United States - Austin
Circuit of The Americas
|First Grand Prix||2012|
|Circuit length||5.513 km|
|Number of laps||56|
|Race distance||308.405 km|
|Lap record||1:36.169 - Leclerc (2019)|
When was the track built?
The Circuit of The Americas, designed by Hermann Tilke in collaboration with American architectural firm HKS, endured something of a nervy start, with construction suffering several setbacks. It was well worth the wait, though, when 1978 F1 champion Mario andretti opened the track on October 21 2012.
When was its first Grand Prix?
F1 first raced at the Circuit of The Americas in 2012, for the first United States Grand Prix since the 2007 race at Indianapolis. Unsurprisingly, over 100,000 spectators packed out the Austin venue, witnessing Lewis Hamilton’s last ever win in a McLaren before his switch to Mercedes for 2013.
What’s the circuit like?
If the corners at COTA seem familiar, they should be. Turns 3 through 6 look not dissimilar to Silverstone's high-speed run through Maggotts/Becketts or the S Curves at Suzuka, while Turns 12 through 15 mimic Hockenheim's stadium section. Meanwhile, the uphill run into wide, wide Turn 1 – hey, everything’s bigger in Texas, right? – has provided some fine overtaking action in the track’s short life.
There’s a reason Austin is often regarded as America’s coolest city, with great food and a vibrant nightlife, all united under the banner of the city’s unofficial slogan: ‘Keep Austin Weird’. Then when racing starts, you’ll be in attendance at one of the great modern race tracks. With the Americans’ attitude to partying, you won’t want to miss out!
Where is the best place to watch?
You’re spoilt for choice. If you sit in the main grandstand on the start-finish straight you’ll get – in true US style – the benefit of an in-seat food and drinks service, while those in the stand at Turn 1 enjoy a view all the way to downtown Austin. But if you want to see the racing action up close, find a way into the the Stadium Section stands at Turns 15/16.