October 25, 2023
Hong Lau

The Close Second - Formula 1 US Grand Prix Circuit of the Americas (2 minute read)

Mario, Princess Peach go on a new adventure in the animated film, Super Mario Brothers

Long have I dreamed about going to an F1 race in person. The grid is a sacred place to many and an incredible weekend experience. My first choice would always be going to Silverstone. Silverstone and F1 are intertwined and hold prestige. But as the years have grown, I’ve really come to grow and appreciate the Circuit of the Americas, aka COTA. Lewis Hamilton and other drivers have been on record saying it is one of the most physically intensive courses and one of their favourites. It also has parts of Silverstone added, lol. But it’s always an incredible atmosphere, and the Race this weekend was no exception.

I think we’ll keep this article pretty linear. This may have been one of the first times we felt the grid was ULTRA-competitive this year. Going into the Race, we believed that McLaren and Mercedes would give Red Bull a run for their money. I would include Ferrari, but they are a joke, as always. On a side note, it’s hard being a Ferrari fan, not because they lose, but because they are the laughingstock of the grid and never make it easy to be a fan. I don’t know if I genuinely believed anyone other than Max had a chance to win the Race, but this was the only time it was in question.

We won’t talk about the Race too much other than I thought Lewis and Lando had very solid races. Lewis felt like he had a real shot and a chance to prove why he is still one of the best drivers in the world. He did kind of fall flat in that aspect, in my opinion. I’d have to understand more data and the car’s true pace, but it felt like there was a bit more to give on his last stint on the mediums. It didn’t feel like he really applied the pressure of softer compounds to make the Race interesting. Now, I will say I have zero data on how his tyres were after chasing down Lando Norris.

Yes, Charles and Lewis were disqualified, and we’ll leave it at that, lol. Mercedes just has to be better on that front, and no, I don’t expect more from Ferrari lmao.

The last point I’ll talk about in this week’s blog. Max made a really insightful comment about the sprint races. I think I’ve always known it subliminally but never actually said it out loud and put it into the universe. But paraphrasing, he said that the sprint races take the actual fun out of the Grand Prix because you already have an idea of the car’s true pace and an idea of what the Race will look like. To be honest, I 100% agree with him. Peter said to me it was a great race, and I felt like it was good but didn’t feel as good as it should, and I’m leaning on this on why it didn’t feel “great.” The reality is that the Sprint race puts more eyeballs on screens on the weekends but leaves more to be desired or less mystery on the actual race day. We’ll see how F1 approaches sprint weekend moving forward, but that’s it from me today!

We’ll see you again this week in Mexico!