From Red Bull securing unprecedented dominance to the last points scored by a World Champion, here are five landmark Formula 1 events which have happened at the Circuit of The Americas!
2012: First team to win first three titles consecutively
Red Bull secured the 2012 Constructors’ Championship at the United States Grand Prix, becoming the first team to take their first three titles consecutively. In the race, the first to be held at the Circuit of The Americas, Sebastian Vettel finished as runner-up to Lewis Hamilton while Mark Webber retired. Vettel’s points for second place were enough to secure Red Bull the honours for the third year running.
Cooper, Brabham, Williams and Renault had previously taken their first two title victories back-to-back, but Red Bull were the first to secure their first three consecutively. They went on to win their first four in a row – a tally which has since been beaten by Mercedes, who first won the title in 2014 and have gone on to win in every season since.
2014: First points scored by car 13
Pastor Maldonado became the first driver to score points in car number thirteen at the 2014 United States Grand Prix. The number thirteen is considered unlucky in certain cultures, so had not been previously allocated to drivers. This was dropped in 2014 when drivers could choose their own numbers for the first time. Maldonado chose thirteen to be his permanent number.
Prior to Maldonado, the number thirteen had been used twice in Formula 1. Mexican Moises Solana entered his home race in 1963, where he retired after 53 laps. Divina Galica entered the 1976 British Grand Prix in car number thirteen, but failed to qualify. Maldonado had quite an unlucky season in 2014, with a plethora of crashes and point-less finishes. Even in the United States Grand Prix, he picked up two penalties – one for speeding behind the Safety Car and another for speeding in the pit lane – but finished ninth, becoming the first driver to score points in car number 13.
2013: Last all-Renault powered podium
The 2013 United States Grand Prix is the last race to date to feature an all Renault-powered podium. While Sebastian Vettel won the race for Red Bull, team-mate Mark Webber finished third. Meanwhile, Romain Grosjean equalled his best ever F1 result by finishing as runner-up for Lotus Renault.
The Renault engine became less competitive when the sport entered its V6 hybrid era and, between 2014 and 2021, Daniel Ricciardo’s three wins in 2014 were the only victories for a Renault-badged engine. The team won nine more races with Renault engines, but these were TAG Heuer badged power units. The 2013 United States Grand Prix podium was also the last top three to not feature either a Mercedes or Ferrari driver until the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix.
2016: Last points for Jenson Button
Jenson Button scored the final points of his career at the 2016 United States Grand Prix. Button qualified only nineteenth for the race, but made up ten positions to finish ninth and score two points. It took his total career points to 1,235, which – as of 2021 –remains the tenth-most points scored in any driver’s career.
Of the three remaining races in the 2016 season, Button finished outside the points twice and retired on his final appearance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He made a one-off return at the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix, but failed to finish after a collision with Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein.
2013: Only driver to win 8 consecutive races
At the 2013 United States Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel became the first – and so far only – driver to have won eight consecutive Grands Prix during a season. Vettel and the Red Bull team dominated the second half of the 2013 season, with the German winning all nine races in the second half of the year. Vettel won the 2013 United States Grand Prix having started from pole. This was his eighth consecutive win; beating the previous record of seven consecutive wins.
Only Alberto Ascari and Michael Schumacher had previously won seven consecutive races. Schumacher won seven between the 2004 European and Hungarian Grands Prix, while Ascari did so between the 1952 Belgian and 1953 French Grands Prix. If you take out the 1953 Indianapolis 500, which Ascari did not enter, the Italian would have won nine races in a row. Since Vettel recorded nine wins, it is Nico Rosberg who has won the most consecutive races. He won seven in a row between the 2015 Mexican and 2016 Russian Grands Prix.