The United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas is a premier event for F1 fans in North America.. With tickets going on sale for the 2023 event, spectators have an important decision to make – choosing the right grandstand for the optimal viewing experience.
COTA is renowned for its elevation changes and exciting corners that allow fans to see the F1 cars pushed to their absolute limits. With so many options to choose from, picking the ideal spot is key to maximizing your weekend and getting full value from your ticket purchase.
Researching each grandstand in-depth and understanding the different perspectives offered is crucial. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of the COTA circuit, insider tips on choosing a seat, first-hand reviews from fans, and how to plan your budget.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Magnificence of Grandstands at COTA
- 2 COTA Grandstand View: A F1 Spectator’s Perspective
- 3 Choosing The Right Spot: Comprehensive Guide
- 4 General Admission: Pros and Cons
- 5 Pricing: How to Plan Your Budget
- 6 The Thrill Beyond the Grandstands: On-ground Activities
- 7 COTA Experience: F1 Enthusiast Reviews
- 8 Choosing the Best Grandstand for Your COTA Experience
The Magnificence of Grandstands at COTA
One of the best aspects of COTA is the number of spectacular grandstands offering fans views of different parts of the track. The diversity of corners, elevation changes and key overtaking spots mean each area provides a unique F1 viewing experience.
Start / Finish Straight – Main Grandstand and Trackside Bleachers
For many fans, the Main Grandstand is the pinnacle of the COTA experience, offering exceptional views of the start/finish straight, the pit lane, and a chance to be first on track during the post-race celebrations. With reserved seating and giant screens it’s a popular zone.
The lower Trackside Bleachers provide a more affordable budget option for fans still wanting to be closest to the grid and absorb the electric atmosphere as cars line up on race day. You’ll have views of parc ferme, the podium, and see cars retire into the pits up close.
The Main Grandstand has tiered pricing levels. Lower rows are uncovered with Mezzanine and Upper levels offering protection from the elements. Those at the pinnacle can access the Velocity Lounge for food and drinks.
Turn 1: The High-Rise Spectacle
Sitting atop COTA’s highest hill at 133 feet, the Turn 1 Grandstand provides a legendary view of the critical first corner. This is many fans’ top choice for the optimal place to watch the start of the Grand Prix.
As cars accelerate from the line, the steep climb means you’ll witness them clawing for position into the sharp left uphill braking zone. The raised perspective means you can also see down to the start/finish straight in front and the exit of Turn 2.
When those five red lights go out, the rush into Turn 1 is exhilarating. This is where races are often won and lost as drivers jostle for position. Turn 1 Grandstand tickets sell out quickly, so don’t delay to secure seats here.
Turn 4: The Thrill of the Esses
Inspired by Silverstone’s iconic Maggotts/Becketts complex, the sequence of fast esses at Turns 4 and 5 allow fans to witness the tremendous downforce and agility of modern F1 cars.
The Turn 4 Grandstand is ideally positioned to provide side-on views of the cars approaching at speed and accelerating away. You can truly appreciate how an F1 car hugs the tarmac through these high-speed changes of direction.
While not an overtaking spot, the challenge of linking the esses perfectly lap after lap makes this a special section. Seeing the cars valley down into the corner before the elevation change makes for fantastic photos.
Turn 9: The Harmony of Speed and Skill
Situated on an elevated hillside, the Turn 9 Grandstand provides cracking value views from this outer section of COTA. Fans can watch cars power down the back straight before braking hard for a technical sequence of corners.
The contrast of top speed on the straight followed by more intricate driving as the cars weave left and right through this sector offers a great perspective. An ideal budget choice for families priced out of other areas.
Turn 12: The Challenge of Hard Braking
After reaching dizzying speeds on the back straight, F1 drivers must brake aggressively to make the sharp left of Turn 12. This infamous corner has seen many a driver lock-up and slide wide.
Views down the back straight coupled with the heavy braking zone mean the Turn 12 Grandstand is popular with fans. The increased chance of overtaking here adds to the excitement. Elevated rows allow you to see all the way to Turn 1.
