Formula 1 Austin: What to know before you go to the US Grand Prix

F1 Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Formula One returns to Austin this weekend for the first race in the U.S. in two years. Circuit of the Americas will host the Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix Sunday after the 2020 race was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder as anticipation for this event is nearing an all-time high. Race officials called the event a sell out in September with over 360,000 people expected to be at COTA for the three-day race weekend.

Last week, officials released a “limited amount” of tickets for Friday and Saturday. Fans can purchase Friday-only and Saturday-only tickets through COTA’s website. The first two days of the race weekend are for practice and qualifying sessions. 

If you’re heading to the track this weekend, here’s what to know before you go.

How to get to COTA?

If you have a parking pass, make sure you know where you’re going before you get to COTA. Here’s a look at the parking map.

If you don’t have a parking pass, use a shuttle.

COTA offers two types of shuttle services — the Front Gate and Drop & Walk shuttle.

The Front Gate shuttle drops off and picks up across from COTA’s Grand Plaza. It’s $40 a day for a round trip with pick-up locations in downtown Austin at San Jacinto Boulevard and East 14th Street and Barton Creek Mall.

The Drop & Walk shuttle drops off at McAngus Lot, which is about a 10-12 minute walk to the COTA main entrance. It’s $20 a day for a round-trip shuttle with pick-up locations at Bastrop Memorial Stadium and Guadalupe Street and 51st Street. This shuttle only runs on Saturday and Sunday during the race weekend.

Additionally, you can take a shuttle from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to the North McAngus Lot.

COVID-19 protocols for the US Grand Prix

COTA is operating at full capacity this weekend.

If you’re planning to be at one of COTA’s indoor facilities, proof of a negative COVID-19 test is required. The test must be from Wednesday at the earliest to receive a wristband. Proof of a negative test is required at the Tower Club, Club SI, Circuit Suite and the Chairman’s Suite.

Rapid and PCR tests will be accepted. Masks are recommended indoors.

What to eat at COTA?

COTA says over 30 restaurants will be showcasing a “taste of Texas” with food stands in five villages around the track. Of course, there will be plenty of barbecue and Tex-mex options to choose from.

The five villages are: Rodeo Driveway, La Cantina, Lone Star Land, Taste of Texas and the Biergarten.

Check out the fill list of offerings here.

How to watch the U.S. Grand Prix

Friday
What: Practice No. 1
When: 11:30 a.m.
TV: ESPN2

What: Practice No. 2
When: 3 p.m.
TV: ESPN2

Saturday
What: 
Qualifying
When: 
4 p.m.
TV: 
ESPN News

Sunday
What: United States Grand Prix
When: 2 p.m.
TV: ABC

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