United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TexasEnlarge Photo
Of course, the weather is changeable in Texas, with lots of wind and drops in temperature, so this will be a factor for teams. Humidity levels will be up at 56 percent while wind speed will be low.
Pirelli has chosen the same tire combination as last year, P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium, and they are expected to last for a relatively long number of laps with a low level of degradation. It is likely to be a one-stop race if the tarmac's roughness remains the same as last year. Drivers will make 56 laps of the 3.43 mile circuit.
As previously reported, Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen is sitting out the final two races of the season to tend to back surgery. Filling his seat this weekend will be fellow Finn Heikki Kovalainen, who has been selected by Lotus to drive for the rest of the season.
It should still be an exciting race, even with the star driver missing and the championship already decided. With Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel having won the last seven races in a row, we could continue to see the four-time world champion set records this season. His points tally in the Drivers’ Championship stands at 347 points--130 more than Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in second. Räikkönen remains in third with 183 points, but he will likely be passed by Mercedes AMG’s Lewis Hamilton who sits just eight points back.
In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing sits on 513 points, followed by Mercedes AMG in second with 334 points and Ferrari in third with 323 points.