Last Time Out:
Ferrari and Red Bull were outpaced and outclassed by Mercedes.
It didn’t help that Mercedes’ opposition spent the opening stages of the grand prix tripping over each other – Max Verstappen clashed with Kimi Raikkonen, and Sebastian Vettel crashed in to Max Verstappen.
All the while Lewis Hamilton was making good his escape while his teammate Valtteri Bottas played rear gunner in second place.
As things stand, neither Red Bull or Ferrari have the firepower to match the soon to be crowned five-time World Champions.
One of the good ones. Sections of the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) are blatant copy and paste jobs from other tracks. The elevation changes around the likes of turn one are similar to the Austrian GP while the subsequent turns three to nine have been outright transplanted from Silverstone.
Thankfully, they’ve stolen some excellent work. Copse, Maggotts, Becketts and Chapel is one of the best corner sequences in Motorsport – if you’re going to steal and all that.
The race itself has been a Lewis Hamilton benefit for the last half decade. The Briton has won every race held at COTA with the exception of 2013’s edition. He’s the most successful driver in the history of the US Grand Prix and for yet another year, he travels to the track with the best car on the grid.
While Suzuka may be one of the most challenging to drive, the United States GP tends to provide some of the best racing every year. There’s plenty of overtaking opportunities as evidenced by Max Verstappen’s drive from sixteenth to third (subsequently demoted to fourth) last year.
Question marks persist over just how far Ferrari have fallen back from their German rivals over the last number of weeks. The team have made mistakes at every turn lately and they may have a more competitive package than appears looking at the results.
Really though, this is Mercedes’ race to lose.
They have an unbeaten record here since the 2014 regulation change gave them an ever-lasting edge over the field. Add to that Lewis Hamilton and all he promises in terms of pace and consistency – what you have is a potent and near unbeatable proposition for the race win.
Despite a relatively discouraging price of 1/2, there’s no other selection I could recommend for the race win other than Hamilton.
For those looking for something better priced, Max Verstappen to make the Top Three at a price of 19/10 is decent considering his recent and course form.