Full Texan

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen crests the hill at Turn 10 with a giant Texas flag waving in the background.

Circuit of The Americas hosted its 10th Formula 1 United States Grand Prix on Oct. 21-23.

Opened in 2012, the racetrack in Austin continues to differentiate itself from other races on the F1 calendar through high attendance (it again set a most-attended record for an F1 weekend with 440,000 this year) and plenty of local flair. Dutch racer Max Verstappen, who drives for Red Bull Racing, won his second consecutive U.S. Grand Prix race on Sunday while also tying the record for most wins in a season (13). In the constructor standings, Red Bull Racing finally snapped Mercedes’ stranglehold on the championship. The race held deep meaning for Red Bull—the company announced Saturday that Dietrich Mateschitz, co-founder of the energy drink company and owner of the Formula One racing team, died at 78.



The horse that Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo arrived on rests outside the McLaren F1 hospitality area.

Fans of newly crowned two-time world champion Max Verstappen look into the Red Bull Racing garage during the fan pit walk event on Thursday evening.

Scuderia Ferrari practices pit stops on Thursday evening prior to the track action that gets underway on Friday.

Fans take part in the Pit Stop Challenge in the F1 Fan Zone off of the Grand Plaza.

A large "COTA" sign, where race fans can become the "T," makes for a nice photo opportunity at the main entrance.

In recent years, Circuit of The Americas has added a number of permanent and semi-permanent carnival-style rides in and around the Grand Plaza to provide for more family entertainment on race weekends.

Ferrari set up a display of its former models from the world of GT racing over the years adjacent to the reflecting pool in the Grand Plaza.

In one of the moves to differentiate its fan experience from those at other F1 races, the United States Grand Prix includes large tents that feature vendors from the Central Texas region including Easy Tiger, Antone's, and Rudy's Bar-B-Q.

Numerous travel destinations throughout Texas showcase what makes the state so unique in the Lonestar Land fan area.

Appropriately Texas-size boots adorn the entrance to Lonestar Land.

The timing tower located at the pit lane exit.

Mercedes driver George Russell leaves the pit lane during the first Formula 1 practice session of the weekend.

Scuderia AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly waits at a pit exit to take a practice start during the first free practice on the opening day of track action.

Daniel Ricciardo, who drives for the McLaren F1 team, crests the hill at Turn 10 with the iconic COTA observation tower in the background, as well as the Texas state flag, a physically huge new addition to the track at Turn 6.

A more complete view of the giant Texas flag at Turn 6—because as they say, everything is bigger in Texas.

The Alpine team's Fernando Alonso exits Turn 1 on the first day of running for the weekend.

Green Day performs Friday night as part of the grand prix festivities. Ed Sheeran, Interpol, and dozens of local and regional bands also played throughout the three-day event.

FROM LEFT: Haas team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher take part in a fan team experience in the Germania Insurance Amphitheater at Circuit of The Americas.

A lone luchador heads to his break area at the lucha libre wrestling attraction in the La Cantina-themed section.

The campground behind the Turn 4 grandstand is an option for motorsports fans who like to combine racing and lodging at the race track.

Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas speeds through Turn 6 at Circuit of The Americas during the third free practice.

Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel zooms through Turn 6 at Circuit of The Americas during the third free practice.

Fans pass through the general admission area between turns 2 and 3 during the third practice session.

Eventual pole winner Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Ferrari speeds through Turn 3, as seen from the general admission fan area.

Sainz zooms through the tower complex section of the track on his way to securing pole position during the qualifying session on Saturday evening.

McLaren F1's Lando Norris passes through the tower complex section of the track on his way to securing eighth place for the start of the grand prix the following day.

Race day greeted early arrivals to the track in typical Texas Hill Country sunrise fashion, with vibrant pinks, peaches, and purples.

Saturday and Sunday featured demonstrations where McLaren F1 CEO Zak Brown and racing legend Mario Andretti took Formula 1 cars from previous generations on some hot laps around the track. Brown drove one with a classic livery.

Mario Andretti, the most successful American driver in Formula 1 history, prepares to get out of a McLaren car after his demonstration laps.

While Saturday night's qualifying session featured the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders dancing during breaks between qualifying sessions, Sunday's race featured the cheerleaders from the Houston Texans.

Daniel Ricciardo plays to the crowd in Austin in the most appropriate way possible: flashing the University of Texas' “Hook ’em Horns” hand sign.

As in past years, the University of Texas Longhorn Band played a big role in the pre-race festivities.

Shaquille O'Neal—aka DJ Diesel—strides through the paddock prior to Saturday's race. Later, he would perform a DJ set after the podium ceremony.

At the start of the race, pole sitter Carlos Sainz unfortunately found himself facing the wrong direction after being swiped by George Russell as they rounded Turn 1. To add insult to injury, that contact resulted in damage to Sainz’s car, forcing him to retire from the race.

Eventual race winner, and recently crowned two-time world champion, Max Verstappen exits Turn 1 as he builds a solid—if not commanding—lead at the beginning of the race.

