Formula One returns to the United States as The Circuit of the Americas hosts race 19 of this 23-race season, with Max Verstappen looking to break even more records after securing his third World Championship in Qatar last time out.
Verstappen secured his World Championship after finishing second in the sprint race in Qatar, giving him enough points to clinch the title with four rounds to go. This means Red Bull have now secured both the driver's and constructor's titles for 2023.
The last time F1 came to COTA, Verstappen was unsurprisingly the driver who came out on top, securing Red Bull’s 2022 constructor’s title after a great battle with his 2021 title rival Lewis Hamilton.
On the other side of the Red Bull garage, it could be a massive race for Sergio Perez. With rumours circulating that Red Bull are unhappy with his performances and could potentially replace him for next season, Perez needs a good result in Texas.
It is also a big weekend for Alpha Tauri driver Daniel Ricciardo, who is finally back in the driver’s seat after missing the last few races with a hand injury, with Liam Lawson taking his place for the races in which he was absent.
It is also important for Ricciardo to impress as there are rumours that he could be a potential replacement for Perez at Red Bull if they do decide to move on from the Mexican driver.
Logan Sargeant is also fighting to keep his seat at Williams after what has been a lacklustre rookie season with the team. He will need a big result to try and match the quality being displayed by his teammate Alex Albon if he wants to remain in Formula One.
3rd Place- Oscar Piastri
Piastri is having a fantastic rookie season with McLaren so far. He secured his second and back-to-back podiums in Qatar, the first driver to achieve two podiums in a rookie season for McLaren since Lewis Hamilton. I believe Oscar will continue his fine form going into this weekend and secure another fantastic podium.
2nd Place- Carlos Sainz
Sainz has been continuously improving throughout this season with Ferrari. I believe that he will be able to keep this upward trajectory of performances intact by securing a massive second-place finish for Ferrari as they continue to chase Mercedes for second place in the Constructors' Championship.
1st Place- Max Verstappen
The newly crowned world champion will come into this race full of confidence and I believe despite securing his title already, Verstappen will not ease off his performance levels. It could be yet another fantastic win for the team and Verstappen as they could continue to make history in every single race.
Driver to watch
The obvious choice for a driver to watch this week is Sergio Perez in the Red Bull.
In a race which could be potentially career-defining for Perez, he needs to perform at an extremely high level this weekend if he wants to secure his future in Formula One.
A bad race for Perez could be the beginning of the end for his career, with rumours also circulating from that the Mexican could announce his retirement from the sport at his home Grand Prix next week.
He will need to fend off strong competition from the McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes drivers if he is going to be able to get a result in Austin, so he is certainly the driver to keep an eye on.
The race will take place at the Circuit of the Americas and will begin at 8pm UK time on Sunday, October 22nd, 2023. The race will be broadcast live in the UK on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports F1 with coverage starting at 6:30pm. The sprint race this weekend commences at 11:00pm.