LEISURE AND RECREATION
racing. Several automobile companies
including BMW, Mercedes-Benz and
Ferrari have Formula 1 teams.
Drivers must have strength and stamina to
compete in this type of racing.
Tremendous force is exerted on the human
body as the cars accelerate to such high
speeds, making endurance a must for a
winning driver. Drivers must also cope
with the high heat within the cockpit.
Drivers follow a rigorous training schedule
to make sure they are mentally and
physically prepared for the stresses of
racing at speeds of 200 mph or better.
Training includes strength training and
And of course, race drivers practice driving.
One of the chief skills a winning driver
needs is the ability to handle corners. On
the straightway, drivers can depend heavily
on their car’s technology, but cornering is
tricky; it requires all the driving skill of the
human behind the wheel.
FORMULA 1 RACING
COMES TO AUSTIN
In May 2010, it was announced that an
agreement had been reached for Austin
to be the host city of the Formula 1 United
States Grand Prix™ from 2012 to 2021.
Many Austinites were surprised by the
announcement. While the idea had
been discussed for years, details as to
where the race would be held and what
it would mean to the city were sketchy.
But by that July, plans for the new track
were well under way. In July 2010,
promoter Tavo Hellmund announced
plans to build the 3. 4 mile track in
southeast Travis County. The track was
finished in September 2012. It is
challenging with twenty turns over an
elevation change of 133 feet.
The Circuit complex features a 9,000
spectator capacity grandstand and a
stylish 251 foot observation tower
“The Circuit of
the Americas is
currently the only
dedicated Formula 1
track in the
designed to be a focal point for the
complex. At the foot of the observation
tower, an open air amphitheater with a
14,000 seating capacity will be the
venue for concerts. After all, what would
any event in Austin be without music?
The Grand Plaza, a twenty-acre venue
featuring a reflecting pool, various
landscape zones, and large lawn is
bordered by the track on three sides.
Other features include a promenade,
concession stands, and two pedestrian
bridges crossing the track.
The entire complex spreads over a 1,000
acres and cost approximately $400 million
to be build. Its construction created 1,700
construction jobs. Some 300 people are
permanently employed by the track and
several thousand more jobs are expected to
be available seasonally.
Located just fifteen minutes from
downtown Austin and nine miles from
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the
Circuit of the Americas is anticipated to
draw huge crowds and between $400
million to $500 million annually in
revenue for Texas.
The Circuit of the Americas is currently the
only dedicated Formula 1 track in the
United States. In addition, the Formula 1
United States Grand Prix™ track is
scheduled to hold V8 Supercars from
2013 to 2018, as well as the 2013
MotoGP World Championship.
Austin, Texas has every reason to be
proud of this new addition to its many
attractions. The track is the only FIA-certified Grade 1 track in the U.S. and
there are only twenty-six Grade 1
certified motorsports facilities in the world.
A total of 265,499 fans attended the three-day Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™
which inaugurated the track in November
2012. The Circuit opened on November
16, 2012 with practice sessions and
various other events, including dueling
pianos to entertain spectators. The
qualifying round and first race took place
the next day. On November 18 the
Formula 1 United States Grand Prix took
place in front of a delighted crowd of
117,429 spectators. British driver Lewis
Hamilton took top honors.
The Formula 1 Grand Prix is scheduled to
be held at the Circuit each November
until 2021. November was chosen as the
month for the event because of its cooler
temperatures. The cockpits of Formula 1
race cars are extremely hot and so for the
comfort and safety of the drivers, planners
chose the cooler fall months to hold the
Racing fans are now looking forward with
excitement to the 2013 Grand Prix. It
promises to be even grander than the first,
with numerous concerts and other events
surrounding it. Tickets can be obtained
from the official Circuit of the Americas site
November is a glorious time to visit
beautiful Austin, Texas. In addition to the
Formula 1 events, the annual Celtic
festival takes place in the first part of the
month, while the Thunder Cloud Subs
Turkey Trot is held near Thanksgiving.
220 AUSTIN RELOCATION GUIDE – SUMMER | FALL 2013