LEISURE AND RECREATION
FORMULA 1 RACING
Photo Courtesy of Circuit of The Americas
A NEW FIRST FOR AUSTIN
Austin, Texas is well-known for being
home to the exciting and the unique.
Featuring participant and spectator sports
galore, in addition to its majestic
landscape and vibrant music scene, the
capitol city of Texas is an international
trendsetter. With the opening of the
Circuit of the Americas Formula 1 track in
2012, Austin added another attraction
which will contribute to its popularity on
the international scene.
Southeast Austin’s new Circuit of the
Americas track is currently the only track
in the United States permanently
dedicated to Formula 1 racing. While
Formula 1 has long been popular in
Europe, it has been slow to catch on in
the U.S. Many American auto racing
fans have never been exposed to the
excitement of Formula 1 racing, but
promoters in Austin hope to change that.
WHAT IS FORMULA 1 RACING?
Many auto racing fans consider Formula
1 racing to be the most challenging and
most prestigious form of auto racing. It
differs from NASCAR and other races in
two striking ways: the cars and the
Formula 1 race cars are precision racing
machines. These lightweight, single-seat
cars are designed for speed. The wheels
and tires of a Formula 1 car are outside
the vehicle’s body—a design called open-wheel. The engine is behind the driver’s
cockpit, rather than in front like ordinary
autos and like NASCAR racers.
The moment you spy a Formula 1 car you
can tell it was built to race, even if you aren’t
a racing fan. The 2. 4 liter, V8 engines of
today’s Formula 1 cars have approximately
700 horsepower. These sleek racing
machines can go over 200 mph.
Unlike NASCAR, Formula 1 racing is never
held on an oval track. A track with right and
left street-like turns adds to the challenge of this
form of racing. In Europe, the original home
of Formula 1 racing, races are sometimes
held on the streets. Formula 1 racing has
also been held on the streets of Las Vegas,
Dallas, Long Beach, Detroit, and Phoenix.
Drivers and Teams
Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher
are among the big names in Formula 1