Off to the races
Austin’s COTA officially motors forward with 5 more years of Formula 1
The fastest event on four wheels — and the highest-grossing weekend event in Austin — is putting the pedal to the metal, guaranteeing it will speed down the road to the Capital City for years to come.
On Friday, February 18, Circuit of The Americas, the world-class racetrack in East Austin, announced it has inked a deal with Formula 1, the world’s premier motorsport racing series, that will continue bringing the F1 United States Grand Prix to Austin through 2026.
The announcement comes a month ahead of the start of F1’s 2022 season, which revs up in Bahrain on March 18. The racing series will return to the COTA October 21-23 for the U.S. Grand Prix, though it won’t be the only U.S. race this year; in May, the series will also speed to Miami for race weekend.
“We are thrilled to be announcing the extension with the Circuit of The Americas ahead of the exciting new 2022 season. I want to thank the promoter for their ongoing dedication and enthusiasm for Formula 1, where together, we are continuing to grow the excitement around our sport in the U.S. following the huge success of Netflix [show Drive to Survive], the work of ESPN, and the incredible season we had in 2021,” says Stefano Domenicali, president and CEO of F1. “Austin is a great city, and the track is a favorite for all the drivers, and we cannot wait to be back in October for more action and entertainment.”
The heart-pumping racing extravaganza returned to COTA in 2021 after a pandemic pause in 2020.
The 2021 F1 United States Grand Prix brought a record-breaking crowd to Austin, which witnessed the ever-exhilarating battle between Mercedes driver and seven-time F1 drivers champion Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull phenom Max Verstappen. Verstappen took the win in the Austin race, foreshadowing his eventual drivers’ championship win, however controversial, for the 2021 season.
COTA’s newly announced five-year extension with F1 is definitely a boon for Austin, as well as the racetrack, which has hosted F1 racing since 2012 and has seen crowds for the local event grow by nearly four times since that inaugural race.
F1 provides an estimated $392 million economic impact for Austin — more than South By Southwest or the Austin City Limits Music Festival — and, according to COTA, the racetrack itself brings in an estimated $5 billion for the Austin community each year.
In addition to the F1 U.S. Grand Prix, COTA also hosts a variety of other events, from holiday experiences like its popular Peppermint Parkway and local Bike Nights to MotoGP, NASCAR racing, last year’s first-ever visit from the W Series, and tons of music and entertainment acts.
Upcoming events at COTA include NASCAR March 25-27 (including a performance from Grammy Award-nominated Dripping Springs-based band Midland on Sunday, March 27) and MotoGP April 8-10, all culminating in the fastest race in the world when F1 visits COTA in October.
“The Formula 1 United States Grand Prix has become one of the biggest and greatest events in the world. We are extremely proud it has found a home in Texas at Circuit of The Americas and are grateful to the millions of fans who visited us over our first decade,” says Bobby Epstein, founding partner of COTA, in a release.
“We knew Austin, along with our neighbors in San Antonio and beyond, would be welcoming hosts, and they proved it,” Epstein continues. “Thanks to everyone in the Formula 1 community for supporting our endeavors and rewarding our hard work. We are glad to have renewed our commitments and look forward to many more years of world championship racing, entertainment, and fun.”
To learn more about the F1 United States Grand Prix at COTA October 21-23 and to sign up to be notified when tickets go on sale, visit thecircuit.com/f1.