F1 Circuit US: A Guide to America’s Premier Racing Venues

Formula 1 Circuits in the United States are the pinnacle of motorsports events on American soil. Some of these F1 tracks enjoy a rich heritage that can be traced back to the early 20th century, and until recently, the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, has been the main event for F1 on American ground. This state-of-the-art facilities were meticulously designed to host the world’s most advanced racing machines and have become the centerpiece of F1 racing in the US, attracting fans from around the globe.

Circuit of The Americas, Miami International Autodrome and The Las Vegas Strip Circuit offer unrivaled track experience for both drivers and spectators. With a blend of high-speed straights and challenging turns, the tracks layouts test the precision and skill of the competing F1 teams to the utmost.

Beyond the excitement of the race, the F1 tracks impact reaches well into the local economy, bringing significant financial benefits through tourism and global media exposure each race season.

Key Takeaways

  • Circuit of The Americas is the foremost destination for Formula 1 racing in the United States, hosting the annual United States Grand Prix.
  • The F1 circuits in North America are: COTA in Austin, Miami International Autodrome and Las Vegas Strip Circuit.
  • The Formula 1 events contribute significantly to the local economy through tourism and international media coverage.

History of US F1 Circuits

Formula One, also known as F1, has had a sporadic but rich history in the United States. The United States Grand Prix has been a part of the F1 calendar across various locations since the early 20th century. To date, there have been multiple circuits that have had the honor of hosting the Grand Prix in America.

The inaugural F1 race held in the United States took place in 1959 at the Sebring International Raceway in Florida—a venue more famous for sports car racing. The following year, the event moved to the Riverside International Raceway in California before settling at the Watkins Glen International in New York, which hosted the United States Grand Prix from 1961 to 1980.

During the 1970s, in an attempt to grow the sport’s popularity, F1 races were also held at other venues, including a street circuit at Long Beach, California, known as the United States Grand Prix West, commencing in 1976. The Dallas Grand Prix made a single appearance in 1984, and the streets of Detroit hosted the United States Grand Prix East from 1982 to 1988, making the U.S. a country that hosted multiple Grands Prix in a single season.

In contrast to the street races that characterized several U.S. Grands Prix, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, colloquially known as the Brickyard, introduced the U.S. to a novel F1 track layout, which included part of the oval. Indianapolis hosted the event from 2000 to 2007.

After a hiatus, the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, became the new home of the United States Grand Prix in 2012 (with the exception of the 2020 race due to the global situation), showcasing F1’s dedication to establishing a long-term presence in the U.S. The 1978 F1 Champion, Mario Andretti, the last American to win the title, drove the inaugural lap at COTA, which has now become a staple in the F1 calendar.

In 2023, Las Vegas is expected to join the list of iconic venues by hosting a Grand Prix on a new street circuit along the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, marking it as the latest American city to join the prestigious list of F1 hosts.

Current F1 Circuits in the US

The Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is the premier location for Formula 1 races in the United States. Situated in Austin, Texas, COTA provides a modern and dynamic layout designed by renowned architect Hermann Tilke, who has integrated features from iconic tracks like Hockenheim and Suzuka into its design. Since its debut in 2012, COTA has been praised for its challenging corners and elevation changes, most notably the uphill battle to Turn 1 which has become a signature experience of the US Grand Prix.

  • Location: Austin, Texas
  • Inauguration Year: 2012
  • Designer: Hermann Tilke
  • Famous Turns: Turn 1

COTA is the zenith of F1’s involvement in America, encompassing a rich blend of speed and technical precision that tests both driver and machine. The track has witnessed remarkable races and has been a significant venue for notable drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

The grandstands at COTA resonate with the excitement of fans, many sporting merchandise from prestigious teams like Mercedes, advocating for stars such as Hamilton. Besides the race itself, COTA’s facilities also offer a range of entertainment, embracing the spirit of F1 with concerts and events that enhance the US Grand Prix weekend into a comprehensive spectacle.

