Formula 1 US Grand Prix Preview: Tyres, DRS, Weather, Lap Guide, Session Times

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Formula 1 US Grand Prix Preview: Tyres, DRS, Weather, Lap Guide, Session Times
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The Formula 1 United States Grand Prix sees the sport return to Texas for only the second time in recent years.

After successfully hosting the race last year, the Circuit of the Americas near Austin is again the venue.

There have been 52 Grands Prix held in the USA, but the sport has never quite got a foothold in the world's most lucrative market. After the loss of Watkins Glen, F1 spent the '80s, '90s and '00s dragging itself around a variety of uninspiring, characterless venues.

Fans with sufficient age and memory will recall the likes of Detroit, Phoenix, Indianapolis Road Course and the appalling circuit around the car park of Caesar's Palace.

But COTA is different. Designed and constructed purely for F1, it's the best new circuit for a long time. The buzz around F1 in the States is really starting to build, with 100,000 fans expected for Sunday's race.

Said buzz isn't helped by the fact this year's race is essentially meaninglessboth titles were decided long ago. But there are at least a couple of points of interest to look forward to.

Kimi Raikkonen will be absent as he recovers from back surgery, meaning he'll need to be replaced. Caterham's third driver, Heikki Kovalainen, is the front-runner for the seat.

And on the Friday practice front, a bit of local interest will be provided by Alexander Rossi in the Caterham.

Also present will be 2014 Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat, having his first go in an F1 car since beaching it in the gravel after 16 laps during the Silverstone Young Driver Test back in July.

Let's hope we can have a great weekend.

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