In just three years, why have Austin and COTA become favorites for F1?


Formula 1’s growth in the United States of the past three years has been unprecedented. Since the return of the grand prix in Austin, Texas, the sport has enjoyed a boom in interest, with fans flocking to the city each year for the race.

As with any new grand prix, there was a certain amount of novelty at first, but it appears to be more sustained than that. The problematic American market may not have been totally cracked yet, but the event has gone a long way to helping make this happen.

So why have Austin and COTA become such firm favorites of the sport in such a short space of time?

Let’s start with the city: Austin. The slogan is “Keep Austin Weird”, and it a great hive of activity and interest around the grand prix weekend. For some races, there is zero marketing or even acknowledgement of the race beyond the circuit. In Austin, from the moment that you step off the plane, the adverts, posters and checkered flags are there to see. The event is embraced by the city.

The very fact that it is a city does go a long way to helping make it a firm fixture on the calendar. The big problem with the Korean Grand Prix in Mokpo was that it was located a four-hour train journey away from Seoul. Originally, the plan was to build a city around the race and the track, but this ultimately fell flat, resulting in its removal from the calendar for the 2014 season.

Austin is a well-connected and buzzing city, meaning that fans can get in from pretty much anywhere – not least Mexico, which is an enormous market for the sport to tap into.

And this was clear at the COTA Forum last night, which saw Felipe Massa, Esteban Gutierrez and Sergio Perez face questions from fans before signing merchandise and posing for pictures. In the case of the two Mexican drivers, Gutierrez and Perez, there was an enormous amount of support from their native fans who had made the journey to the race. For both drivers, this is part of the appeal of Austin.

Gutierrez was asked what the best part of the US GP weekend was, and he answer: “To have the Mexican support!” before the fans broke out into cheers.

“I would say the same,” Perez said. “We wait so long to have a race in Mexico, and this is the closest we can get to one. Definitely the support we get here is fantastic.”

“Hand on heart, this is probably the date on the calendar I look forward to the most,” said Daniel Ricciardo ahead of the weekend. “I’ve loved every minute of being in Austin: when they picked this place for the US Grand Prix, they absolutely nailed it.

“The city is awesome. I love listening to live music and this is a great place for that, plus Texas feels like real America, and that’s something I’ve really enjoyed just sinking into the last two seasons.”

Austin is a place that the entire F1 community relishes visiting. Much like the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, the whole weekend is enjoyable both at the track and away from the circuit.

The Circuit of the Americas itself is another reason why the return of the United States Grand Prix has been so successful. It is widely acknowledged as being one of the better circuits designed by Hermann Tilke (renowned for his ‘Tilkedromes’), featuring a number of the great corners from other circuits such as Silverstone, Hockenheim and Suzuka.

“The Circuit of the Americas, in my opinion, is the best of the new breed of circuits,” Ricciardo said. “The nature of the corners is interesting. It’s also a very busy track where you don’t get much respite.

“The first sector is very special and that first turn, blind up the big hill is like nothing else in F1. It’s also a good example of the excitement a late-apex can create: you can have a really good lunge there. They’ve done a very good job.”

Speaking at the COTA Forum, Perez and Gutierrez agreed that the iconic first sector, featuring the uphill run to the first corner and the fast-flowing esses right the way through to turn 11 – over half the circuit without a chance to relax.

“The first sector is definitely my favorite,” Gutierrez said. “The fast corners, the esses, yes, very nice. The last sector is pretty challenging, you have the triple apex, it’s a very quick corner.”

“I think the first sector is amazing,” Perez said in agreement. “It’s really fast and fluid. When you get into a couple of corners like turn one, you really cannot see the apex, which makes it really difficult to get it right. It’s one of the more difficult parts of the track to get the corner right lap after lap.”

It’s a circuit that both can both punish and reward drivers, though. “When you start the high-speed corners, if you start wrong or not in the right line, you destroy everything,” explained Massa. “If you start well there, I think it’ll destroy your lap.”

Year three will be the true test for many, with the race going up against NASCAR in Dallas/Fort Worth on the same weekend. However, attendance figures are unlikely to plummet given the different fanbases on display here, with only those holding an interest in both being left with a tricky decision to make.

The United States Grand Prix continues to be a booming success, though, giving the fans, drivers and entire F1 community a fine weekend to look forward to.

A great circuit with a poor location doesn’t work for a grand prix. Similarly, a great location with a poor track is difficult to get in the sky as a good grand prix. Austin, however, combines all of the needed factors. Throw in droves of passionate and excited fans, and you have the ingredients for a very successful and popular grand prix indeed.


IndyCar results, points after 107th Indy 500

Indy 500 results points
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

INDIANAPOLIS — With his first victory in the Indy 500, Josef Newgarden became the first repeat winner through six race results of the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series season and made a move in the points.

Newgarden, who celebrated with fans in the grandstands, moved from sixth to fourth in the championship standings with his 27th career victory and second this season (he also won at Texas Motor Speedway).

The Team Penske star won his 12th attempt at the Brickyard oval, tying the record for most starts before an Indy 500 victory with Tony Kanaan (2013) and Sam Hanks (1957). Newgarden, whose previous best Indy 500 finish was third with Ed Carpenter Racing in 2016, became the first Tennessee native to win the Greatest Spectacle in Racing and the first American since Alexander Rossi in 2016.

