The F1 is in Austin is back!
F1 is marking its return to Austin next weekend in the only Grand Prix held on US soil. The 2020 race was cancelled because of the pandemic but is roaring back with over 300,000 spectators expected to attend over the three day event.
The Circuit of the Americas is the first purpose-built Grand Prix track in the US and hosts not only prestigious F1 racing but also V8 supercars.
Based around the state of the art 3.4 mile racing circuit, the COTA has capacity for 120,000 fans and can accommodate all types of racing from human power to motor power over a track that features an elevation change of 133 feet.
Covering almost 1000 acres, the circuit is ideally located in southeast Travis County, approximately two miles from Austin Bergstrom International Airport. But the COTA is more than just a racing circuit designed to challenge the very best. It's the premier destination for world-class motorsport and entertainment in the US, alongside an education and business center used for community and business events throughout the year.
A challenging circuit
Featuring 20 turns, the counterclockwise circuit fully exploits the natural landscape to include that daunting 133 foot hill at turn 1, making it a suitable challenge for the superstar talent of F1. Beyond the glamour of the F1 racing circuit, COTA has played host to the FIA World Endurance Championships, the Pirelli World Challenge, ESPN's X-Games and more.
At the heart of the track lies the Germania Insurance Amphitheater, the largest permanent area of its kind in Central Texas. There's also a 251-foot observation tower with unique views over the track and the surrounding countryside.
The arrival of Formula One might be the headline event at COTA, but since construction began in 2010, it's had a $5bn cumulative economic impact on the Austin area and almost $1bn across the Central Texas region through tourism and other annual events.
The circuit also employs a full-time sustainability director and houses over 5 million bees onsite to produce its own honey. Due to its location, the circuit works hard to maintain local wildlife habitats and offset carbon emissions. These efforts, alongside keeping waste out of landfill, has made COTA one of the most sustainable tracks in F1.
Traditionally lagging behind Nascar in the popularity stakes, Formula One is beginning to gain traction in the US, thanks to the success of COTA. For the private investors behind the track, it was $400 million well spent. The circuit is now paying $13m to install its own water and waste lines on the desired development zone, which the City of Austin will then purchase. The circuit hosts its first NASCAR race this year.
The Circuit of the Americas has been the home of Formula One in the US since its opening in 2021, hosting the U.S. Grand Prix and Red Bull Grand Prix every year. F1 is viewed by an estimated 520 million fans in 187 countries worldwide with the three hour coverage equivalent to over $200m in commercial advertising.