Formula 1

Formula 1
4:45 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

22,759 Passengers: F1 Crowds Set Travel Record at Austin-Bergstrom

An airport employee’s pin greets Formula 1 crowds in this 2012 photo.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport set a one-day passenger record on Monday, as people streamed out of the city following the U.S. Formula 1 Grand Prix.

A record high 22,759 passengers departed ABIA yesterday. That figure’s just about 1,000 passengers higher than the previous record – set the Monday following last year’s F1 race.

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Formula 1
8:38 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Record Airport Travel Expected as Austin F1 Ends; Downtown Road Closures Persist (MAP)

Sunset at the Circuit of the Americas on Thursday. Officials at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport say today’s F1 exodus could mean the airport’s busiest departure day ever.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

More than 113,000 people attended Austin’s Formula 1 Grand Prix race on Sunday. Race fans watched Red Bull Racing driver Sebastian Vettel speed to a record-breaking eighth consecutive victory.

Many of the out-of-town visitors here for the F1 races will be making their way back home today. Officials at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport predict today could be the busiest departure day ever.

Austin-Bergstrom set a record of more than 21,000 departures the Monday after last year’s race.

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Formula 1
3:53 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

Why 3-D Printing Found Early Adopters in F1

The Petronas team rolls a car down pit lane as hundreds of spectators look on.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT News

As Formula 1 events enthrall Austin this weekend, tech companies are taking note of the innovative tools racers use.  

Besides entertaining car lovers across the globe, the technology used to design and manufacture F1 vehicles has seeped out into broader use.  Materials like carbon fiber have gained in popularity within recent years. And one big emerging product – 3-D printing – has been a part of Formula 1 for well over a decade.

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Formula 1
6:02 am
Fri November 15, 2013

F1 is Back in Austin – So What's Actually Happening On the Track?

An aerial view of the Circuit of the Americas racetrack.
Judi Radice Hays

A version of this story first ran Nov. 16, 2012.

Formula One events begin today at the Circuit of the Americas track.

F1 doesn’t have a huge following in the U.S. – it’s only in its second year in Austin – and a lot of people may not know the first thing about the sport. Here's what we learned about the basics.

First things first: what is the “formula”?

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Formula 1
12:24 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

What Austin’s Doing – and Isn’t Doing – for F1 After Last Year

A classic racer at last year’s F1 expo. Austin is making a more measured predictions after hosting its first Formula 1 race last year.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

This time last year, many local businesses were staffed up and overstocked.

In the weeks and months prior to its first Formula 1 Grand Prix, Austin prepared to host thousands of fans from around the globe.

With the sport attracting a coterie of high rollers, business expectations were high. The Austin Better Business Bureau even urged local businesses to consider accepting foreign currency.

For some, the event brought an increase in business. But for many vendors and retailers, the crowds never seemed to show up.

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Formula 1
11:20 am
Thu November 14, 2013

MAP: F1 Fan Fest Road Closures in Downtown Austin

A scene at last year's Austin Fan Fest on F1 weekend.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update: Austin's second Formula 1 weekend has come and gone. Now comes the exodus of fans and visitors.

Read more here: Record Airport Travel Expected as Austin F1 Ends; Downtown Road Closures Persist (MAP)

Original story: It’s Grand Prix weekend in Austin, and that means tens of thousands of visitors coming to Central Texas. It also means a free downtown festival focused on racing activities, vintage vehicles and live music.

Austin Fan Fest starts today and runs through midnight every day, except Sunday when it ends at 8 p.m.

Road closures for the festival began Wednesday and will continue through Sunday. Street closures stretch from Congress Avenue to San Antonio Street and between Second and Fifth Streets.

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Formula 1
7:33 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Is Driving on Austin's F1 Track Worth $55,000?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxherder/8258420452/

If you ever wanted to ride an Formula 1 track in your own car, the Circuit of the Americas is now selling the opportunity. A full-day private track rental goes for $55,000. Group rates are available at $2,500 per person.

"Response has been strong with more than 250 people expressing interest within the first few days of offering the experience online," Circuit Executive Vice President Bruce Knox said in a press release. 

For a sport that caters to people who commute by helicopter and drop $10,000 on bottle service, it's probably not shocking to see a $55,000 price tag attached to a single day of entertainment. But how does it stack up against the competition? We poked around and found out. 

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Austin
3:50 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Get to the Chopper: Suggestions May Smooth Helicopter Service

Helicopter operations could change in time for Austin's 2013 F1 race.
twitter.com/Austin_Police

Whirlybirds, eggbeaters, choppers — whatever you want to call them — helicopters brought some kind of ruckus over 2012’s Formula 1 weekend. And now a group is looking at what can make for a less turbulent 2013.

Over 265,000 attendees descended on the Formula 1 track over race weekend, according to the Circuit of the America's count. And as F1 attracts its fair share of uber-wealthy racing fans, many skipped ground transportation altogether in favor of helicopters.

