US Grand Prix 2021: Evening start times: 8pm lights out for Sunday’s Grand Prix; live on Sky Sports F1 and Main Event F1 back in America for first time in two years with just six points in it between Verstappen and Hamilton.
F1 Circuit of the Americas GP 2021 – US Grand Prix LIVE – Latest updates
This is the start of our US Grand Prix live blog. Here, we’ll have all the latest updates ahead of the race and once the lights go out. As always, the entries nearest the top are the most recent.
20:35 CEST: Lap one chaos?
We’ve seen many incidents on lap one at COTA and we should expect the same again today. The first corner has a very wide entry, inviting someone to dive down the inside but you can also make the outside work if you brake late enough as the track tightens on the exit. The third sector hairpins could also see plenty of action as the late apex of the natural racing line draws a following car into making a dive to the inside. Survival may be the aim for some in the opening exchanges.
As if it wasn’t already clear, this race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin really, really matters. Just six points separate these two, with six races remaining, and a major swing one way or the other could prove decisive. The tension between the two has climbed steadily all season and appears to be reaching boiling point.
The form book was rather thrown on its head in qualifying. Austin is one of Hamilton’s favorite tracks, with the multiple world champion having won here five times in eight attempts. And in recent weeks Mercedes have also appeared to have the faster car.
But Verstappen pulled out a fast lap when it mattered, beating his rival by a couple of tenths. Sergio Perez was third fastest in the second Red Bull — and came very close to taking pole — but Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas has taken an engine penalty and will start ninth.