Global event Formula One comes to Austin this weekend

With Austin hosting its 3rd United States Grand Prix this fall, we thought it would be relevant to share with you some fun facts about this addictive, high-speed, high-adrenaline sport that is internationally followed. We are so lucky to be able to host such a diverse group of fans this fall from October 31st to November 2nd.

This season marks the 65th season of the Formula One World Championship, a motor racing competition and the highest class for open-wheel racing cars. Austin is the only United States stop for this global event.

Some fun facts you might not know about Formula One racing, the Circuit of the Americas and/or the Austin360 Amphitheater:

  • Austin is the 17th stop of the 19 cities that Formula One visits in 2014. The first race was the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in March, and the last one is the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 23 this year. The circuits are set each year so there may be some variations, just like any other sporting event.
  • Mario Andretti is one of the most successful American race car drivers in the history of racing. He is one of only two drivers to win races in Formula One, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR. He will be in Austin during the race weekend and will do a meet-and-greet with selected fans.
  • Formula One car engines have a lifespan of about two hours of racing. (Compared with the normal engine in your car, which ideally could last for 20 years.)
  • The Circuit of the Americas track in Austin was the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the United States. It is designed for any and all classes of racing. In addition to hosting Formula One, COTA also hosts MotoGP, Lone Star Le Mans, American Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championships.
  • Aerodynamics is a huge part of the race car designs. A modern Formula One car has almost as much in common with a jet fighter as it does with an ordinary road car. Every surface of the car, from the shape of the suspension links to the driver’s helmet, has its aerodynamic effects considered.
  • The day after the race ends is one of the busiest days of the year at Austin Bergstrom International Airport. In 2013, about 22,000 people flew out of ABIA on commercial flights; that number doesn’t include the additional visitors who flew out on private planes.
  • The Austin360 Amphitheater, located at Circuit of the Americas, won Pollstar’s award for “Best New Major Concert Venue” in 2013. The award was announced this past February.
  • Red Velvet Events is a major part of Austin’s Formula One experience. During the weekend of the 2013 U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, November 16-18, RVE was part of NINE different events. And this year we’re part of FIVE events. For our Formula One guests, welcome to Austin! We’re excited to have you experience Austin and the USGP.