Cars, concerts and (rain) coats: A guide to Formula One weekend

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South Austin’s Circuit of The Americas will host the Formula 1 Pirelli 2018 U.S. Grand Prix for the seventh year in a row this weekend, Oct. 19-21.

The race

COTA hosts the only purpose-built F1 circuit in the U.S.

The track consists of 20 turns and is 5.5 kilometers long. The maximum speed an F1 car has reached on the circuit is 195 mph.

The 2018 FIA Formula One world championship is made up of 10 two-person teams.

The U.S. team, Haas, is based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, and consists of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.

Tickets

Tickets to the event are still available and range from single-day passes, which start at $50, to three-day, premium-seating admission, which start at $445 and include access to headlining concerts on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Live music

On Saturday evening after racing is done for the day, Bruno Mars will perform as part of his 24K Magic World Tour. The 27-time Grammy Award nominee is best known for songs “Uptown Funk” and “Just the Way You Are.”

The following night, Britney Spears will close out the weekend with a concert following her recent residency in Las Vegas. The pop star has sold nearly 150 million records over the course of her career.

In addition to the headlining concerts, more than 20 Texas acts will perform throughout the weekend as part of a series called “The American Soundtrack,” convened to showcase Austin’s status as the live music capital of the world.

Contingency plans

Rain or shine, Formula 1 cars race. In the event of inclement weather, COTA will update the event schedule to prioritize guest safety. All changes will be posted on COTA’s website, the COTA app and social media channels.

If immediate action is required during the weekend, announcements will be made through the venue’s public address system and video boards. Staff will also assist with any directions to shelter.

For those who purchased three-day reserved seat tickets before Aug. 31, rain insurance remains in place.

According to COTA’s Facebook page, the coverage applies in cases of 2.25 inches of rain or more in the 24-hour periods leading up to 1:10 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday and includes a 105 percent refund of the original ticket price.

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Emma Freer
Emma Freer began covering Central Austin for Community Impact Newspaper in 2017. Her beat includes the Travis County Commissioners Court and local business news. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School in 2017.
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