This coming Sunday begins the final stretch of the 2023 season of Formula 1 with the event at Circuit of the Americas (COTA), in Austin, Texas. Counting this event, there are five opportunities left for the teams that continue to battle for second position in the runners’ championship.
At this point, the champion team and driver are already defined with Red Bull and Max Verstappen, respectively. But far from ceasing to be interesting, the season has seen a resurgence of teams that continue to battle for those second positions. Mainly the McLaren team, which has had an impressive resurgence since the Singapore event, and has since managed to accumulate 104 points, more than any other team has managed to add in such a short time.
McLaren has seen impressive performance from its cars and its drivers, mainly Oscar Piastri, who managed to obtain first position in the last Sprint Race, this being his first year as a professional.
Certainly the design of the past circuits has favored the McLaren car, even leading them to be 11 points behind Aston Martin, who have fourth position in the Constructors’ prize. If they continue with their performance as before, it is possible that they could become a threat to Ferrari for third place in said championship.
While it is true that McLaren has had a spectacular performance on recent circuits, the Mercedes team cannot be left behind. George Russell showed a monumental performance in the last circuit, where after having an accident with his teammate that put him in 18th position, he managed to come back and finish the race in fourth place. With this in mind, it is demonstrated that this team continues to be a contender for second place in the Racers award and also continues to be “difficult dirt” for the other teams on the roster, including McLaren.
Another team to keep an eye on is the North American team Haas. This team has been developing and improving its single-wheeler all season in terms of aerodynamics, and for this weekend they will come with a major update that could dictate the future of the single-wheeler for the remainder of the season, and also for the 2024 campaign. They have certainly lost their momentum and must rejoin if they want to remain contenders for seventh position in the Constructors’ championship.
On the other hand, the “Honey badger” (Daniel Ricciardo), rejoins his Alpha Tauri team after his absence following his accident on the Dutch circuit. Dani returns with the intention of continuing the effort achieved by his replacement Liam Lawson, who managed to position the team in tremendous positions in recent weeks. Daniel told F1.com: “It’s good to be back. My hand is much better and the simulator was a useful way to evaluate it. I tried it the week before Qatar, but I didn’t feel like it was at its full potential.”
Ultimately, this coming weekend the McLaren team will have 56 laps to prove that they continue their winning momentum. The Mercedes team, for its part, has the task of proving that there are no internal problems among its riders after the accident in Qatar and Red Bull’s Checo Perez has to show that he is still “in the game” to maintain his second position. in the runners’ championship and possibly keep his contract, after rumors that he could leave the team if his performance does not improve.
This weekend COTA is expected to be visited by around 440,000 fans, which could be an attendance record, and a sign of how Formula 1 has entered the North American market.
The race will be on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.