When drivers enter their vehicles for the F1 Italian Grand Prix, all eyes will be on two drivers, Red Bull ace Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ top man Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen beat Hamilton in the Dutch Grand Prix to leapfrog his rival and into first place. It goes without saying that the race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza is massive.
2021 US Grand Prix Race Info
- When: Sunday, Oct. 24 at 12:00 pm ET
- Where: Circuit of the Americas, Austin, TX
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: Formula1.com
- Circuit Length: 5.513 km
- Laps: 26
- Number of Corners: 20
2019 United States Grand Prix recap
Before getting to this year’s race, let’s recap what happened the last time the best drivers in the world stepped foot in Austin. The last time Formula One raced in the United States was 2019. Valtteri Bottas won the pole position. Sebastian Vettel started second and Max Verstappen started third. Charles Leclerq revved his engine in fourth and Lewis Hamilton started fifth.
Bottas carried his first-place position throughout the race and ended up standing on the top spot on the podium. Mercedes teammate Hamilton finished second and Max Verstappen crossed the finish line in third-place. Valtteri beat his teammate by over 4 seconds, which tells you how much Bottas dominated.
The fourth-place finisher, Charles Leclerc, crossed the line more than 52 seconds after Verstappen in third. Is the 2021 United States Grand Prix setting up for a similar finish to what happened in 2019?
Can Valtteri Bottas make it two in a row?
If you believe Bottas repeats his victory in the 2019 event, then yes, you must believe Valtteri can win two in a row. Bottas took the checkered flag at the Turkish Grand Prix. The race happened on October 10, which means Valtteri and his team have had plenty of time to prepare his ride for this event. If Bottas and his crew are at the top of their games, Valtteri could definitely win his second straight US GP and second in a row this year.
How tough will Lewis Hamilton be on Sunday?
Hamilton didn’t have a great Turkish GP, clocking in at fifth. But Lewis won the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on Sep. 26. Hamilton’s second-place finish at the 2019 US Grand Prix should give his backers confidence. Lewis is only 6 points behind Verstappen on the F1 Standings, which means he knows how important this race is. So unless Hamilton isn’t himself, we should expect a top three finish.
Is Max Verstappen due to grab the top spot on the podium?
Don’t be surprised if the F1 points leader grabs another checkered flag. Verstappen and his team have perfectly managed his finishes this season. Bottas sped away in Turkey. So instead of pushing the envelope and trying to catch Valtteri, Max and Red Bull decided to keep second. Third-place finisher Sergio Perez also drives for Red Bull, which means the car manufacturer had a successful Turkish Grand Prix even though a Red Bull driver didn’t win.
Verstappen hasn’t won since taking the Dutch GP in early September. So he and his team could be itching for another trophy. Also, Max’s 6 point lead over Hamilton most likely won’t last unless he starts winning again, which is why we should expect Verstappen and his crew to go for the victory.
Name a couple of underdogs with a shot at breaking up the three favorites and stepping to the podium?
Back in early June, Sergio Perez won the Socar Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The old saying rising tides lift all boats could apply on Sunday. Perez might be the Red Bull driver that gets it done. Sergio and his crew have turned into one of the better pairings at Formula 1. So we shouldn’t look past Perez stepping to the top spot on the podium. We also mustn’t look past Charles Leclerc.
Ferrari hasn’t had a great season. But Leclerq finished fourth at the Italian GP and finished fourth at the Turkish GP. He also finished fourth in this race last year. Who knows? Austin might be the place where Leclerq and Ferrari finally grab a 2021 trophy.
*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.