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Race Preview by Cognizant

United States

2021 season
2021 US GP scenic

Inspired by Spa-Francorchamps, Silverstone and Hockenheim, the Circuit of the Americas is a celebration of Formula One’s greatest hits – and has become one of the sport’s most exciting and anticipated events. Against the backdrop of the city of Austin, a touchstone for music and culture, you have all the ingredients for a great Grand Prix.

2021 season
United States Grand Prix circuit figures
Lap length (km)
Race distance (km)
No. of laps
No. of corners
2021 United States GP track map
  • Sectors
  • Turns
  • DRS
Free Practice One
Friday 22nd October17:30 - 18:30 GMT
Free Practice Two
Friday 22nd October21:00 - 22:00 GMT
Free Practice Three
Saturday 23rd October19:00 - 20:00 GMT
Saturday 23rd October22:00 - 23:00 GMT
Grand Prix
Sunday 24th October20:00 - 22:00 GMT
Cognizant’s Keys to the Race

Featuring high-speed sections, technical corners and overtaking opportunities, the Circuit of the Americas is one of Formula One's most popular modern venues. Analysing recent car performance and historic data, our Title Sponsor Cognizant presents the challenges expected in the United States Grand Prix.


Cognizant's Keys to the Race


From pole position, the run to Turn One stands at only 325m, but a wide corner entry, uphill approach and blind apex create the perfect conditions for wheel-to-wheel action. With a second DRS zone on the start/finish straight, Turn One will be an overtaking hotspot during the race.


Austin's changeable weather conditions and uneven racing surface have caused tyre behaviour to vary in past races. Tyre degradation, combined with an average pit-lane time-loss of 20 seconds, has increased strategy variance, with multi-stop strategies more viable in conventional conditions.


With 61 overtakes after lap one, the 2019 United States Grand Prix featured the second-highest number of overtakes in a dry race that season, behind Bahrain. More than 70% of overtakes in Austin are performed using DRS, with Turn 12 the most popular passing spot, followed by Turn One.

Unlocking the Lap with SentinelOne

Designed to evoke the majesty of corners such as Maggotts and Becketts and Istanbul's Turn Eight, there are many highlights across a lap of the Circuit of the Americas. Our official Cyber Security Partner SentinelOne presents the key challenges behind a lap of Austin.

with SentinelOne

Unlocking the lap

Blasting along the start/finish line at 300km/h (186mph), drivers are met with the first key moment of the lap: an incline to Turn One that's steeper than Spa’s Eau Rouge/Raidillon.

Braking starts while driving uphill, and the entry is largely blind, meaning it's easy to lock-up. The sharp-left corner then tightens, offering multiple points of attack and defence, but the narrowing exit can be a flashpoint in the race.

Next up is the slaloming high-speed run through Turns Two to Six, which is inspired by the Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel complex at Silverstone, taken at an average of roughly 260km/h (162mph). Entry speed, finding the flow, and throttle precision are key to this section.

Turns Seven and Eight are modelled on Interlagos's Senna Esses, and Turn Nine ends the quick-fire right-left transitions.

Sebastian Vettel on track
Sebastian Vettel on track
With SentinelOne

Unlocking the lap

The circuit begins to open up when drivers reach the elevation change of Turn 10, which is followed by a hairpin and then the longest straight on the circuit at 1,016 metres. It’s one of the best overtaking spots on the lap, and boosted with DRS ahead of a hard braking zone conducive to passing.

The slower and technical Turns 13 to 15 evoke Hockenheim's Stadium Section. It begins with a hard-braking point, with speeds dropping to as low as 97km/h (60mph).

Turns 16 to 18 are modelled on Istanbul's Turn Eight. It’s a sweeping multi-apex corner where any errors are compounded in lap time due to the length of the corner.

Turn 19 is the last challenge of the lap, where running wide is often punished with lap time deletions or in-race warnings, before the final corner brings the drivers back onto the start/finish line to end the lap.

Lance Stroll leads the charge
Lance Stroll leads the charge
I love racing in Austin, and it's great to be able to spend some time at home in Canada to recharge ahead of the Grand Prix.
Lance Stroll
United States Grand Prix

Lance's preview

"I love racing in Austin, and it's great to be able to spend some time at home in Canada to recharge ahead of the Grand Prix. It's a critical race for the team, and we'll be giving it everything in pursuit of more points. It's a challenging track with the first sector having a flow element in contrast with the final sector which demands precision, making it quite easy to run wide. We'll be pushing the limit to find the limit in the build-up to Sunday."

Lance Stroll, 2021 US Grand Prix
Lance Stroll, 2021 US Grand Prix
We're looking to bounce back in Austin.
Sebastian Vettel
United States Grand Prix

Sebastian's preview

"We're looking to bounce back in Austin. As we've seen in recent races, we have the pace to fight in the midfield, but it's such a close fight, and it's very easy to miss out on points. This circuit really tests the set-up of the car, so the key is to maximise practice and build on it going into qualifying and the race."

Sebastian Vettel, 2021 United States Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel, 2021 United States Grand Prix

From sweeping elevation changes to quickfire changes of direction, the Circuit of the Americas packs a punch. Global Partner NetApp delves into the United States Grand Prix archives to bring you the best stats and facts from Austin.

The Circuit of the Americas is the only Grade 1-certified circuit in the US
Sebastian is one of four drivers to have won at COTA
In 2015, just 12 cars made it to the end of the Grand Prix after a chaotic start
The height in metres of the observation tower in the middle of the circuit
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