Notable Achievers:

  • Most Wins (Driver): Lewis Hamilton
  • Successful Teams: Mercedes

COTA represents the modern era of F1 in America and stands as a testament to the sport’s growing footprint in the United States, also honoring legacies such as that of Mario Andretti, who is emblematic of the American success in F1 racing.

Technical Specifications

The technical specifications of a Formula 1 circuit play a crucial role in the racing dynamics, influencing everything from tire selection to race strategy. Two standout tracks in the United States, Circuit of The Americas (COTA) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, bring unique challenges and characteristics to the fore, outlined below in their respective subsections.

Circuit of The Americas

Circuit of the americas COTA stats
Photo: F1.com


Circuit of The Americas, often abbreviated as COTA, is a premier racing venue located in Austin, Texas, and is known for its distinctive features designed to challenge the best in Formula 1. The track’s length spans approximately 5.513 kilometers with a demanding layout that comprises 20 corners. These corners are a mix of high-speed sweepers and tight hairpins that test both car and driver. The circuit’s most notable section, the uphill run into Turn 1, is characterized by a steep climb that requires precise braking and skillful handling. The track has a total of 56 laps in the Formula 1 race.

  • Track Length: 5.513 km
  • Number of Turns: 20
  • Number of Laps: 56
  • Tyre Compounds Used: Often includes hard tyres due to track abrasiveness

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway, located in Indiana, USA, has been an iconic venue in motorsports history, particularly famous for the Indy 500. The track has several configurations, and the one used for Formula 1, known as the Grand Prix circuit, is 4.192 kilometers long. The circuit is known for its combination of 13 turns, which include a blend of high-speed and technical sections, presenting a challenging race for the drivers. The circuit requires a setup that can handle the demands of both high-speed straightaways—like the main stretch—and the complex series of corners in the infield section.

  • Track Length: 4.192 km
  • Number of Corners: 13
  • Characteristics: High-speed stretches with a technical infield section

Las Vegas Strip Circuit

las vegas strip circuit
Photo: F1.com


Las Vegas previously staged two F1 races – under the Caesars Palace Grand Prix moniker – in 1981 and 1982. It played host to the season finale on both occasions, with Williams driver Alan Jones winning the 1981 race and Michele Alboreto taking his maiden F1 victory for Tyrrell at the 1982 encounter. Meanwhile, Nelson Piquet and Keke Rosberg clinched the title in ’81 and ’82 respectively with fifth-place finishes.

Located in the heart of Las Vegas, the new 6.2km, 17-turn street circuit winds its way past iconic locations like Caesars Palace, the Bellagio and the Venetian. With average speeds similar to Monza, otherwise known as F1’s ‘Temple of Speed’, fans are guaranteed plenty of action and overtaking.

  • Track Length: 6.201 km
  • Number of Corners: 17
  • Characteristics: High-speed stretches through iconinc locations, combined with low speed corners

Miami International Autodrome

Miami international autodrome stats
Photo: F1.com

A street-track spectacular. With the Hard Rock Stadium at its epicentre, the 5.41km layout features 19 corners, three straights, three DRS zones, and top speeds of over 340km/h. There are elevation changes too, the main one found between Turns 13 and 16, with the track heading over an exit ramp and under various flyovers across uneven ground. The Turn 14-15 chicane, meanwhile, has an uphill approach, with a crest in the middle, and then drops down on exit.

  • Track Length: 5.412 km
  • Number of Corners: 19

Major Events and Races

The United States Grand Prix is a paramount race in the Formula One World Championship, often taking place at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). Since its debut in the 2012 season, COTA has retained its place as a favorite, with the pandemic year 2020 being an exception. The event attracts large crowds, with race day exemplifying the pinnacle of excitement and competition.

