Grand Prix 2023 United States Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

It's time to move on to the next "dead rubber" in the 2023 F1 season with the formal United States Grand Prix, as opposed to the informal ones which took place in Miami and the one planned in Las Vegas.

What excitement can we expect at the Circuit of the Americas? I suspect very little on track as Max will scamper away to win by about 30 seconds, having take it easy for most of the race so the powers that be don't realise just how fast this years Red Bull is compared to all the other cars. In the second Red Bull Sergio Perez is working his notice and probably won't make it out of Q2. So here's some potential excitement, we can all speculate about who will get the second seat at Red Bull for 2024.

Also at Red Bull, the power struggle between Christian Horner and Helmut Marko will be played down by anyone in a Red Bull shirt as they pretend that all is sweetness and light despite the inevitable in-fighting following the death of Dietrich Mateschitz. Just out of interest, how many of you have seen the Red Bull headquarters near Salburg? No? Well here it is:


I can't help but be put in mind of the sort building a Bond villain inhabits. And if you want to draw a comparison with the McLaren Technical centre, please read up on the ego and obsessive mind of a certain Ronald Dennis CBE.

What else on the driver merry-go-round? Other seats are still up for grabs, with Logan Sargeant's hold on his place at Williams looking very tenuous. I presume, like Nicholas Latifi before him, Logan brings a big wedge of cash with him to the Williams team as his junior record certainly doesn't justify a seat in an F1 car. This will probably be paying Pat Fry's salary next year as he joins the Grove team as Chief Technical Officer for 2024. Williams must have taken him on as he did such a stonking job at McLaren in 2018/19 (6th and 4th in the Constructors Championship) and at Renault/Alpine between 2020 and 2023 (5th, 5th and 4th and currently 6th). Quite a CV isn't it, I'd give him a job.

On other drivers likely on their way out, Lance Stroll has apologised for being "a bit moody" after making a dick of himself in Qatar. I'm sure his mood in Austin hasn't been helped by the race organisers putting up paddock images with Felipe Drugovich shown in his Aston Martin race suit rather than Lawrence's little lad. Perhaps this is daddy's way of telling Lance that he is surplus to requirements for 2024?


Michael Andretti will be stalking around the paddock in Austin, talking to anyone he can about how great his entry will be if someone actually lets him put a car on track in 2025. Meanwhile, all the other team principals will be pretending that they can't see him as they narrowly look to protect their own interests rather than that of the sport generally. F1 has always been full of ego's, self interest, and some who show almost psychopathic tendencies at times, but this current lot look to have taken it to a new level. Given that Alpine are selling off bits and pieces to anyone with a couple of bob to spare, perhaps Andretti might buy their entry for 2025?

Should you have missed this, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, along with a load of their famous mates, have bough a small stake in the team - Who owns Alpine F1 team and which celebrities are involved? How much Ryan Reynolds, Patrick Mahomes have invested presumably to "do a Wrexham" in F1 and get Alpine into the 4th Division. Oh, they are already there.

Back to the race, Danny Ricciardo returns at Alpha Tauri. I suspect he's hoping that a few decent showings will encourage Red Bull to put him back in the first team in 2024, making way for Liam Lawson to get a full time drive at what is rumoured to become either Boss F1 or Adidas F1 as Red Bull look to off load the less than successful Alpha Tauri clothing brand. You know, I've always thought that a natural business extension for a fizzy drinks company is to go in to clothing, as I pulled on my 7Up pants the other day.

We have a sprint race this weekend so the teams have 20 minutes to get the cars set up on Friday morning before we are in "Parc Ferme". Given it usually takes Mercedes until the end of FP3 at most races to work out where the tyres go on their cars we probably won't see the Silver Arrows anywhere near the podium in any of the races this weekend. Meanwhile, McLaren will take a second or third place an celebrate like they have just won a world championship. How the mighty are fallen. It's like watching Osella or Minardi back in the 80's and 90's.

If you have Sky F1 here are the broadcast times in the UK:

If you don't have Sky or don't live in the UK look it up yourself, I'm not your mother! ;)

Some other teams will be taking part. The team at Sky will do their very best to pretend that there is some sort of excitement when the safety car period has ended on lap 5, after the inevitable first corner incident. But the cars will all drive round in order and we will all wait, breathlessly, for a sub-two second pit stop, or something equally pointless in what is supposed to be a motor race (Toto).
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