United States GP: What to do during the F1 race at Circuit of the Americas

Get ready for a weekend of high-class racing, concerts, and culinary experiences at the Circuit of the Americas as the F1 United States Grand Prix is back in town October 22-24.

This is the ninth year the race is being held in Austin. 

Last year's race was canceled so 2019 winner Valtteri Bottas is the defending champion. Bottas currently sits third in the F1 driver standings behind teammate Lewis Hamilton, who has won five times at COTA, and leader Max Verstappen. Experts expect a tense battle through the final lap of the race.

In addition to watching their favorite F1 drivers take the 3.4-mile track, fans can catch the W Series international motor racing championship for female drivers. The double-header will take place on October 23 and 24 and this will be the first W Series event to be staged outside of Europe. 

Alice Powell and Jamie Chadwick arrive at COTA tied for the championship lead, so the 2021 title will be decided in Austin in what's expected to be a dramatic conclusion to the 2021 W series season.

There are tickets still available. To purchase and to get more details you can go here.

Besides the action on the track, there's a lot of other things happening at COTA for the event. Below is a list of some of the things to check out and information on how to get out to enjoy all the fun.


With more than 360,000 attendees expected over race weekend, planning transportation to and from COTA is very important. Because parking is sold out and rideshare users will experience extended wait times and surge pricing, Circuit of The Americas is urging fans attending the race to utilize shuttle buses if they don’t already have a parking pass.

Tickets for the buses start at $15 and are on sale now online or on-site at each shuttle pickup location in Austin.

There are two types of shuttles available. The Front Gate Shuttle, available Friday-Sunday, will pick up at two points, Downtown (San Jacinto Blvd / East 14th St.) and at Barton Creek Mall and drop guests at the entrance of the Grand Plaza. The Drop & Walk Shuttle, available Saturday-Sunday, will pick race fans up at the Bastrop Memorial Stadium, Guadalupe/51st St, and ABIA Arrivals (Airport) and drop them off in the McAngus Lot, which is approximately a 15-minute walk to the Grand Plaza.

Pickup starts at 9 a.m. on October 22 and October 23 and at 8:30 a.m. on October 24.

Additionally, by taking the existing Bastrop and Guad/51st shuttles, COTA is offering a $10 food voucher for each day the existing Bastrop and Guad/51st shuttle is booked. The food vouchers can be used anywhere at COTA, including the COTA Culinary Experience.

Race fans who purchase a shuttle ticket and ride the shuttle will be eligible to win (2) trackside premium tickets to The Rolling Stones concert on November 20 at COTA’s Super Stage. The winner will be chosen at random after Formula 1 weekend.


One of the big draws each year for the race are the headlining concerts and other music performances. This year's headliners are Billy Joel, Twenty One Pilots, and Kool & The Gang. Twenty One Pilots will perform October 22, Joel will perform October 23, and Kool & The Gang will perform after the final race on October 24.

Also on October 24, DJ DIESEL, the DJ name of former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, will be performing a curated set at 4:30 p.m. (CT).

The American Soundtrack will also return this year and showcase over 20 musical acts, covering music genres from R&B & hip hop to electronic & indie folk. Guests can catch performances from top local artists including Joshua Ray Walker, Brownout, Mobley, and Bidi Bidi Banda on multiple stages throughout the COTA grounds.


The COTA Culinary Experience is new this year and will feature five unique food villages, each offering an incredible mix of the very best food found in Austin. Race fans from all over the world can take a food tour through Texas with each restaurant offering 2-3 menu items for guests. 

The different villages and participating restaurants are as follows:

Rodeo Driveway is located at the Main Grandstand and is a Beverly Hills-inspired sidewalk café with an upscale Austin vibe featuring some of the best chefs Austin has to offer.