He also delivered the record 19th Indy 500 triumph to Roger Penske, whose team ended a four-year drought on the 2.5-mile oval and won for the first time since he became the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar in 2020.

Newgarden, 32, led five laps, the third-lowest total for an Indy 500 winner behind Joe Dawson (two in 1912) and Dan Wheldon (one in 2011).

The race featured 52 lead changes, the third most behind 68 in 2013 and 54 in ’16, among 14 drivers (tied with ’13 for the second highest behind 15 leaders in ’17 and ’18). Newgarden’s 0.0974-second victory over Marcus Ericsson was the fourth-closest in Indy 500 history behind 1992 (0.043 of a second for Al Unser Jr. over Scott Goodyear), 2014 (0.0600 of a second for Ryan Hunter-Reay over Helio Castroneves) and 2006 (0.0635 of a second Sam Hornish Jr. over Marco Andretti.).

It also marked only the third last-lap pass in Indy 500 history — all within the past 17 years (Hornish over Andretti in 2006; Wheldon over J.R. Hildebrand in 2011).

Ericsson’s runner-up finish was the ninth time the defending Indy 500 finished second the next year (most recently four-time winner Helio Castroneves in 2003).

Here are the IndyCar results and points standings after the 107th Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway:


Click here for the official box score from the 200-lap race on a 2.5-mile oval in Indianapolis.

Lap leader summary

Full lap chart

Best section times

Full section data

Event summary

Pit stop summary

Here is the finishing order in the Indy 500 with starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (17) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 200, Running
2. (10) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 200, Running
3. (4) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 200, Running
4. (1) Alex Palou, Honda, 200, Running
5. (7) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 200, Running
6. (6) Scott Dixon, Honda, 200, Running
7. (8) Takuma Sato, Honda, 200, Running
8. (16) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 200, Running
9. (21) Colton Herta, Honda, 200, Running
10. (2) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 200, Running
11. (18) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Chevrolet, 200, Running
12. (27) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 200, Running
13. (25) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 200, Running
14. (14) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 200, Running
15. (20) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 200, Running
16. (9) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 200, Running
17. (24) Marco Andretti, Honda, 200, Running
18. (32) Jack Harvey, Honda, 199, Running
19. (30) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 198, Running
20. (13) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 197, Contact
21. (11) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 196, Contact
22. (33) Graham Rahal, Chevrolet, 195, Running
23. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 195, Running
24. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 192, Contact
25. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 192, Contact
26. (26) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 192, Contact
27. (3) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 183, Contact
28. (15) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 183, Contact
29. (23) David Malukas, Honda, 160, Contact
30. (19) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 149, Contact
31. (31) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 90, Contact
32. (28) RC Enerson, Chevrolet, 75, Mechanical
33. (29) Katherine Legge, Honda, 41, Contact

Winner’s average speed: 168.193 mph; Time of Race: 2:58:21.9611; Margin of victory: 0.0974 of a second; Cautions: 5 for 27 laps; Lead changes: 52 among 14 drivers. Lap leaders: Palou 1-2; VeeKay 3; Palou 4-9; VeeKay 10-14; Palou 15-22; VeeKay 23-27; Palou 28-29; VeeKay 30-31; Rosenqvist 32; Rossi 33-34; Palou 35-39; VeeKay 40-47; Palou 48-60; VeeKay 61-63; Rosenqvist 64-65; O’Ward 66; Power 67; Herta 68; Rosenqvist 69; O’Ward 70-78; Rosenqvist 79-81; O’Ward 82-89; Rosenqvist 90-94; Ilott 95-99; Rosenqvist 100-101; O’Ward 102; Rosenqvist 103-107; O’Ward 108-109; Rosenqvist 110-113; O’Ward 114-115; Rosenqvist 116-119; O’Ward 120-122; Rosenqvist 123-124; O’Ward 125-128; Rosenqvist 129-131; Ferrucci 132; Ericsson 133-134; Castroneves 135; Rosenqvist 136; Ericsson 137-156; Newgarden 157; Ericsson 158; Ferrucci 159-168; Ericsson 169-170; Rossi 171-172; Sato 173-174; O’Ward 175-179; Hunter-Reay 180-187;
O’Ward 188-191; Ericsson 192; Newgarden 193-195; Ericsson 196-199; Newgarden 200.


Click here for the points tally in the race.

Here are the points standings after the GMR Grand Prix:



Engine manufacturers

Pit stop performance

Top 10 in points: Palou 219, Ericsson 199, O’Ward 185, Newgarden 182, Dixon 162, McLaughlin 149, Rossi 145, Grosjean 139, Power 131, Herta 130.

Rest of the standings: Lundgaard 122, Kirkwood 113, Rosenqvist 113, Ilott 111, Ferrucci 96, VeeKay 96, Rahal 94, Malukas 84, Armstrong 77, Daly 73, Castroneves 69, Harvey 65, DeFrancesco 63, Canapino 61, Pagenaud 55, Pedersen 51, Robb 47, Sato 37, Carpenter 27, Hunter-Reay 20, Kanaan 18, Andretti 13, Enerson 5, Legge 5.

Next race: The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, which has moved from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown, will take place June 4 with coverage starting on Peacock at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.