Austin’s Size a Plus for F1 Visitors
Austin’s Grand Prix marks the first time in five years that an F1 race has been held in the United States.
Austin certainly isn’t the largest city ever to host a Formula One Grand Prix. But it’s not the smallest, either. Party promoter Nicholas Frankl follows F1 events around the world, putting on high-dollar events.
“Bear in mind that Formula One Grands Prix have taken place at the Nürburgring in Germany, which is in the Black Forest,” Frankl said. “Silverstone is a country town with two pubs. It is a small place. Spa Franchorchamps is in the Ardennes Mountains. These are not very big places. You end up renting little houses all over the place and staying with families and guest houses and what have you. Austin is a pretty big city. It’s actually, it’s a big town. It’s a major place.”
And the city appears to be absorbing the extra traffic pretty well on the first day of Formula One weekend.
Austin-Travis County’s Emergency Operations Center called it busy – with some minor delays. Downtown and the area right around the F1 track appear to be the most affected this afternoon. Traffic around the Travis County Expo – one of three shuttle bus pick-up sites – got a little gnarly this morning. The county says gates at the expo will open early – at 6 a.m. Saturday– to help relieve traffic congestion in the area. Public activities at the track end around 5 o’clock – and thousands of fans will be headed back downtown, so plan accordingly.