Get Ready for the Second Installment of Formula 1 at COTA

Today we’re filling you in on how to get geared up for Formula 1! The big event is here so it’s time to get to the track.


Start RSVPing

During the three days of Formula 1 there are so many events going on there’s no way you’ll be able to fit in all into your calendar. But if you want to attend any of the limited VIP events (and there are many) then you’ve got to start RSVPing ASAP.

Limited admission events that require tickets or RSVP include:

  • Concerts at the Moody Theater
  • Special race related events at COTA
  • After parties hosted at the hottest nightclubs in Austin

What to Pack and What Not to Bring

Even if you live in Austin you’ll want to plan accordingly so you can make the most of each race day. Here’s a list of how to dress and what to bring on race days.

Wear nice, comfortable clothes – Formula 1 is an upscale event so leave the NASCAR attire at home for a day. Dress in nice, yet casual clothes that are easy to move around in. Think casual Friday at your office. One Sunday when the finals are underway you can go a little dressier with your ensemble.

Stock up on bottled water – Unlike other beverages you are allowed to bring in sealed plastic bottles of water. Don’t be fooled by the cooler weather, it can still get warm under the big Texas sun, especially if you’re walking around COTA all day.

Leave large bags at home – Anything larger than 12x12x20” is prohibited at COTA. This also includes coolers, ice chests and camera bags.

Don’t dress in evening attire – This is a tip mostly for the ladies. If you wear a tight dress there’s a good chance you’ll be mistaken for a Formula 1 Girl. Again, keep it comfortable and chic – save the club clothes for the after parties.

Don’t try to sneak your pooch in – All animals other than service dogs are strictly prohibited, even the super cute pups that only weigh a couple pounds.

Bring a windbreaker – November can run hot or cold in central Texas. A windbreaker is one of the most versatile clothing items that can keep you dry when it’s raining, keep you warm when the temperature drop and is still light enough that it’s not a problem to lug around.

Bust out the binoculars – Binoculars are allowed and can give you a unique look at the cars as they go around the track.

Where to Stay

Coming into Austin to see the races? Here’s a hit list of all the hottest places to stay in Austin during Formula 1 weekend.

If the W isn’t already booked up this is the place to stay if you want to be close to all the after party action. From concerts at Moody Theater to VIP events at Blu, if you’re staying at the W everything but the track is right next door.

If you want to stay in a nice hotel that’s as close as possible to the track the Hilton at the Austin Airport is your best bet. It may not be the best atmosphere but it will make getting to the track and catching you flight a whole lot easier.

East side boutique hotels like the Heywood Hotel have begun popping up all over, and they offer visitors a quaint, truly Austin experience that’s more homey than a hotel. If you like to run with the hip crowd the east side is definitely the place to be when you’re not at the track.

If you have a fancy RV that you take to tracks around the country COTA should be no exception. There are several RV parks just down the road from the track, but if you want to be right in the middle of the action there are a limited number of Premium Trackside RV spots available as well as RV spots for sale by turns 11 and 12.

How to Get to COTA

Even though the Circuit of the Americas racetrack is a little out of the way, there are plenty of options for getting there. From high-end aeronautical transport to public transportation and everything in between, these are the way to get to the action on race day.


Adding more heliopads was the main thing that Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo took away from his trip to the Formula 1 race in England before last year’s event. And it’s a good thing he did. Over thousand people flew to COTA via helicopter during the inaugural event.

Though the price tag of $545 per person isn’t cheap it is the quickest way to get to the track with trips taking just 4-5 minutes.

Black Car Service

If hovering in on a helicopter seems a little extreme the next best mode of transport is an Austin black car service. It will take a little longer to get to the track, but you’re sure to enjoy every minute of the drive and you won’t have to worry about parking.

Royal Executive Transportation is experienced in making the rounds at COTA, but they have this reminder for their passengers – in Texas limo companies can’t supply alcohol. If you’ve like to enjoy a bottle of bubbly or a beer to and from the track you can provide the alcohol yourself and your chauffeur will make sure you have everything you need to enjoy a few refreshments.

Getting There by Car

Most of the fans will probably get to the track using their own means of transportation. Here’s what you need to know if you’re driving.

  • There are numerous parking lots that are located at various distances from the track.
  • Get a parking pass ahead of time – you save a few bucks and be assured to have a spot.
  • Don’t forget your parking pass – if you don’t have it when you get there you’ll be out of luck.
  • Tailgating is permitted if you have a parking pass.
  • You can park off-site at Waterloo Park or The Travis County Exposition Center and catch the free Fan Shuttle to the track.

There you have it – everything you need to know to get to COTA, enjoy the race days and make the most of your evenings after the track closes.

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