  • Cookie Rich
  • Commerce Cafe
  • Fluff Meringues
  • Little Ola’s
  • Brasserie Mon Chou Chou
  • Little Trouble
  • LeJon

La Cantina features Austin’s famous South of the Border-inspired flavors where fans can sip on margaritas and enjoy classic Tex-Mex dishes with a fiesta ambiance.

  • Asador Tacos
  • Culinary Cowgirls Queso
  • Eldorado Café
  • Wing Dady
  • Taco Flats

Lone Star Land is where all things Texas reign supreme at one of the busiest entrances to the track. With Texas BBQ, country music, cowboy hats & boots, and smokin’ pits aplenty, fans from near and far can celebrate some of Texas’ favorite fares.

  • Guess Family BBQ
  • Jag's BBQ
  • Micklethwait
  • Smokin’ Beauty

Taste of Texas is inspired by chef-driven food festivals, live music, and picnic culture and it will feature gourmet grab & go and favorite local eateries.

  • Bao’d Up
  • Bohemian BBQ
  • Chivita Goat Cheese Lovers
  • Four Brothers
  • Good Times Burgers
  • J’s Hibachi
  • Nervous Charlie’s Bagels
  • Sazan Ramen
  • Shawarma Point
  • The Cavalier
  • Tiny Pies
  • Wing Dady
  • Wings ‘N More
  • Kababeque
  • Amy’s Ice Cream

Biergarten celebrates Texas’ German heritage with Austin purveyors of sausage and schnitzel at the COTA Biergarten

  • Central Machine Works
  • Easy Tiger

"We’ve gathered the best of the best in Texas eats," said Courtney Young, Managing Director of Events and Hospitality at COTA, said in a news release. "With Formula 1 hosting race fans from all over the world, we want to put our best foot forward and really showcase what Austin has to offer. Whether guests are long-time Austin residents or visiting from another part of the world, there will be something for everyone during the COTA Culinary Experience."

Local culinary ambassadors that helped assemble this showcase in Texas eats include Chef Sarah Heard & Chef Nathan Lemley, Co-Owners at Foreign & Domestic & Commerce Cafe and Chef Andre Natera, Executive Chef at Fairmont Austin and host of "Run The Pass" podcast. Adi Anand, Executive Director of Hot Luck Live Food & Music and Co-Founder of Quesoff, Matt & Caleb Johnson, Co-Founders of Mill Scale Metal Works, and Mando Rayo, Taco Journalist and host of "Tacos of Texas" at  KUT & KUTX Studios, also had a hand in building the strong lineup of Texas foodie favorites. 


Top-ranked Major League Eaters will face off during the SPAMARAMA World SPAM-Eating Championship on Saturday, October 23 at 6:30 p.m. Eaters will have eight minutes to consume as much SPAM as they can, competing for $5,000 in prizes.

The current world record in the SPAM-eating discipline was set on April 3, 2004, by Richard "the Locust" LeFevre, who consumed six pounds in 12 minutes. 

We are pleased to be back at Circuit of the Americas with leading competitors from across the nation," said Sam Barclay of Major League Eating in a news release. "We are on the threshold of a universe in which a new SPAM-eating record distinguishes our species."

Geoffrey Esper, the #2-ranked competitive eater in the world, will face fierce competition as he takes on fellow eater, #5-ranked Miki Sudo from Tampa, FL;  #6-ranked Nick Wehry from Tampa, FL, and more.


Photo courtesy Giant Noise.

COTA has also added a new bridge at Turn 10 that will let fans explore the infield for the first time. This area in the infield will be one of six new villages for fans to experience and it's called ONEderland.

At ONEderland, fans can check out El Pulpo Mechanico from Burning Man, a mechanical Octopus on wheels shooting flames from its 8 tentacles. The Iconic Burning Man Art Car "El Pulpo Mechanico" can be spotted in as well. Additionally, iconic burning man art cars like Balanceville and its rising and falling cockpit will be roaming around. 

Between track sessions, guests can also grab a margarita and watch masked Lucha Libre wrestlers go at it in the La Cantina Village.

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