Over the years, renowned drivers like Lewis Hamilton have left their mark on the US GP, contributing to the event’s distinguished history. The track features various segments testing drivers’ skills, from high-speed straights to tight corners, exemplifying Formula One’s challenges. The United States Grand Prix not only showcases the drivers’ dexterity but also the teams’ strategic acumen, particularly when it comes to pit stop tactics and tire choices.

The US GP often shares its venue with the prestigious Indianapolis 500, another race steeped in motorsport tradition. Unlike Formula One’s global tour, the Indy 500 is an all-American spectacle ingrained in the fabric of US motorsports culture.

Occasionally, the Formula One format at the US GP includes a sprint race, an addition that intensifies the competition. This shorter race determines the starting grid for the actual Grand Prix and offers fans an additional dose of high-speed action during the race weekend.

Each event brings its unique atmosphere to the circuit, but the United States Grand Prix remains a fixture in the sport, continually attracting fans eager to witness the pinnacle of motorsport on American soil.

Teams and Drivers

The United States Grand Prix serves as a prominent stage for the star-studded Formula 1 (F1) lineup. Among these, Lewis Hamilton, an F1 icon, has a storied history with the event, having claimed victory on multiple occasions. Teams like Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team have been pivotal in molding champions like Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, contributing to the competitive spirit of the sport.

Red Bull Racing remains a formidable force with drivers like Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. Verstappen’s keen racing acumen has placed him among the top contenders for the world title.

Scuderia Ferrari, Italy’s prancing horse, maintains a strong presence with talents such as Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Their skill and agility on the track continue to captivate audiences.

Team Notable Drivers
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas
Red Bull Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez
Ferrari Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz
McLaren Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo

British outfit McLaren counts on Lando Norris and the seasoned Daniel Ricciardo, who brings experience and agility to the team. The driver lineup across the teams, including Fernando Alonso with Alpine and Yuki Tsunoda with AlphaTauri, showcases a blend of seasoned veterans and dynamic newcomers, each vying for supremacy.

Teams like Aston Martin, cheered on by enthusiasts for their storied legacy and current driver Lance Stroll, continue to push the boundaries of automotive excellence. The competitive landscape is further enriched by the likes of Pierre Gasly, Kimi Raikkonen, and others, all of whom add to the eclectic mix that defines F1’s pulsating energy.

Circuit Experience

Experiencing an F1 race at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) is a thrilling blend of high-speed action and entertainment. Attendees can witness the pinnacle of motorsport at a track renowned for its unique features and challenging turns, with Turn 1 being a fan-favorite spot for overtaking maneuvers.

Grandstand seating offers exceptional views of the racing action, especially in the stadium section stands, where fans can feel the intensity of F1 cars battling wheel-to-wheel. The start-finish straight is another vantage point where spectators can observe the adrenaline-fueled beginning of the race.

For a premium experience, spectators can secure F1 United States Grand Prix 2024 tickets with access to elevated hospitality, including exclusive access areas and premium amenities that provide an unmatched view of the USGP.

  • On Race Day:
    • Morning: Anticipation builds as fans gather along the circuit.
    • Afternoon: Races commence, with the crowd cheering at every thrilling overtake.

To ensure the whole experience is unforgettable, COTA combines world-class racing with entertainment, offering Circuit of The Americas experiences that invite fans to the nightlife and partying scene synonymous with Austin’s vibrant character.

The Circuit doesn’t end with the race; it extends to downtown Austin, only a short distance away, where one can dive into the city’s renowned nightlife and cultural attractions.

COTA weaves the essence of Formula 1 with the spirit of Austin, making it much more than a race—it’s an immersive event that captures the soul of motorsport and the verve of its host city.

Safety and Regulations

Safety in Formula One, especially at the United States Grand Prix, is paramount. The FIA enforces strict technical regulations to ensure the safety of drivers, teams, and spectators. Highlights from the 2024 FORMULA 1 TECHNICAL REGULATIONS include specifications for general electrical safety and fuel system requirements.

