Nico Rosberg heads to the US Grand Prix with one hand firmly on the title, having established a 33-point gap over Mercedes teammate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton.
Rosberg has turned the tables in his favour after the summer break, winning four of the last five races, and never finishing outside the podium.
The German, however, is yet to win on American soil, and will be way of Hamilton, who has won the last two races at Austin.
The Circuit of the Americas, widely hailed as Hermann Tilke’s best creation, was the venue of Hamilton’s third title triumph. The Englishman romped to victory after Rosberg ran wide while leading the race.
Elsewhere, Ferrari would be looking to claw back some advantage over Red Bull, having showed podium-worthy pace in Japan a fortnight ago. Despite all the promises at the beginning of the year, the Scuderia continues to chase that elusive victory.
Homecoming of Haas
The US Grand Prix will serve as the home race for F1’s newcomers Haas, who would be looking to reverse their fortunes and return to point-scoring form.
Pirelli is bringing supersoft, soft and the medium tyres to Austin. While Mercedes and Red Bull have chosen six sets of the supersoft compound, Ferrari has taken an aggressive route with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen equipped with seven sets each.
The Circuit of the Americas follows an anti-clockwise configuration and requires medium-high downforce .Drivers spend 61% of the lap on full power, which means Mercedes-powered cars are likely to have an upper hand at this venue.
The race itself was put under doubt after to a cut in state-funding, but the organisers have managed to keep the event on the calendar.
Last year’s event was interrupted by heavy showers, leading to backlash from fans who were not allowed to enter the circuit on Saturday. The organisers would be hoping for a smoother weekend this time out.
by Rachit Thukral