United States Grand Prix: Preview

Published on 20 October 2023 at 16:00

After a week's break, Formula 1 heads to North America for round 19 of the 2023 World Championship at the Circuit of the Americas for the United States Grand Prix.


Image Credit: Gongora/NurPhoto via Getty Images


What time are the sessions?


Just like the last race weekend in Qatar, the United States Grand Prix will be a sprint weekend, meaning that qualifying will take place on Friday, making way for the sprint day on Saturday.


With qualifying happening on Friday, it means that there will only be one practice session before competitive running, giving teams not much chance to get the set-up right for the rest of the weekend due to the Parc Ferme rules.


So with that being said, here are the times for each of the sessions taking place this weekend.



FP1: 12:30 (Local time) / 18:30 (UK time)

Qualifying: 16:00 (Local time) / 22:00 (UK time)



Sprint Shootout: 12:30 (Local time) / 18:30 (UK time)

Sprint Race: 17:00 (Local time) / 23:00 (UK time)



Race: 14:00 (Local time) / 20:00 (UK time)


Constructors' Championships battles


Whilst the top of the championship has already been decided - with Max Verstappen and Red Bull winning their respective championships - there are still fights elsewhere in the constructors' championship.


Firstly, P3 in the constructors' championship could still have a twist in the tale. Whilst Mercedes look to be clear of McLaren, the Woking team could still challenge Ferrari for third in the constructors' championship.


McLaren had a shocking start to the year. However, since their 'B-Spec' car concept in Austria, the British team has been on the up, securing multiple podium finishes and even securing a sprint race victory with Oscar Piastri at the last sprint race in Qatar.


Therefore, McLaren now find themselves on 219 points in fifth. However, the Woking team are only 11 points behind Aston Martin, who have dropped off massively since the start of the season.


McLaren have also been outperforming Ferrari on a consistent basis - and find themselves 79 points behind the Scuderia currently with five races to go.


Ahead of this weekend, McLaren driver Oscar Piastri reckons that his team will not perform as well as in Suzuka and Losail due to COTA having more slow-speed corners. 


Battle for P7


The battle for P3 in the constructors' championship is not the only battle still left. The battle for P7 is even closer with Williams currently occupying the spot.


However, the Grove has confirmed that they will not be adding anymore upgrades to their FW44, despite rival teams making plenty of upgrades still until the end of the season.


Williams' biggest chance of scoring points will be at Las Vegas with the long straights. Therefore, the race could prove pivotal for whether Williams get seventh in the constructors' or not.


Alfa Romeo secured a double points finish at the last race in Qatar. Both drivers acknowledged that the final part of the upgrade package brought in Qatar helped the performance of the car. The Swiss team will be hoping that the race in Qatar can be used as momentum.


Haas are bringing a major upgrade package to this weekend's race. The upgrade is expected to be a 'Red Bull copy' with the American team hoping that it will give them a significant boost in performance.


AlphaTauri brought an upgrade package to the Singapore Grand Prix, which saw Liam Lawson secure points in ninth. Daniel Ricciardo is also returning this weekend. 


With all their rival teams upgrading their car, Williams could well and truly find themselves at the bottom of the performance charts, making it difficult for them to secure any points to protect their seventh place.


Each position in the constructors' championship is vital in terms of prize money, making it important for the Grove team to try and cling on to seventh.


My predictions


Pole Position - Max Verstappen

Sprint Shootout Pole Position - Max Verstappen

Sprint Race Winner - Max Verstappen

Race winner - Max Verstappen

Podium - Lando Norris, Lewis Hamilton

Darkhorse - Nico Hulkenberg

Biggest disappointment - Sergio Perez 


Nathan Hartley

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