Pack Your Sunglasses, Because Austin is Throwing a 3-day-long F1 Party
Why the second Formula 1 US Grand Prix in Austin is not to be missed – and how to make sure you’re prepared!
When F1 envelops Austin, Texas, after a season traipsing through Singapore, Monaco, Japan and other exotic destinations, you want to be a part of it. It’s not just a car race out in a field past the local airport. The F1 experience is an all-day, late-night, life experience that people around the globe will use their vacation time just to travel to one race. During the day, international media, celebrities, and some of the smartest people in the sports world are hard at work at the Circuit of the Americas. But when the sun goes down, Austin – which has decades of experience on how to throw a hell of a party – will come to life.
Do not miss this.
Where to start
If you go to just one track event, you’ll want to at least attend Sunday’s F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). Tickets are still on sale, and here at Suite Pass we have admission that can be chosen based on from which Turn you would like to view the race. The classics are the top of the hill at Turn 1 and the multi-turn apexes at Turns 12 and 15. Always in high demand are the seats at the start/finish line, where you’ll find the real top-level seating options – some say the real VIPs are in the Paddock Club, but you can have a similar view and respectable hospitality at the many other options in the Main Grandstand.
Find a place to stay
If you haven’t already reserved your hotel room, now’s the time to get moving. A few hundred thousand people will be looking for rooms, plus there is a major college football game on Saturday Nov. 16th. Luckily there is still some space available in hotels around town, but be careful of pricing and minimum stays. We have 3 tips for you:
1. If you can’t find a room at the hotel you’re searching for, try extending the number of days you’ll be staying here – many hotels are imposing a 4-5 night minimum. Or, try searching outside of the city of Austin.
2. Many of the best hotel rooms at the nicest hotels are already purchased by hospitality companies who bundle tickets – these are a great way to take care of your room, tickets, transportation, and sometimes food options with one purchase.
3. If you’re looking for something really unique, try a vacation rental. We’ve got a ranch, downtown condos, houses, even parking for RVs just across from the Circuit of the Americas.
This year Suite Pass is offering all of the above options:
Get ready to party
It’s not just a party weekend – it’s THE party weekend for many globetrotters. F1 has a long and glamorous history, and many of the most prestigious events organizers are already in Austin preparing for our race weekend. One of the big ones is Amber Lounge, who have chosen just 4 cities (Monaco, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and for the first time, Austin) to host their pop-up night club. This is also one of the very, very few places where you can party ’til 4am, past the normal Austin closing time of 2am.
Other events include the buzzworthy My Yacht Club at Ballet Austin, which in 2012 was rumored to be flying in a megayacht to land on our local waterway. Of course that was simply a rumor, but the event did have an impressive display of Lamborghini cars greeting the line of partygoers. You’ll also hear about local organizers’ events such as Blu at the W returning for 2013, as is Formula Austin’s Texas music series at the landmark ACL Live – both of these are at the W Hotel in downtown. The Velvet Casino party will have both a Frank Sinatra tribute band and DJ A-Trak, who was rapper Kanye West‘s DJ.
A more relaxed atmosphere will be found at the Motostalgia Showcase and Gala – that is, until collector car auction begins and bidders will wage a dollar war on ultra-rare cars valued at over $1 million. Until then, Showcase ticketholders can see multiple F1 and Indycars, Jaguars, Porsches, and luxury street cars dating all the way back to the 1920s. For a more relaxed evening, get your ticket to the Gala where vintage dress and music will accompany the car show.
In addition to bottle service and luxury, there are plenty of options for free, outdoor family fun in downtown Austin. The place to be is the Austin Fan Fest, which will occupy a few blocks of the city center over Nov. 14th-17th. Here you’ll find a kids’ zone, many stages with free concerts, racing simulators, food, and a look at what Austin can expect for X Games 2014, also to be held at COTA.
Make the most of your time
At the heart of Austin Race Events by Suite Pass is our free social calendar, which we started using in June 2012 for the Formula Expo. On our calendar you’ll find schedules for just about all the public parties, the races at COTA, meetups, concerts, and whatever else we curate for you to have a perfect Austin weekend. There is so much going on that it’s very easy to miss out if you haven’t planned in advance. Be sure to log in with Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn so you can find your friends and compare schedules instantly. Click the stars by each event you plan to attend. You’ll also be able to save your personalized schedule and view it on your phone, print it out, or send it to your friends who, for some reason, haven’t signed up for AustinRaceEvents.com yet (be a good friend, send them the link or share on social media).
On the day of any event you’ve signed up for, we’ll send you an email with an overview of your schedule. You can see the time, location, and a brief description of what’s going on for each.
There are SO many features to our schedule, which can be seen on this short video.