F1 Returns to Texas Story and Photos by Matthew Wetzler
The podium ceremony as seen from above the crowd that stormed on to the track as part of the "fan track invasion" immediately following the completion of the race.
F1 returned to the Western hemisphere for the first time in two years in grand fashion with a sold-out crowd.
After months of postponed and canceled events around the globe, Formula 1 finally returned to this part of the world. Thanks to pent up demand, Circuit of The Americas welcomed a record-breaking crowd back to Austin with new grandstands, fan areas, and lots of live music.
With the Circuit of The Americas observation tower in the background, McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo exits Turn 10 during the first practice session of the 2021 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
One of the numerous marshal stands surrounding the track. Race marshals, who play an important role by keeping everyone from drivers to fans safe throughout a race weekend, are typically volunteers. It's hard work but an outstanding way to get a front row seat to a race.
Scuderia Ferrari's Carlos Sainz races under the pedestrian bridge at Turn 3 during the first practice session.
Aston Martin Cognizant's driver Sebastian Vettel navigates the "esses" (turns that resemble the letter S) during the first practice session.
Alpine F1 Team's driver Esteban Ocon exits Turn 1 during the first practice session.
When an event takes place in the "Live Music Capital of the World," there's going to be plenty of music performances to be had. Featured artists this year included Billy Joel, Twenty One Pilots, Kool and the Gang, and numerous local acts.
For the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix, the Honda-powered cars of Red Bull and AlphaTauri sported the Acura logo on the rear wing instead of the usual Honda branding.
Uralkali Haas F1 Team's driver Mick Schumacher exits Turn 12 followed by two other cars during the second practice session, with a representation of the Texas flag painted on the run-off area behind him.
Alfa Romeo Racing's driver Antonio Giovinazzi enters Turn 14 during the second practice session.
McLaren F1 Team's Daniel Ricciardo drives demonstration laps in the late Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR stock car, with its iconic blue and yellow Wrangler jeans livery. Ricciardo pays tribute to Earnhardt by also driving under the No. 3.
The COTA Tower with an F1 flag, on the morning of practice session three.
The 3-year-old W Series—an all-female racing series—made its North American debut at the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix. Driver Jamie Chadwick, who previously only raced in parts of Europe, won the first of two races over the weekend.
A photo of roughly three-quarters of the Circuit of The Americas complex taken from the observation deck, 251 feet in the air near the top of the COTA Tower.
Carnival rides and other attractions abound throughout Circuit of The Americas, providing a mixture of entertainment beyond the on-track action.
A spectator on the lawn of the tower complex finds respite from the sun with a Texas flag umbrella.
Alpine F1 Team's Fernando Alonso speeds through the tower complex.
Scuderia AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda enters Turn 19 during the third practice session of the weekend.
Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel exits the pit lane during qualifying session one.
During qualifying, Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren sheds sparks as the underside of the car scrapes the tarmac on the exit of Turn 18 in the tower complex at Circuit of The Americas.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo has a habit of going "full Texan" whenever he visits Austin for the United States Grand Prix. In the past, he's worn a University of Texas Longhorn football jersey and a replica Longhorn football helmet as his crash helmet.
The University of Texas band performs during the opening ceremonies.
Skydivers hold an American flag during the national anthem, accompanied by red, white, and blue smoke at the beginning of the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix.
The helicopter flyover at the start of the event.
On the first lap at the exit of Turn 1, Lewis Hamilton—having started second—pushes Red Bull's Max Verstappen wide.
In the early stages of the race, Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel follows Williams' George Russell out of Turn 1.
Aston Martin's Lance Stroll navigates the esses—a series of high-speed turns.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen heads up the hill at Turn 8.
Circuit of The America's Onederland in the new infield viewing area sits at the back stretch of the track. The area is described as a sort of mini Burning Man festival.
The Austin skyline as viewed from the track with the Turn 11 grandstands to the left.
Fans show international pride from the pedestrian bridge at Turn 3.
Haas F1's Mick Schumacher exits Turn 1 with the grandstand full of fans in the background.
Yuki Tsunoda, Kimi Raikonnen, Fernando Alonso, and Antonio Giovinazzi speed down the start/finish straight toward the track's signature Turn 1.
International fans and Formula 1 go hand-in-hand, and this year's United States Grand Prix was no different.
In the closing stages of the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo leads Carlos Sainz and Valtteri Bottas through the final turn.
The crews of Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Sergio “Checo” Perez climb the fence to celebrate their drivers finishing first and third, respectively, in the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix.
Throngs of fans in the main grandstand area, Turn 1 lawn, and grandstand. Supporters of Max Verstappen set off their signature orange smoke bombs seen at Grand Prix races around the world.
The podium ceremony for the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix, with guest presenter Shaquille O'Neal, who also had a DJ gig after the race under the name "DJ Diesel."
Fans take a selfie on the 251-foot tall observation deck of the Circuit of The Americas Tower.