Evolution of the US GP Trophy at COTA

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Lewis Hamilton holding the US GP trophy at COTA in Austin 2016

The US GP Trophy has taken a number of different forms since the race moved to COTA in Austin in 2012.

This article takes a look back at photos of how the trophy has changed over the years.


Same or different trophy?

Some F1 races have a different trophy every year. The Canada GP trophy is an example of this, where its design dramatically changes year on year.

Others, like the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, have the same trophy each year.

The United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas track in Austin is a mixture of both. In recent years its designed has changed for each subsequent GP. But in earlier years the design stayed the same. Read on for the full details.

Sometimes it’s not been the trophy that’s stolen the attention on the podium. The cowboy hats awarded to the top three finishers at the end of the 2012 race deserve a special mention. Pirelli did their bit to keep the drivers in line with the Austin F1 dress code.

Who presents the US GP trophy?

Once the United States Grand Prix is over and the podium finishers stand on top of the podium the national anthems for the winning driver and constructor will be played.

Next the trophy presentation will take place. The official FIA Post-Race Procedure states that the trophies will be presented by Dignitaries. 

This usually means members of local government, officials from the circuit, motorsport bodies or title sponsors.

Or it might be left to a celebrity. In 2021 Shaquill O’Neal presented the winning trophy to Max Verstappen, dwarfing everyone on the podium.

2023 US GP Trophy

The top 3 finishers at the 2023 United States Formula 1 Grand Prix were:

  • 1st place: Max Verstappen
  • 2nd place: Lando Norris
  • 3rd place: Carlos Sainz

The 2023 COTA F1 trophy was designed and manufactured by the race’s title sponsor Lenovo.

The I.T giant wanted to do something a little special for their award. So they included ‘kiss-sensitive’ technology.

When the driver kissed the trophy in just the right spot, it lit up with the colours of their national flag. Jazzy.

2023 Lenovo kiss trophy

2022 US GP Trophy

The top 3 finishers at the 2022 United States Formula 1 Grand Prix were:

  • 1st place: Max Verstappen
  • 2nd place: Lewis Hamilton
  • 3rd place: Charles Leclerc

The trophy for the 2022 United States Grand Prix was manufactured by Fox Silver, a British company who’ve made countless trophies for F1 over the years.

Their portfolio even includes the most coveted F1 trophy of them all, the F1 World Drivers Champion trophy.

The trophy for the 2022 F1 race at Austin was commissioned by the event’s main sponsor aramco. Their logo, the slightly pointy lowercase ‘a’ at the start of aramco was incorporated in to the shape of the top of the trophy.

2021 US GP Trophy

The top 3 finishers at the 2021 US GP were:

  • 1st place: Max Verstappen
  • 2nd place: Lewis Hamilton
  • 3rd place: Sergio Perez

This was the year Shaq himself presented the trophy, after turning up in the most ridiculous convertible Longhorn car.

The 2021 US GP trophy didn’t incorporate the same subtle sponsor branding a 2022. Instead it was a more traditional cup design which the drivers will like. 

This is exactly the style of trophy they’d have been lifting all through their junior racing careers.

2020 US GP

The United Stated Grand Prix didn’t run in 2020 due to COVID.

2019 US GP Trophy

Podium finishers at the 2019 Austin F1 race were:

  • 1st place: Valtteri Bottas
  • 2nd place: Lewis Hamilton
  • 3rd place: Max Verstappen

Bottas lifted the winning trophy in 2019. The design this year was a cup at the top that morphed down in to the shape of a 5-pointed star at the base.

The star represents Texas being the Lone-Star State. The cup has red white and blue rings running around it at the top in honour of the USA flag.

2018 US GP Trophy

The top 3 finishers in the 2018 Austin F1 race at COTA were:

  • 1st place: Kimi Räikkönen
  • 2nd place: Max Verstappen
  • 3rd place: Lewis Hamilton

Pretty much everyone was happy with Kimi taking the win in 2018. It was his first win in over 5 and a half years. And as it turned out it was his last win before he retired from F1.

The trophy design was fairly plain with red, white and blue lattices at either end. These resembled both the colours of the USA flag and the support structures of the COTA tower that looms large over the Austin circuit.

US GP Trophy 2012 - 2017

When the United States Grand Prix returned in 2012 after a four-year hiatus, it was time for a new trophy.

Fox Silver were commissioned to design and manufacture the new piece of silverware. They did so alongside Bobby Epstein who’s the chairman and founding partner of COTA.

Epstein is a true Texan and wanted as much of the state’s spirit incorporated in the trophy design as possible.

The base of the trophy includes Texas’ lone star surrounded by a laurel reef, a symbol of winners and champions that dates back to ancient Greece.

2017 US GP Trophy for COTA in Austin F1

The trophy has 5 black and red upright supports lifting the sterling silver cup at the top. The red was designed to represent the colour of the canopy on top of COTA’s tower.

The red white and blue rings on top of the trophy’s base represent the colours of the Stars and Stripes.

This US GP trophy design was used from 2012 up to and including 2017. Every year the winner’s name was engraved on the trophy’s base.

This didn’t make the list of best or worst F1 trophies over the last few decades as it’s neither brilliant nor horrendous.

Lewis Hamilton lifts the 2016 F1 US GP winner's trophy at COTA in Austin

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Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport travel guides based on my experience as racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who are planning on watching some racing themselves.

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