Formula 1: This is what you have to watch out for at the US Grand Prix

The battle for the world championship is coming to a head, the Formula 1 race in Austin promises excitement. At the start, world champion Lewis Hamilton and front runner Max Verstappen stand side by side.

The big question before the Formula 1 race in Texas is clear: Will Max Verstappen use his pole position and build up his lead in the World Championship standings? Lewis Hamilton the end?

Or can the record world champion drive his Mercedes on Sunday (9 p.m. / Sky) from second place on the grid in front of the Dutchman’s Red Bull and take the lead again? The clear coat on the favorite status of the Mercedes got scratches the day before the race. Since the first practice session on Friday, the Red Bull have reduced the gap step by step – in qualifying, Verstappen was 0.209 seconds faster than Hamilton.

The first corner

First corners are always of particular importance on racetracks, but the one on the Circuit of the Americas is a special caliber. When Verstappen and Hamilton stand next to each other at the start in Austin, they look uphill – the real gradient is difficult to understand on TV images. When you reach the top of the hill, the racetrack makes a sharp bend to the left, so the space can sometimes seem very tight. Hamilton was already involved in a particularly tough maneuver in this corner: In the 2015 World Championship fight, when he left competitor and team-mate Nico Rosberg no place at all.

The back field

Fernando Alonso in the Alpine, George Russell in the Williams and Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin – the trio swapped the engine and other components and therefore has to go to the bottom of the field. Vettel, however, had the best qualifying result in twelfth place and therefore has the best chance of catching up. “We wanted to be in front of the two cars that also have a penalty, we made it,” said Vettel. He didn’t want to comment on whether he’ll try one or two pit stops. As long as the tire lasts, there is no reason to pit, he just said. Immediately in front of him are the two Haas of Nikita Masepin from Russia and Mick Schumacher, who enter the home race in the USA seemed even more inferior than already.

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The atmosphere

After decades of extremely difficult relationships, the is booming formula 1 in the USA meanwhile – and the celebrity density on Sunday will be high. 140,000 fans are expected, on Saturday the stands were jam-packed and the backdrop was impressive. Ferris wheel, freefall tower, large stages, lots of music and the finest Texan weather with temperatures of around 30 degrees – from an entertainment perspective, the Grand Prix in Austin is a treat for everyone involved. “We all love to come here,” said Vettel.

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