Circuit of the Americas (COTA) has been home to the United States Grand Prix since 2012, joining the long history and promising future of American motor racing. Just outside of the sprawling city of Austin, Texas, COTA is the culmination of iconic Texas hospitality, vibrant culture and exuberant charm. Known as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’, Austin offers a wide variety of experiences that are sure to draw Formula 1 fans well beyond track limits.
Make the most of your visit with our tips and recommendations to enjoy your stay in Austin.
Time Zone: Central Daylight Time (CST), (GMT -6)
In Emergency: Call 911
Weather: Average temperatures in Austin throughout October typically range from highs of 84°F (29°C) to lows of 60°F (15°C). Expect it to be pleasantly warm with a gentle breeze.
CapMetro, Austin’s main mode of public transit, is budget-friendly and provides easy to follow directions for getting around the city. If you are near major public transit stations, Austin is relatively easy to get around without a car. If you are staying further away from Downtown, consider renting a car or relying on Uber and Lyft.
Top tip: download CityMapper, to help you plan the most timely and cost-effective journeys.
AT THE TRACK
Track Action: Throughout the weekend, Alpine Academy driver Abbi Pulling will take the circuit in the final round of the F1 Academy series.
Live Music: The Formula 1 Lenovo U.S. Grand Prix has a star studded line-up for the weekend, including performances by Queen and Adam Lambert on Saturday and Tiësto on Sunday. Visit the COTA website for a full schedule of the weekend’s line-up.
Catch BWT Alpine F1 Team Reserve Driver Jack Doohan at the Formula 1 Fan Forum on Friday 20 October at 14:40*. See Esteban and Pierre at the Formula 1 Fan Forum on Saturday 21 October at 10:40*.
FOOD & DRINK
● It is impossible to leave Texas without stopping for barbecue at Interstellar BBQ for indulgent brisket and pork-belly, a beautiful blend of Texan and Mexican cuisine at Con Todo and crispy sandwiches at Bird Bird Biscuit.
● You can find food trucks all around the city, offering staples like authentic street tacos at Veracruz All Natural and Pueblo Viejo, and drool worthy barbecue at Micklethwait Craft Meats. Via 313 serves Detroit-style pizza and Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ offers a fusion of barbecue and Tex-Mex, with mouth-watering brisket and creative taco options. We hear the ‘Real Deal Holyfield,’.
● Austin is a barbecue haven! Franklin Barbecue and Terry Black’s are renowned destinations for meat lovers. Distant Relatives is an extremely popular food truck in South Austin; located in the lot by Meanwhile Brewing Company, it is one of the hottest tickets in town right now thanks to its inventive twist on modern African-American BBQ.
● For food with a show, The Continental Club is an iconic, intimate venue thanks to the long list of legends that have played within its walls. Antone's has been a landmark for blues and rock 'n' roll in Austin for decades and Mohawk Austin is a popular venue in the Red River Cultural District. The White Horse is a favourite for country and western swing music and often features dance lessons. C-Boy's Heart & Soul is a South Congress Avenue staple, featuring soul, funk, and blues music in a laid-back atmosphere.
● For post-race drinks stop by The Roosevelt Room, a high-end cocktail bar known for its extensive and inventive menu. The Garage is one of Austin's smallest and most elusive dive bars known for its laid-back atmosphere. The Midnight Cowboy is a speakeasy-style bar renowned for their expertly crafted cocktails and intimate ambiance. Whisler’s has the vibe of a crumbling mediaeval manor, offering a diverse selection of spirits and craft cocktails to compliment. Donn's Depot is a unique piano bar and Firehouse Lounge is a modern hostel accommodation and bar serving craft cocktails.
If you are sticking around after the race to enjoy all that Austin has to offer, or have some time to explore before heading to the track, here are a few recommendations for the best way to experience Austin.
● Stroll along South Congress Avenue (SoCo) for unique shops, restaurants, and a lively atmosphere. Don't miss the iconic "I Love You So Much" mural. Stop by Allen Boots to peruse thousands of pairs of cowboy boots, from exotic Caiman crocodile skin to trendy Western booties. Music is the bloodline of Austin so be sure to broaden your horizons by stopping by the city’s iconic record stores like Waterloo Records, End of an Ear and Breakaway Records.
● Learn about Texas history and culture through interactive exhibits and fascinating artefacts at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Take a guided tour of the Texas State Capitol to learn about its history and architecture or stop by the Blanton Museum of Art to explore their diverse art collection, located on the University of Texas at Austin campus.
● Enjoy all that the outdoors have to offer along Lady Bird Lake, including hiking and biking on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Cool off in the natural spring-fed Barton Springs Pool located within Zilker Park – a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, and people-watching. If you have time in your itinerary, hike up to Mount Bonnell for a picnic with panoramic views of Austin and the Colorado River.
Be sure to keep an eye out for BWT Alpine F1 Team colours on track this weekend. A full timetable* for the race weekend is listed below, all in local time (CST):
Friday 20 October
• F1 Academy First Practice Session 08:15-08:55
• Formula 1 FP1 12:30-13:30
• F1 Academy Second Practice Session 13:55-14:35
• Formula 1 Qualifying 16:00-17:00
• F1 Academy First Qualifying Session 17:30-17:45
• F1 Academy Second Qualifying Session 17:55-18:10
Saturday 21 October
• F1 Academy First Race 09:45-10:20
• Formula 1 Sprint Shootout 12:30-13:14
• F1 Academy Second Race 15:30-15:55
• Formula 1 Sprint 17:00-17:30
Sunday 22 October
• F1 Academy Third Race 09:40-10:15
• Formula 1 Lenovo United States Grand Prix 14:00
*These timings are subject to change.