Turn 15: The Complex Corner Complex
A sequence of challenging left and right kinks culminates at the tight hairpin of Turn 15, making this zone primed for overtakes. The Turn 15 Grandstand captures all the action through this technical section.
Seeing cars jostle for position through the corners before the downhill straight means fans get views of multiple hot spots. Turn 15 has emerged as a favorite stand at COTA for this all-encompassing perspective.
COTA Grandstand View: A F1 Spectator’s Perspective
Watching Formula 1 cars in person is an awe-inspiring experience that TV coverage just can’t fully portray. While you can appreciate the speed on screen, nothing matches the visceral thrill of seeing and hearing F1 machinery cornering and accelerating in anger with your own eyes.
That’s why choosing the ideal grandstand is so important to maximize your weekend. Fans want to see these incredible cars pushed to their absolute limits. And every stand at COTA provides a different perspective of the unique challenges drivers have to overcome.
Sitting mid-corner, you’ll have a reference point to truly appreciate the mind-boggling speed. Whether it’s witnessing the skill to take Turn 1 flat-out or the bravery under braking for Turn 12, the circuits undulations showcase the performance.
Elevated stands like Turn 9 also allow fans to get a feel for how far an F1 car travels in mere seconds. The contrast between flat-out sections and intricate corners is best appreciated in person.
With so many excellent options, COTA is a F1 fan’s paradise. Do your research to choose a seat tailored to your budget and preferences. With an informed selection, your Austin Grand Prix weekend will undoubtedly be one you’ll never forget.
Choosing The Right Spot: Comprehensive Guide
With so many excellent grandstands available, selecting the right spot for your US Grand Prix experience comes down to understanding COTA’s unique intricacies. Certain sections cater best to specific preferences – here’s an overview of factors to consider.
The Prime Position of Main Grandstand
For many fans, the Main Grandstand represents the pinnacle of the COTA experience. With exceptional views all the way from the grid preparation to the podium celebration, this area puts you front and center for the key moments.
Pre-race, the pit build-up and grid preparation happens right before your eyes. Come lights out, few places capture the exhilaration of the drag race to Turn 1 better. At race end, the Main Grandstand has the best view of the podium and access to join the track invasion.
With reserved seating, giant screens, and amenities like food/drinks close by, the Main Grandstand appeals to several groups. Avid fans wanting the complete experience, families seeking convenience and comfort, and VIPs looking to be treated to luxury.
A Closer Look at Turn 1 Grandstand
While the Main Grandstand provides the complete F1 experience, many fans insist the Turn 1 Grandstand offers the most exhilarating race view. Watching cars accelerate uphill from the line into the tight left-hander is a highlight.
Row upon row of machines jostling for position before this critical first corner is a heart-stopper. Witnessing drivers brake deep into the corner and clawing for traction on exit completes the Turn 1 spectacle.
The raised elevation also allows you to see down to the start/finish straight and exit of Turn 2. Photos of the pack racing through this sequence are amazing. Turn 1 Grandstand tickets sell out quickly, so don’t delay in securing seats.
The Strategic Spot of Turn 12 Grandstand
After reaching tremendous speeds on COTA’s long back straight, F1 drivers must brake aggressively for the Turn 12 left-hander – an overtaking opportunity.
The Turn 12 Grandstand places you right in the heart of the action looking down the straight. You’ll have views of this heavy braking zone and the exit through the technical sequence of corners that follow.
With the entry to Turn 1 also visible in the distance, elevated rows in the Turn 12 Grandstand let you see a vast portion of the circuit. Large screens nearby enhance the experience. A top tactical spot for F1 fans.
Balancing Views at Turn 15 Grandstand
Finding the perfect balance between seeing key overtaking spots yet also getting a taste of COTA’s technical diversity is achieved from the Turn 15 Grandstand.
The sequence of fast kinks leading to the tight left at Turn 15 provides great views of cars jostling for position before the back straight. This stand reveals the challenge of linking COTA’s varied corners.