  • General Electrical Safety: Guidelines ensure all electrical systems are secure and pose no hazard.
  • Fuel System: Regulations mandate robust fuel tanks to prevent leaks or fires.

Safety measures extend beyond car construction. The circuit itself must meet high safety standards, delineated by the FIA’s track grading system. A venue, to host Formula One events, must achieve a Grade 1 rating which includes various requirements that ensure the track’s safety for high-speed racing. This certification process influences the design of tracks and the stewards’ ability to maintain control over race weekend.

The qualifying format requires drivers to navigate the circuit within certain times, ensuring that only the fastest and most capable cars and drivers make up the starting grid. This process also plays an indirect role in safety, as it filters out potentially less safe vehicles that may not handle the rigors of race conditions.

The competitiveness of the Formula One World Championship hinges on not just speed but the adherence to these regulations. The Constructors’ Championship, followed closely by numerous sources including Sky Sports, is directly affected by the teams’ ability to comply with the safety standards, showcasing the importance of regulations in the sport.

Safety and regulation adherence ensures that the spectacle of Formula One continues to evolve with the required rigor and attention to detail, maintaining the thrilling yet safe experience fans expect.

Impact of F1 on Local Economy

The Formula 1 United States Grand Prix (USGP) hosted at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) significantly bolsters the local economy of Austin. Grand Prix events traditionally draw large crowds, and it’s estimated that in 2021, fans spent $400 million at the track alone, indicating a noteworthy influx of financial activity in the area during race weekends.

Situated in Austin, Texas, COTA is counted among America’s modern race tracks, and the economic ripples extend beyond the circuit’s gates. The hospitality industry, especially hotels and restaurants in downtown Austin, experiences a considerable surge in patronage correlated with the F1 events. Lodging establishments often see full occupancy, and with the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) serving as a nearby travel hub, there’s also an increase in airline and taxi service demands.

Interestingly, the F1’s presence in Austin, coupled with other prominent events, has placed the city on the map as a global destination for major sporting and cultural festivals. The area’s transformative growth over the span of the F1’s tenure has further solidified its status as an entertainment nexus that benefits greatly from these international gatherings.

Despite challenges such as Hurricane Patricia in 2015, the annual event has demonstrated resilience, continuing to draw global attention and economic benefits to the region. Revenue from the races surpasses even highly recognized Austin events like the Austin City Limits Music Festival and South by Southwest.

Key Market Impacts Estimated Economic Contribution
Total event spending $400 million (track alone)
Hotel Occupancy Near full capacity
Service Industry Elevated demand

In summary, F1 racing, particularly through the lens of the USGP and COTA, has proven to be a catalyst for economic growth and vitality in Austin.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section addresses common inquiries regarding the Formula 1 events in the United States, providing specific details on ticket purchase, race dates, and track information.

How can I purchase tickets for the United States Grand Prix?

Tickets for the United States Grand Prix can be bought online through the Circuit of the Americas official website or other authorized ticket vendors.

What are the dates for the F1 races scheduled in the USA for 2024?

The specific dates for the F1 races in the USA for 2024 have not been officially announced at this time. Interested attendees should check the Formula 1 official calendar for updates.

Where in the US are the Formula 1 races held?

Formula 1 races in the US are held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, Las Vegas Circuit Strip and Miami International Autodrome.

Is the Circuit of the Americas hosting an F1 event in 2024?

Yes, the Circuit of the Americas is expected to host a Formula 1 event in 2024, continuing its tradition as a staple venue for the United States Grand Prix.

What is the new Las Vegas F1 track and when will it debut?

The new Las Vegas F1 track is an exciting street circuit that will navigate through the iconic Strip. It is set to debut in the 2023 season, adding another thrilling destination to the Formula 1 calendar in the USA.

How many Formula 1 races are there in the US this season?

In the 2023 season, the United States is slated to host three Formula 1 races: one at the Circuit of the Americas, one Las Vegas Grand Prix and one Miami Grand Prix.