If you build it, they will come

If you build it, they will come 01

Formula 1 is not simple.  A sport that is so complicated and technical that it requires thousands of engineers, mind boggling logistics, and multi-million dollar commitments from venues the world over is not to be entered into lightly.  Bringing Formula 1 back to the United States was a careful undertaking. After a four-year hiatus starting with the last US GP held in 2007 in Indianapolis, Formula 1 finally returned to US soil in 2012.  When F1 tapped Texas to be the new home for the Grand Prix in the States, Austin decided to go “all in” on the challenge, producing one of the most technologically advanced tracks in the world. 

To answer the challenge, architect and designer Hermann Tilke set out to design a track befitting F1’s return to the states in a way that did the sport justice.  Situated on 1,500 acres just outside of Austin, Texas; Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is tailored expertly for the sport.  Its contours were sculpted with the idea of maintaining optimal cornering speed, providing opportunities for overtaking and incorporating elements of other existing tracks to create the best show possible for the eager spectators in Austin. With the creation of COTA, Austin rose to the occasion. Not only do COTA and Austin provide a perfect backdrop for F1, they are unique destinations centered on maximizing the spectacle, fun and fanfare of the Grand Prix weekend.

If you build it, they will come 02

In the few short years since the United States Grand Prix has been in Austin, the racing itself provided the drama that American fans love in the world of sports.  Straight out of a Hollywood movie, Lewis Hamilton, aiming at reaching the goal set by Ayrton Senna, secured his third World Championship in a rainy, action packed race weekend in 2015 at Circuit of the Americas.  Not only did Hamilton meet a lifelong goal in Austin, but the victory also solidified his position as the driver to win the most United States Grands Prix since the race moved to Austin.  Hamilton had his first United States Grand Prix win in Indianapolis in 2007, and then followed up with wins at COTA in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016. A ‘circuit of dreams’ indeed. 

Austin, Texas, with its friendly feel and growing reputation for top-notch, truly American, food, entertainment and sport has welcomed Formula 1 with open arms. Now established as one of the trendiest cities in the country, Austin has quickly gained its reputation as a place to have a good time and experience a uniquely American lifestyle with a pace that is a bit more relaxed. 

If you buoild it, they will come 03

During the week of the United States Grand Prix, downtown Austin springs alive with activity. Fan Fest, spanning two days and taking place on Austin’s famous 6th street, is dedicated to the joint celebration of Austin and F1.  And, of course, spectators have everything that Austin has to offer in way of food and drink, just steps from the festivities.  Offering up barbeque and classic Tex-Mex dishes, the restaurants of downtown Austin provide a taste of something truly Texan and the southern hospitality makes race fans from all over feel right at home.  The evening prior to the Grand Prix, some of the best musicians in the country gather on COTA’s super stage, an outdoor amphitheatre built to hold concerts on site at the track and get fans ready for the big show the following day.  For a city with such a rich music heritage, it only makes sense that Austin would choose to marry the two for the GP weekend. 

Moving forward, the future for Formula 1 in the United States seems bright. And with a new American promoter in Liberty Media, rumours of a possible new Grands Prix in the country as well as a growing fan base, it seems that for the relationship between the United States and Formula 1, the sky is the limit.  

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