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Austin Formula 1

Aerial Update on COTA

With just 5 months to go until the inaugural Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, construction at Circuit of The Americas is rapidly progressing as the 900+ acre site transforms daily into a world class facility. 

Formula 1's most recognized photographers Mark and Keith Sutton of Sutton images visited Austin for Formula Expo this past weekend and took to the skies for a look at COTA.  In addition to their photos from their trip which you can see in this weeks issue of GP Week, the Sutton's brought back some aerial footage of the track as well:


The trip includes captions which indicate the turn locations as they circle around the whole location. If you're on the fence about which tickets to get for the race, this video should give you some idea of the orientation of the track relative to your seating.

If you're curious just how far along the circuit has come in a short amount of time, take a look at our aerial footage from March 2011.  This should help you gain some perspective on the amazing progress made by COTA's construction team in just 15 months since we produced the first aerial video of the circuit:

Exclusive: First Aerial Video of Austin Track Construction from The Austin Grand Prix on Vimeo.


Formula 1 to Return to France in 2013

Mark Webber testing the Red Bull Racing car at Paul Ricard Circuit, 2007 (GEPA pictures/ Mathias Kniepeiss)

Early this week, Bernie Ecclestone announced a deal has been made to bring Formula 1 racing back to France’s Paul Ricard next year.  The deal will also include 4 other grands prix in 2015, ’17, ’19, and ’21, but no details have yet been released regarding how France’s slot on the schedule will be filled every other year when it is not hosting.  F1 has not held a grand prix in France since the 2008 race at the Magny Cours circuit in which Ferrari’s Felipe Massa claimed the top of the podium.

“The deal is done,” Eccelstone told French L’Equipe.  “We actually agreed on financial terms with the sports minister, David Douillet, in my office last Tuesday.”  Interestingly, the announcement comes not two weeks before France begins the second and final phase of the country’s presidential election, which could raise questions about whether the deal would stand if incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy is ousted by Socialist candidate Francois Hollande.  Ecclestone seems confident however that a deal will be finalized regardless of the result of the election, possibly even before the May 6 election date.

France is the second circuit to be added to the 2013 schedule that also is not on 2012.  Last October New Jersey was announced as a brand new addition to F1, however new doubts are surfacing over when (or if) the street circuit along the banks of the Hudson River will take place.  Only days after the France announcement, Eccelstone also stated “Maybe the [Grand Prix of America in New Jersey] will be 2013.  It’s a when – 2013 or 2014.”  The October announcement of adding the New Jersey race of course came with some controversy, with many speculating that it was going to replace Circuit of the Americas as the new site for the US Grand Prix.

On Our Way to Montreal...No, Really...

Without a doubt, preparing for your first Grand Prix experience is a marathon of planning and strategizing. Dreaming of this day for over ten years, it all seemed a bit more glamorous than the past 24 hours. While not going into the specific details of our drama-filled day, we're glad to finally be getting on the road to drive to Montreal from Albany, NY.

We've gained a lot of, er, experience (of course, experience is what you get when you don't get what you want), and if the image of our temporary workspace in the Albany Airport as we await the arrival of Contributing Editor Andrew Swinghamer is any sign that we're ready to get this show on the road, then we're well on our way. (Thank you FREE WIFI!)

So, in just a few short hours we'll be in Montreal ready to see the Canadian GP Free Practice tomorrow morning! The day is almost here and it couldn't come soon enough...

If you are in town for the Canadian GP, swing by the W Hotel Montréal's Wunderbar tomorrow at 5:00PM. We've planned a casual happy hour to meet and chat with F1 fans from around the world. We'd like to meet you, introduce ourselves, and answer questions about the Circuit of the Americas track that is under construction in Austin, Texas for the return of the United States Grand Prix in 2012. We will have limited information and merchandise on hand to share with you!

W Hotel Montréal - Wunderbar
901 Victoria Sq
Montreal, QC H2Z 1R1

About Wunderbar - "Inspired by Montreal's distinctive seasons and magnificent natural surroundings, Wunderbar filters jet set cocktail culture through a local lens. The sleek, multi-level lounge exudes the outdoors' vibrancy while offering amenities consistent with A-list destinations worldwide.

Wunderbar is the centerpiece nightlife element within the W Montréal, located in the fashionable Citi Internationale district adjacent to Old Montreal. Leading nightlife development company bpc conceived and manages Montreal's latest lounge setting for hotel guests as well as local and international tastemakers."

If you have questions about the event, please email Kerri Olsen at Kerri {at} for a more immediate response (and cross your fingers that the Technology Gods are shining down upon her, unlike today.)

Wunderbar's telephone number is 514 395 3195.

*Please note that this is not a sponsored event. You will be responsible for your own drink charges.*

You can also RSVP on our Facebook Event page, here.

W Hotel Montreal by David Giral