Sorry for the delay (I've been travelling on business), thanks to Nat for his contribution to this thread.
Welcome to the US of A for the 17th Grand Prix of a terrific 2014 season. With the title fight going down to the wire and Nico Rosberg desperately needing a win to grab the momentum back off the hard-charging Lewis Hamilton, this weekend could be huge – like everything else in the USA, particularly their burgers.
Less huge will be the Formula One grid this weekend, with both the financially troubled minnows of the sport, Marussia and Caterham, missing the Grand Prix. The news about Marussia was something of a surprise, although Caterham’s cash problems (and ownership issues) have been well-documented in recent months, including an astonishing story that all kinds of key equipment (simulators, development parts and so forth) was to be auctioned off. It prompted this amusing article on the satirical site Sniff Petrol suggesting that Kamui Kobayashi may be the next to be auctioned off.
It will be a shame to see just 18 cars on the grid this weekend – the lowest since 2005 – and the latest development in what has been a tough month for the sport with Bianchi’s accident in Japan. Bianchi is now a in stable condition, but there’s still a long way to go – our thoughts and wishes are with him.
On the Prediction League front last weekend proved fairly dramatic, with changes at the top of both the Constructors and main Prediction League following Red Bull’s disastrous performance around the Sochi Autodrom. There’s still plenty to play for with both titles remaining closely fought, as they have done all season, and people fighting to retain their seat – or grab a nice shiny new one. Marussia's plunge into administration has huge implications for the PL but Ross Brawn (Team Principal) has convinced Bernie to support him for three more races, before he goes fishing again. Who will come out on top this weekend?
The current championship standings are: