From October 21st to October 23rd, there will be a lot of motorsport fans in the Austin area. People will be flying in from all over the world to see Austin’s fifth year of hosting the Formula 1 race at the Circuit of the Americas. Circuit of the Americas (COTA) became the only currently operating F1 track in the United States when it opened in 2012. The US last hosted a Grand Prix in 2007 in Indiana, but for the 5 years until the COTA was built, the closest F1 race was in Montreal or Mexico City. If you get the chance to visit the event, there is much more to do than just watch F1 cars go around the track.
There will be photo and autograph sessions, Porsche Mobile 1 Supercup Racing, Masters Historic Racing where you can watch vintage F1 cars race, and live music concerts all weekend. If you are unfamiliar with F1 racing, Friday will be mostly practice sessions watching cars warm up and testing on the track, Saturday will be qualifying to see who lines up in what grid position, and the actual F1 competition is Sunday afternoon at 2PM. Additionally, this year there will be live concert performances from Taylor Swift (Saturday) and Usher (Sunday) once the races have ended each day. To see these artists perform on either day, you will have to purchase tickets to get into the track for that specific day. For more information about the overall schedule, purchasing tickets, or how to get to and from the track each day, be sure to look over Circuit of the Americas (COTA) website.
In addition to the races that will be happening that weekend, there is also a free Fan Fest that is hosted in downtown Austin. This will take place on October 21st and October 22nd on Historic Sixth street. They will have free music and different motorsport vendors and activities to explore. If you are not as interested in motorsports or forget to get your tickets to the F1 race, you can still go explore downtown and listen to some free local music. Each night has a different line up of local bands, so be sure to check it out on the lineup online.