F1 United States Grand Prix: travel guide to Circuit of the Americas in Austin

Tempted to try Formula 1 Texas-style? Then here’s what you need to know

during the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on October 22, 2017 in Austin, Texas.
(Image credit: 2017 Getty Images)

The much-travelled US Grand Prix has settled down and become a standout event in the Formula 1 calendar in recent years.

After a stop-start history dating back to the early 1900s and taking in various circuits, the US Grand Prix took another break in 2007 after seven years at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The event relaunched at the newly-built Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, in 2012. Since then, the rebooted US Grand Prix has played host to some notable races. These include Lewis Hamilton clinching his third world championship during the rain-hit 2015 edition - and now the Brit is on course to clinch a fifth world title when the F1 world descends on the Texan track this weekend.

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The circuit is located on the outskirts of Austin, making it a great destination for die-hard F1 fans who also want to explore one of the most eccentric cities in the US (“Keep Austin Weird” is the city’s unofficial slogan).

If you’re keen to get a slice of the action next year, take a look at our US Grand Prix travel guide below.

How to get there

Norwegian Air Shuttle is the only airline that offers direct flights from the UK to Austin. The journey takes between nine and ten hours.

The dates for next year’s US Grand Prix have yet to be announced, but the race usually falls in October. Flights at this time of year cost from as little as £370 with Norwegian.

Norwegian Air Shuttle

Where to stay

Downtown Austin being around a 30 to 40-minute drive from the circuit, visitors won’t have far to travel over the race weekend.

The recently opened Fairmont hotel is the ideal pick for those wanting the most luxurious experience away from the circuit. The hotel opened in March 2017 and has since become a popular place to stay for visitors to the many events going on in the city. It’s also the largest building in Austin – at 37 storeys – so you can’t miss it.

A four-night stay next October can be booked for around £280 per night, though that figure is much lower when booking outside of the grand prix month. There are also plenty of luxurious packages to enjoy at an additional cost, such as membership of the exclusive Gold lounge, which offers free breakfast, snacks and other treats throughout the day.

Austin’s Hyatt Regency hotel is a cheaper alternative, as is the Sonesta Bee Cave, both of which get the thumbs up from The Daily Telegraph. These are ideal for F1 fans looking for a premium hotel on a slightly lower budget.

Fairmont Austin; from £280 per night for October 2019

Where to watch

AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 22: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO8 on track during the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of

(Image credit: 2017 Getty Images)

There’s nothing quite like watching the world’s fastest drivers go head to head, but F1 fans are drawn to the sport for different reasons.

For instance, some love racing for the sheer speed and for the way F1 cars and their drivers seem to defy physics by flying around tight bends with ease. Others are attracted by the daring overtaking and - sometimes - the odd crash.

Those looking to see F1 cars at their absolute limit will want to head to the Turn 4 grandstand, which gives spectators a great view of the sweeping bends. The seating overlooks a series of corners that are taken at blistering speeds, a unique characteristic of the circuit.

Further down the track, the sharp Turn 12 hairpin located at the end of the circuit’s enormous straight has proven to be a popular overtaking spot for drivers in the past. The grandstand seating in this area overlooks a large amount of the circuit, so visitors can watch the drivers go toe-to-toe over a number of corners.

There are also numerous general admission areas dotted around the track. These allow visitors to get as close as possible to the cars, but grandstand seating usually offers a better view of the action.

Ticket costs

General admission tickets can be found for as little as £88 for access to Sunday’s race, while a three-day weekend pass starts at £145. Given that a general admission ticket for the British Grand Prix costs in excess of £180 for Sunday access alone, the US event seems excellent value.

Prices do ramp up for those after grandstand seating, which kicks off at £134 for Sunday access. There’s also VIP seating all over the circuit, with prices often starting in the thousands. Visitors will need to contact the track directly to book a suite.

These tickets also get visitors into the event’s concerts. Bruno Mars and Britney Spears are performing on the Saturday and Sunday respectively this year, while Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift have put on shows in previous years.

Circuit of the Americas; from £88

Image credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

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