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The Lead
8:57 am
Thu January 10, 2013

The Lead: Confusion Over UT Assault Investigation; Whither the Planetarium; ABIA’s Busy Month

Austin Bergstrom rolled out the red carper for F1 visitors in November.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Good morning. Don’t be scared by that bright stuff outside – it’s called sunshine, and you’re forgiven for forgetting it after this week’s rainy weather. The National Weather Service says Austin’s in for a mild day, with a high in the mid-60s.

Lead story: There are conflicting reports this morning on whether charges will be brought against two UT football players accused of sexually assaulting a woman in San Antonio last month.

In a statement yesterday, UT linebacker Jordan Hicks’ lawyer says the investigation is now closed and no charges will be filed in the matter. But a San Antonio Police spokesperson told KUT News yesterday that the investigation is still open.

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Formula 1
5:18 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

How Austin's F1 Track Stands to Benefit From the 'Fiscal Cliff' Bill (Update)

The Circuit of the Americas track. COTA may reap tax benefits that were quietly extended in the "fiscal cliff" bill.
flickr.com/acousticdimensions

Update: Here’s more details on the tax break the Circuit of the Americas may be able to capitalize on:  It’s called accelerated depreciation, and gives COTA a fast, seven-year write off on the value of their investment, which may have been as much as $400 million. 

COTA officials says they’re pleased to have the tax break, but say they did not lobby for it. “We did monitor the issue as it moved forward, but were not directly involved in pursuing the extension itself," says spokesperson Ali Putnam.

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Top Stories 2012
2:10 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Top Stories of 2012: F1 in Austin

The F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas drew rapturous response from race watchers.
Circuit of the Americas

Austin’s inaugural Formula 1 race may be remembered less for what it was than what it wasn’t: the traffic-choking, city-closing snarl many residents feared it would be.

Argument over what financial role – if any – the city would play regarding F1 were largely left in the rearview mirror; in 2011, the Austin City Council approved an arrangement with track promoters that let them tap the state’s Major Events Trust Fund, without the city having to pay into the fund first.

Instead, questions over Austin’s F1 readiness dominated headlines in 2012.

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Austin City Council
8:28 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Council OKs F1 Track Team’s Bid to Tap Texas Trust Fund

The grandstands at this November's F1 race, held at the Circuit of the Americas.
flickr.com/michaelpaul

The promoters behind Austin’s Formula 1 racetrack may tap a state trust fund for more than F1. The Austin City Council authorized the team at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) to act on the city’s behalf in negotiating payments from the state’s Major Events Trust Fund.

The payments would be for four upcoming races, with the first scheduled for this spring. COTA's promotions group just received more than $29 million from the trust fund to help pay for costs associated with putting on November’s F1 event.

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Formula 1
1:18 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

F1 Organizers Get $29.3 Million From State Comptroller

How much F1 'fueled' Austin's economy is yet to be determined.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The Texas Comptroller has paid the organizers of Austin’s Formula 1 race more than $29 million from the state’s Major Events Trust Fund.

The trust fund uses tax revenues generated by an event to cover expenses related to the event.

“We pay them back $29.3 million because we’re saying, basically, that there’s been an incremental tax increase of $29.3 million so we’re going to let you have that money to pay you back for expenses that you had bringing the event here," Lauren Willis, director of communications for the Texas Comptroller, says.

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Sports
1:53 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Collision Course: F1, Horns on Same Weekend in 2013? (Update)

Red Bull, meet Bevo: The calendars for Formula 1 racing and the UT Longhorns overlap next year.
F1 photo flickr.com/pdbreen; Bevo photo flickr.com/finitefocus

Update: Circuit of the Americas emails KUT News the following statement from COTA principal Bobby Epstein:

"Circuit of The Americas has expressed our strong preference for an alternate race date in 2013. We understand that setting a global calendar can be very challenging, involves many factors and is out of our control. We feel confident that Formula One has taken our concerns seriously and is working earnestly towards a collective solution. Ultimately, our 2013 race date may remain as it currently stands."

Original post (Nov. 20, 4:51 p.m.): If you thought it was crowded in Austin last weekend, just wait until next November.

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The Lead
8:45 am
Mon November 26, 2012

The Lead: Black Friday May Leave You in the Red, F1 Has a Winner

Good Monday morning. Austin’s in for “unseasonably warm” weather today, according to the National Weather Service. Here’s some stories that KUT News is working on, this so-called “Cyber Monday:”

“Some Central Texans have already been hard at work since Thanksgiving evening taking advantage of “Black Friday” holiday shopping deals.  And for many of them, that means whipping out the credit cards over, and over, and over again. …

Some promise zero percent interest or thousands of rewards points, but with a catch buried in the fine print. CardHub.com compares credit cards offers. It has compiled a list of what it calls the ‘scariest’ offers of 2012.”

“When you hear the words “Texas Railroad Commission” you’d be forgiven for thinking the elected body governs railroads in the state of Texas. In fact, the Commission is in charge of regulating the state’s oil and gas industry. …

Not surprisingly, a lot of Texans don’t understand why the State agency that regulates the oil and gas drilling is called the Railroad Commission.  The name change is something Railroad Commission Chair Barry Smitherman says he can get behind.”

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