Who’s hot and who’s not heading into the United States Grand Prix

Max Verstappen has finished second in the past two races, while Nico Rosberg has won four out of the last four. (Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images)

While heavy rains made the 2015 United States Grand Prix a weekend to remember, clear skies are in the forecast for this weekend’s running of the event at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

The on-track action is expected to be hot, but some teams and drivers are on cold streaks heading into Sunday’s race.

Here’s who’s hot and who’s not heading into the United States Grand Prix.

Mercedes – HOT

It’s easy to say that Nico Rosberg is on a hot streak and Lewis Hamilton is on a cold one, given the fact that Rosberg has won four out of the past five races. However, you can’t overlook the fact that – of just the four F1 races to be held at COTA – Hamilton has won three of them. Rosberg, meanwhile, has never won here, but there have already been several races this season that have seen the German stand on the top step at for the first time.

Max Verstappen – HOT

A podium finish is already nothing new for 19-year-old Max Verstappen but, coming off of back-to-back second place finishes, he’ll for sure be hoping for a third one this weekend. While he’s two years too young to drink any champagne on the podium in the US, there’s no reason he can’t still get up there, having placed fourth while racing for Toro Rosso at this circuit last year.

Williams – NOT

The Williams Racing Team has not been a hot streak for a while, and things don’t add up well for them here. At last year’s race, both cars failed to finish the United States Grand Prix, although – to their credit – only a mere 12 cars were actually left running at the finish. Meanwhile, their battle for fourth with Force India in the constructor’s standings isn’t going to plan, with both Hulkenberg and Perez finishing in front of the Williams teammates in Japan.

Haas – HOT

The Haas F1 Team has several reasons to be optimistic heading into its future, especially for the team’s home race. Just two weeks ago both Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez qualified in the top 10 in Japan. The team didn’t perform too well during the race, but a fair bit of that can be attributed to the tire strategy that they were forced into after qualifying in the top 10. Hopefully the team will be able to lay out a stronger strategy heading into this Sunday’s race, with their home crowd rooting them on.

McLaren – NOT

The McLaren F1 team has been hot at some races and cold at others during this season. While both drivers came home with respectable finishes last year, with Jenson Button in sixth and Fernando Alonso in 11th, there were only 12 cars left running at the end of a rainy weekend. Two weeks ago in Japan, the team had a race to forget in front of Honda executives as Alonso placed 16th and Button placing 18th in Japan. Hopefully for the team, that was just a one-off, as there is no rain scheduled in the forecast to help them out again this year.