The back of Haas F1's Kevin Magnussen's car scrapes along the tarmac, sending up a shower of sparks as he speeds through Turn 3 early in the race on Sunday.

Max Verstappen powers up towards Turn 1 as he leads Charles LeClerc.

The view from the top of Turn 1 offers a sprawling look at the Circuit of The Americas complex and the Austin skyline in the distance.

With Austin's proximity to Mexico, there has always been a large contingent of fans attending the race from south of the border. This has made Sergio "Checo" Perez a crowd favorite at the United States Grand Prix.

Almost halfway through the race, cars round Turn 20 after being bunched up behind the safety car following an on-track collision between Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll.

Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen stands atop his car as he celebrates taking victory at the 2022 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas.

FROM LEFT: Second-place finisher Lewis Hamilton, winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull team advisor Helmut Marko, and third-place finisher Charles Leclerc pose for photos on the podium.

The “fan track invasion” takes over the hill at Turn 1 at the conclusion of this year's United States Grand Prix.

When you’re a beverage company-sponsored team and you have reason to celebrate, you spray said beverage instead of Champagne on everyone. At the conclusion of their celebratory group photo, Red Bull team members scatter in all directions as Red Bull drinks spray everywhere.

Future Major Race Events in Texas

March 24-26 - NASCAR at COTA
circuitoftheamericas.com

April 2 - Texas Indy 375
texasmotorspeedway.com

April 14–16 - Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas
circuitoftheamericas.com

Sept. 23 - Andy’s Frozen Custard 300
texasmotorspeedway.com

Sept. 24 - Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500
texasmotorspeedway.com

A Formula 1 car speeds down a track in front of a large Texas flag in the background A group of people dressed in orange and black stand outside of a tent with a horse nearby People dressed in orange and black lean over a railing to look into a car garage A blur of red flashes by the screen as people change tires on a racecar A group of people in regular street clothes attempt to change the tire on a racecar People pose next to large letters reading COTA on the Austin track A large Ferris wheel highlights a scene of people walking around a crowded area Bright red Ferrari cars are lined up under red flags in an outdoor venue Shelves of bread line a wall in front of a mural painted with the words 'Easy Tiger' People walk by tents labeled with Texas destinations, including New Braunfels and Plano Large cowboy boots with a COTA logo on them sit on a dusty area A tall black tower with numerous digital screens in front of a cloudless blue sky A car speeds out of a practice lane with a background in motion blur A racecar driver in a helmet sits in a silver car waiting to go A racecar drives down an asphalt track under a huge Texas flag and tall red observation tower A tall Texas flag overshadows all else in a picture of a racetrack, spectator seats and observation tower A blue and purple racecar drives in front of a motion blurred background A performer grips a microphone in front of a bright red background Two men in blue shirts stand holding microphones in front of a digital screen A person dressed head to toe in wrestling gear, including a red cape, walks through a dirt area A group of campers line a roadway A red and white racecar speeds by onlookers Fans look on as a green racecar whizzes by A large group of people walk through an area with dirt ground Barely visible through a crowd of blurred onlookers, a red racecar zooms by on a track A close-up detail shot of the red racecar seen in the previous image An orange and black racecar zips by The iconic Circuit of the Americas tower is visible in front of a bright purple and pink sunrise background A silver and red racecar zooms past the screen A man in a helmet looks directly toward the camera as he prepares to exit a racecar A group of cheerleaders dressed in red and blue stand with bright red pom poms A man wearing a burnt orange jersey and orange baseball cap holds his hand up in the iconic University of Texas signal A man in University of Texas burnt orange band regalia plays a sousaphone Fans look on and attempt to reach Shaquille O'Neal as he walks down a sidewalk In a cloud of smoke, a racecar facing the wrong direction stalls out on a concrete track A black racecar with the Red Bull and Oracle logos speed across a concrete track A black racecar sends up bright sparks as it spins on the racetrack One racecar follows another down a long gray section of track A wide view of the COTA track and Austin skyline Fans dressed in green and white cheer under a large Mexican flag Cars bunched up along a racetrack under an American flag next to numerous spectactors A man in a helmet reading Red Bull stands on top of his car A group of men in baseball caps and race shirts pose in front of a green background Fans storm the track following the end of the race at COTA A large group of people wearing shirts reading 'Champions' run from a wild spray of Red Bull energ drink

The December 2022 issue of Texas Highways Magazine, "A Tex-Mex Holiday"


Get the Magazine

Save up to 62% off the cover price

True Texas in Your Inbox

Sign up for magazine extras, upcoming events, Mercantile specials, subscription offers, and more.

The December 2022 issue of Texas Highways Magazine


Get the Magazine

Save up to 62% off the cover price

True Texas in Your Inbox

Sign up for magazine extras, upcoming events, Mercantile specials, subscription offers, and more.

The December 2022 cover of Texas Highways Magazine


Get the Magazine

Save up to 62% off the cover price

True Texas in Your Inbox

Sign up for magazine extras, upcoming events, Mercantile specials, subscription offers, and more.