With screens also in sight, amenities close by, and views of Turn 12, the Turn 15 Grandstand satisfies many spectators. A great option for first-timers wanting a glimpse of the variety COTA offers.
General Admission: Pros and Cons
General admission areas provide outstanding value and atmosphere thanks to COTA’s undulating terrain allowing elevated viewing from grassy hillsides. Without a reserved seat, fans can move to different spots and find the perfect position.
Arriving early, especially on race day, secures the best vantage points. Turn 1 and the Esses (Turns 3-5) are very popular. While views are through fencing, the excitement of being trackside outweighs this for many.
The freedom of movement and outstanding views make general admission a top choice for repeat attendees who want to cherry-pick spots. The trade-off is no cover from the elements and smaller screens further away. But for race action, it’s hard to beat.
Pricing: How to Plan Your Budget
As an in-demand event in Austin, Formula 1 tickets are not cheap. However, COTA still offers value across budget levels. General admission starts from around $200 for a weekend pass. This grants access to all zones and concerts.
Bleacher seats are very reasonable at under $300 in locations like Turn 9 and the Main Straight. Smaller stands like Turn 2 and 3 run closer to $500. For reserved seating with backs and amenities, Main straight-side bleachers are around $700.
The Main Grandstand and premium spots like Turn 1, 12 and 15 command top pricing of $1000-1500 for central seats. It pays to research each row’s view intently to maximize value. elevated spots in higher rows provide better perspective for only a small premium.
Whatever your budget, plan ahead and purchase early. Save more by buying well in advance. to secure the best spots before they sell out. With an informed selection, you’ll get great value from your Austin Grand Prix weekend.
The Thrill Beyond the Grandstands: On-ground Activities
One of the best aspects of the US Grand Prix is that Austin itself provides an incredible backdrop. Fans can take in the city’s famous live music scene, outstanding barbecue restaurants, and local cultural attractions.
At the circuit itself, an electric atmosphere is created by the numerous support races, driver appearances, live music acts, and fan zones. The new COTA Plaza located near Turn 20 provides outstanding views and entertainment options for all.
Younger fans will enjoy the concerts, funfair rides and interactive displays. Adults can sample local Austin food and drink including craft beers and whiskey bars. The dining and shopping choices make the COTA grounds a destination in itself.
COTA Experience: F1 Enthusiast Reviews
With so many excellent vantage points, fans return year after year to COTA to enjoy the first-class experience. Here’s what some had to say about the event:
Feedback from Return Attendees
“We’ve been to COTA 5 times now and love it. In my opinion, the Turn 15 Grandstand provides the best blend of viewing key corners including the overtaking into Turn 12. All at an affordable price compared to places like Main Grandstand. And close to the parking area of COTA“
“I’ve been coming to Austin for 10 years since the first Grand Prix. We always get general admission tickets and find a spot at Turn 15 after checking out the views in practice. You can’t beat the atmosphere!”
“I can’t believe how close you feel to the cars! We splurged on Turn 1 Grandstand seats and were able to get a great spot near the top. The views of them accelerating uphill and battling through the first few corners was mind-blowing.”
“We did general admission for the race but also bought concert upgrade passes. The live music acts were amazing, and getting special access near the stage for our favorite acts was definitely worth it.”
Choosing the Best Grandstand for Your COTA Experience
With so many excellent grandstands to choose from, doing your research is key to getting the most out of your Circuit of The Americas weekend. Focus on your must-see moments like the race start or key corners. Factor in your budget and seating preferences too.
It’s possible to tailor your ideal Formula 1 experience thanks to COTA’s diverse options. Fans seeking views of multiple hot spots will appreciate blended perspectives from spots like Turn 15. Those wanting an immersive atmosphere can’t beat the Main Grandstand.
Dedicated fans get closer to the cars from iconic stands like Turn 1 and Turn 12. And budget-focused attendees find great value in General Admission and bleacher zones. An informed selection will lead to an unforgettable 2023 US Grand Prix weekend!