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AUSTIN-- Formula 1 returns to Austin this weekend. Last year the U.S.Grand Prix was held at Circuit of the Americas for the first time. This year, though, there's an American driving in the race.

Alexander Rossi is a reserve driver for the Caterham. You'll see him driving Friday in practice.

The car has been completely stripped apart, rebuilt, from the last race in Abu Dhabi. So my job is to do all the correlation for this track and make sure the car is as it was in Abu Dhabi, said Rossi.

Teams and others already in town are enjoying what Austin has to offer. Ian Parkes is a motorsports correspondent for the UK Press Association. He follows the teams all over the world.

They loved the city of Austin. The people were extremely welcoming, friendly. And the circuit itself in particular for the drivers was what they need, a challenge, said Parkes.

Meanwhile Fan Fest returns to downtown Austin. Streets are already closed for the set up.

To be honest Austin and this race has become one of the highlights of the whole year. It's up there on kinda the team's favorite races with Abu Dhabi and Singapore and Monaco, said Rossi.

The 2013 Formula 1 season visits 19 countries. Austin is the 18th race of the circuit. The following weekend the teams are in Brazil for the final race of the season.

It's a little bit of a shame that the title has already been decided coming here, said Parkes.

Red Bull has already racked up enough points to clench the title. Plus driver Sebastian Vettel could set a record of eight successive wins if he wins the U.S. Grand Prix.

Caterham needs both Austin and Brazil to get some points for placement. Plus it's a milestone for Rossi, who moved to Europe when he was 16 to race.

So for me, to be able to come back and drive in America in a Grand Prix car, [it's] quite special.

  • For more information on Austin Fan Fest go here.
  • For more information on Formula 1 in Austin go here.
  • For full coverage of F1 from KVUE go here.
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