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The United States Grand Prix – Did you know…

| 23.10.2015

Lewis Hamilton can clinch a third world drivers’ crown this weekend in America, but did you know it’s been over 30 years since the USA provided the venue for a world championship decider?

Mercedes man Hamilton just needs to outscore Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by nine points, and team-mate Nico Rosberg by two to claim a second-successive title.

The Brit is 4/9 to win the United States Grand Prix on Sunday around the Circuit of the Americas and the global superstar is the latest to call for F1 to work harder to gain a bigger presence on the American sporting scene, where it has always struggled for mainstream attention.

Formula One has had a troubled history in the US, so we’ve put together a few little facts to beef up your knowledge of what has been a difficult relationship between sport and nation.

So did you know…

– The Circuit of the Americas is the tenth different venue to host a US Grand Prix, more than any other nation.

– The 2005 US event at Indianapolis saw just six cars start the race due to safety concerns over tyres. Fans threw cups and beer bottles on to the track in protest.

– In 2002 Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello tried to stage a dead-heat finish. Barrichello actually crossed the line first causing total post-race confusion.

– When Formula One headed to Phoenix in 1991 for a race, more people went to a local Ostrich race than the actual Grand Prix.

– Dallas hosted a race in 1984 but with temperatures hitting 40 degrees, the circuit broke up and the race was almost cancelled. Only eight cars finished and Nigel Mansell fainted as he pushed his car over the line.

– A Las Vegas car park hosted two races in the early 1980s. The circuit was loathed by everybody, didn’t attract many fans and is now a multi-storey apartment block and hotel.

– Nico Rosberg’s dad Keke was the last driver to win the title in America. Rosberg claimed the championship for Williams in Las Vegas in 1982

  • So there you go, Formula One and America are a lot like Ross and Rachel from Friends. They’re on for a while, then they’re off for a while but it all seems to work out in the end.
  • It appears the sport and America have found common ground in Texas, and three-time US winner Hamilton would dearly love to help the relationship by being crowned world champ in Austin this weekend.

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.