Formula 1 ventures Stateside this weekend for the United States Grand Prix and Britain’s Lewis Hamilton will be aiming to get one step closer to landing his second world championship title, exclusively live on Sky Sports F1.
Round 17 of the 2014 season sees the teams and drivers head across the Atlantic to the much-lauded Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, with the season building towards a hugely exciting climax at the front of the field.
Although Formula 1 has a long history in the United States, having been staged at various circuits and exotic locations right across the country since the late 1950’s, this is only the third time the race has been held at the newly constructed Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Britain’s Lewis Hamilton won the first grand prix held the circuit in 2012 and a repeat performance this time around would be a massive boost to his hopes of securing a second world title.
Last year’s race saw the then recently crowned four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel claim a convincing win having started from pole position, as the German continued his astonishing run of victories, winning all of the last nine grands prix, a new record.
But while the Red Bull driver, who himself recently announced he will be leaving the team at the end of the season, dominated last year’s championship, the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have been the form drivers in the current campaign.
Hamilton will look to move a step closer to his second world title this weekend, having taken four consecutive chequered flags, with his impressive winning run having started at September’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
The Brit holds a 17-point lead in the drivers’ standings coming into this round and has fond memories of racing in the United States, having won two of the last three races across the Atlantic, in 2012 at Austin and in 2007 when the event was staged for the final time at Indianapolis.
Rosberg, his main rival in the race for the drivers’ championship, will look to avenge his disappointing performance at Austin last season, when he crossed the line in ninth place, almost a minute behind race winner Vettel.
Following a mix of mechanical and technical troubles, coupled with significant driver errors, notably at the start of the last race in Russia, the German has struggled to beat Hamilton in the last few races, though he recovered from his terrible start in Sochi three weeks ago to finish second behind his team-mate, therefore limiting the damage to his championship assault.
While much of the focus on track will be on the championship fight at the front, there will be plenty of talk up and down the Austin paddock from the news that neither the Marussia or Caterham teams will be competing at this race, meaning only 18 cars will line-up on the grid, the first time that has happened since the Monaco Grand Prix in 2005.
Caterham are in administration and have also been granted permission to miss the Brazilian Grand Prix, while Marussia are struggling financially, with the team still greatly affected by the terrible accident at Suzuka suffered by its driver Jules Bianchi, who remains in hospital having sustained serious head injuries.
The news also means that American driver Alexander Rossi, Marussia’s reserve pilot, will not make an appearance at his home race, to the disappointment of his fans.
Despite the troubles for the teams at the back of the field, crucial points are at stake in the battle between title contenders Hamilton and Rosberg this weekend, with just two races remaining on the calendar after this race, in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
The rivalry between the Mercedes duo has provided compelling viewing this season, with momentum, as well their relationship, ebbing and flowing between the two team-mates.
Britain’s Hamilton is chasing his second world title, while Germany’s Nico Rosberg is hoping to win his first – and follow in the footsteps of his father Keke, who was crowned world champion in 1982.
The pulsating championship battle continues Stateside this weekend and fans can follow all the action from the 17th round of the 2014 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season live on Sky Sports F1, or by watching extended free-to-air highlights of qualifying and the race on BBC TV.
Sky Sports F1 is the only place to see the entire United States Grand Prix weekend live as Lewis Hamilton aims to extend his championship lead still further Stateside.
With the favourable time difference for UK Formula 1 fans, both qualifying and the race will be taking place in a primetime evening slot.
The race will be shown live and uninterrupted on Sunday evening on Sky Sports F1, starting at 8.00pm, along with the qualifying session on Saturday at 6.00pm, plus there will be full coverage of the Friday and Saturday practice sessions.
In addition to every session on Sky Sports F1, live race coverage will be simulcast for the first time on one of the main Sky Sports channels, with Sky Sports 1 screening the whole race from 7.00pm to 10.15pm, featuring an hour of build-up and at least half-an-hour of post-race reaction.
Simon Lazenby will anchor Sky Sports F1’s live coverage throughout the weekend where he will be joined by regulars Damon Hill, Martin Brundle and Johnny Herbert.
Ted Kravitz will provide the latest news and reports and from the pit lane alongside Rachel Brookes, who deputises for Natalie Pinkham for the remaining flyaway races, while commentary on all on-track sessions is led by David Croft.
Martin Brundle will join Croft in the commentary box for both qualifying and the race, with former Williams driver Bruno Senna calling the practice sessions this weekend, as well as providing his insights via the Sky Pad during the weekend.
During the race, a host of interactive additions, including on-board cameras, pit-lane feeds, the latest race stats and much more available via the red button and the Sky Sports for iPad app.
For those who won’t be at home, every second of the action can be seen via computers, laptops, mobiles and tablet devices on Sky Go.
Friday 31st October Free Practice 1 – Start: 15:00 LIVE: 2.45pm-4.50pm Sky Sports F1 Free Practice 2 – Start: 19:00 LIVE: 6.45pm-9.00pm Sky Sports F1 The F1 Show LIVE: 11.00pm-12.00am Sky Sports F1 Saturday 1st November Practice 3 – Start: 15:00 LIVE: 2.45pm-4.15pm Sky Sports F1 Qualifying – Start: 18:00 LIVE: 5.00pm-7.45pm Sky Sports F1 Sunday 2nd November UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX – Race Start: 20:00 Track Parade: 6.30pm-7.00pm Sky Sports F1 RACE LIVE: 7.00pm-10.30pm Sky Sports F1 / Sky Sports 1 Paddock Live: 10.30pm-11.15pm Sky Sports F1 Highlights: 12.45am-1.45am (Mon) Sky Sports F1
The BBC will broadcast free-to-air TV highlights of the 2014 United States Grand Prix as the titantic championship battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg continues in Texas.
Suzi Perry presents all the action from the Circuit of the Americas in Texas alongside regular analysts David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan, who will all provide their unique take on proceedings from the pit lane and paddock.
Due to the time difference, extended highlights of both qualifying and the race will air later than usual, with qualifying highlights being shown at 10.00pm on Saturday evening on BBC Two, followed by the 90-minute race race highlights show airing on Sunday over on BBC One at 10.30pm.
Commentary on qualifying and the race comes from Ben Edwards and David Coulthard, with Tom Clarkson providing regular updates and interviews from the pit-lane, while Lee McKenzie will be on hand to conduct interviews with the drivers and team personnel.
In addition, Inside F1 on BBC News Channel will preview and review the weekend’s action on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The BBC Sport website will have live streaming of BBC TV’s broadcasts, as well as additional video content including highlights of practice sessions, qualifying and the race, plus interviews and analysis.
All of the BBC’s TV coverage will be available to view shortly after transmission on BBC iPlayer, while BBC Radio 5 Live will also have live audio commentary of every on-track session from Austin with James Allen and Jennie Gow.
Saturday 1st November
United States Grand Prix: Qualifying Highlights: 10.00pm-11.15pm BBC Two Sunday 2nd November United States Grand Prix: Race Highlights: 10.30pm-12.00am BBC One