record of seven consecutive wins set by
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 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 1,600
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 twenty 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
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.
Since opening in 2012, over 250,000
fans have attended the three-day Formula 1
Grand Prix TM each year. During the three-day event, fans are treated to practice
sessions, qualifying sessions, autograph
sessions, music, plenty of entertainment and
food options. On Sunday, fans are treated
to a Formula Vintage race, Ferrari
Challenge race, Formula Grand Prix race,
topped by a concert. In 2013, Pitbull
headlined the closing show.
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 event.
Racing fans are now looking forward with
excitement to the 2014 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
252 AUSTIN RELOCATION GUIDE – WINTER | SPRING 2014
LEISURE AND RECREATION
Romain Grosjean of Team Lotus
Photo By Kevin Evans
Formula 1 Track.
Photo By Kevin Evans