Travel tips for Formula 1 race attendees

Travel tips for Formula 1 race attendees

Credit: Josie Dickson, Special Contributor to

Travel tips for Formula 1 race attendees



Posted on November 15, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 15 at 11:08 AM

AUSTIN -- Circuit of the Americas has released travel tips for those attending this weekend's Formula 1 Grand Prix race.

COTA says thousands of visitors are expected in and around Austin Nov. 15-17, and heavy traffic is expected during peak times of the day. To make things easier, follow this list of travel tips:

  • Leave early. Those attending the race should add an hour to their travel time to get to bus pick up locations. If you have an on-site parking pass, you should leave 90 minutes earlier. Gates of COTA open at 7:30 a.m.
  • Carpool with others when possible.
  • Get on buses from recommended points to avoid overloading the shuttles. 
  • Leave prohibited items behind. You cannot store them at the COTA gates. Click here for a list of prohibited items.
  • Those with on-site parking passes should follow driving instructions on the back of their passes.
  • Some streets are closed to all non-emergency vehicles. See which ones are closed here.
  • Expect delays. Anticipate that congestion will occur on major highways and arteries which lead downtown.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.
  • Plan to spend all day at the COTA track. Here is a calendar of events for the weekend.
  • ABIA is asking people leaving on Sunday and Monday to arrive at least two hours before departure times for all flights. Go here to check flight times.

On-site parking:

  • Choose the lot closest to your seat.
  • Follow the recommended route which came with your parking pass.
  • One shuttle will run a continuous loop along the outer service road west of the venue from the Grand Plaza to Turn 11 and back.
  • Another shuttle will do the same things on the south side of the track from Turn 1 to the Main Grandstand to the Grand Plaza and back.

Downtown Austin shuttle:

  • COTA offers a round-trip shuttle from the Austin Convention Center (Trinity and 4th Street) to the track for $5 a person per day.
  • If you're staying in a downtown hotel, you are encouraged to leave your vehicle parked at your hotel and then walk to the Convention Center to take the shuttle.
  • The shuttle will run Friday-Sunday 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Off-site Park + Ride lots:

  • No drop-offs are allowed in the Park + Ride locations.
  • Shuttle lot FM 973 Red is $10 per day or $20 for the weekend.
  • Shuttle lot FM 812 Yellow is $10 per day or $20 for the weekend.
  • Park + Ride locations will open at 7 a.m. daily.
  • A shuttle will take race attendees to McAngus Road, half of a mile from COTA's Grand Plaza entrance.

For more information on shuttles and COTA parking lots click here.

Go here for more information on the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in Austin.

At the race? Share your photos with us.

Reminder: The University of Texas has a football game on Saturday. This will impact the amount of parking available downtown.