8.50 odds and Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, all at the 19.00 odds for the pole.
It is obvious that Lewis Hamilton has been the driver to beat in the last third of the season and he will try to secure the title as soon as possible. Success at the 2018 United States Grand Prix is directly tied to the qualifying, since no driver from outside of the front row on the grid has ever won a race here. Therefore, Lewis Hamilton is my pick for the pole at the track where he has dominated the last 4 seasons.
Race Winner Betting Preview
It is no surprise that the odds for the race winner closely follow the pole position ones, due to the nature of the track and the importance of qualifying. Lewis Hamilton is once again the key favorite to win the race at 1.53 odds.
He is followed by Sebastian Vettel at 4.00 odds for the win. The rest of the potential winners are Valtteri Bottas at 8.00 odds, Kimi Raikkonen at 15.00 odds, Max Verstappen at 17.00 odds and Daniel Ricciardo at 23.00 odds.
I find it hard to believe that anyone outside the Hamilton-Vettel duo is capable of winning this race, since both Mercedes and Ferrari will be issuing team orders during the race. Considering all that, Lewis Hamilton is the absolute favorite and the track suits him really well, so he is my pick.