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Austin

Find out more about the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas, including race information and a destination guide for a visit to Austin

United States Grand Prix Guide
© XPB Images

Key figures

Date:20-22 October 2017
Number of laps:56
Circuit length:5.516 km
Race distance:308.896 km
Lap record:1:39.347
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 2012

The Circuit of the Americas was built specifically for F1 after a contract was signed to host the race in Austin, and it duly delivered with one of the best new additions in recent years. The iconic Turn 1 sees cars climb sharply to a wide left-handed hairpin with numerous lines - offering overtaking opportunities -before dropping down to the fast first sector which sees cars sweep through ever-tightening changes of direction. After cresting the left-handed Turn 10, the circuit drops down to another wide hairpin at Turn 11 before a long straight before the braking zone at Turn 12 which is the best passing opportunity on track. A technical section follows before the multi-apex Turn 17 and 18 and two 90-degree left handers to end the lap.

DESTINATION GUIDE

While not the state’s biggest city, Austin is the capital city of Texas, housing the seat of Texas government in the Capitol building in Downtown Austin. Visitors are able to enter the Capitol and take guided tours. The building stands proudly at the top of Congress, and South Congress - South of Lady Bird Lake - is a must-visit area of shops, restaurants and food trucks. This vibrant neighbourhood is a popular hangout for locals with immense Austin character.

Austin’s downtown district is bustling on weekdays and weekends. With commerce, cuisine, and cocktails, it’s a fun mixture that has a little bit of something for everyone. Check out the 2nd Street area or the Warehouse District to experience two areas of daytime and nighttime entertainment.

Skip to the east side of Downtown Austin to find an eclectic area with rich history and culture. This up-and-coming area is known for it eateries, boutiques, and nightlife. Or you can grab a drink or a bite in one of the many renovated houses turned into bungalow bars along Rainey Street. Rainey Street is a great spot for those looking for a relaxed bar setting and equally relaxed company.

Austin is home to a large colony of bats, which has taken up residence under the Congress Bridge. Tourists and Austinites alike gather nightly along the Congress Bridge and the lake hike trail to witness the unbelievable sight of the bats exiting their resting spot at dusk.

Recreational opportunities abound in Austin with 220 parks, including Zilker Park and a 10-mile hike and bike trail around Lady Bird Lake. Kayaking and stand up paddleboarding is popular on Lady Bird Lake and Barton Springs Pool welcomes swimmers to 68-degree, spring-fed waters year-round.

In terms of nightlife, Austin’s most lively spot for night activities is the iconic 6th Street. With hundreds of bars and live music along a short stretch of 6th Street in Downtown Austin, this has become a hub of entertainment and a known spot for upbeat nightlife in Austin.

Austin calls itself the Live Music Capital of the World. Visitors to the city will see the influence of music throughout Austin in everything from the street performers to artwork around the city. There’s no shortage of live music at bars, dance halls, restaurants and venues each night. Musicians play in everything from grocery stores to any of the 250 live music venues around Austin.

For some iconic view of Austin, head out into the rolling hills of West Austin to experience the beginnings of Central Texas’ hill country and catch a view of Austin’s iconic 360 Bridge. Alternatively, take a trek up Mount Bonnell to see a beautiful view of west Austin from above. There won’t be a cityscape in this stunning sight, but you will enjoy an unforgettable view.

GETTING THERE

Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States and is well-linked as a result. International flights serve Austin-Bergstrom Airport, while Houston is less than a three-hour drive to the south east and Dallas a similar distance to the north.

Circuit of the Americas is located some 15 miles to the south east of downtown Austin, and while a car is the easiest way of reaching the track - with SH130 running nearby and numerous parking lots at the circuit - the race organisers provide regular shuttles from downtown to the track itself.