F1 movie premiere draws racing royalty

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by MORGAN CHESKY / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN

kvue.com

Posted on November 15, 2012 at 11:42 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 16 at 12:01 AM

AUSTIN -- Call it the calm before the storm in downtown Austin. Look close and Thursday showed F1 signs of what's to come.

International fans descended on downtown Austin. Some were surprised by their first impressions of the city.

"Not really an American city," said Dutch visitor Michaal Slooten who was reminded of home by Austin's outdoor dining and bars.

It's a city prepared, at least business wise.

Kruger's Jewelers put out their best and brightest, in hopes of catching a few more eyes. A few blocks away at Bar Louie, the food orders told the story.

"We had a really good lunch today, it was more of a later lunch as most Europeans like to eat later so we've been staffed up for that as well as they'll probably eat a later dinner," said manager Sergio Pena.

The weekend long party started at the Paramount. A world premiere for F1's documentary titled 1.

"It's been too long. It's lovely to come to somewhere fresh like Austin, Texas," said Sir Jackie Stewart.

The former driver should know. The man dubbed the Flying Scot won three world championships during Formula 1's most dangerous years.

This weekend Austin, Texas will be on more televisions in more countries than its ever been in the history of Austin.

The global audience, somewhere close to 550 million people, about five times more than last year's superbowl.

The draw is no surprise for the men who lived the magic firsthand.

"You walk into the paddock, you hear the cars, and the hair just stands up on your arms i mean it is just so electric," said former driver Brett Lunger.

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