F1 in Austin
- F-1 Is Over But Traffic Woes Remain
- UT Football And F-1 Take Over Austin
- Traffic Hassles Pile Up As F1 Crowds Head Downtown
- Public Safety A Priority For F1
- City of Austin, Cap Metro, ABIA Prepare for Formula 1
- F1 Fans Pushing Austin Flood Victims Out Of Hotels
- Austin Fan Fest Line-up Announced
- Multiple Big Events To Snarl Downtown Traffic This Weekend
- UT's 2013 Football Schedule Shows OSU Game During F1 Weekend Race
- Austin Airport Busy With F1 Attendee Departures
- Austin F1 Race Over, but Debate on Tax Subsidies Continues
- F1 Weekend is a Tax Windfall -- For Some
- Central Texas Hotels Already Gearing Up For 2013 Formula One Race
- Retailers Outside Austin See Spike In Sales For F1
- 117,000 Fans Attend Austin's Inaugural Formula 1 US Grand Prix
- Brit Lewis Hamilton Wins Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix In Austin
- Things Run Smoothly At F1 Track
- 82,000 Attend Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix Qualifying In Austin
- Business Down For Some Downtown Austin Stores Due To Fan Fest
- Fans Mellow So Far At Austin Fan Fest
- F1 Fan Fest Draws Big Crowds To Downtown Austin
- Austinites Check Out 1st Day Of F1
- Download F1 Road Closures Map
- Turning Laps In The Sky For Austin F1
- KEYE TV News Tests the F1 Shuttles For You
- 24 Hours Emergency Operations Center Open For F1 Weekend
- F1 Austin Fan Fest Begins Today
- Officials Make Final Austin F1 Traffic Plans
- Fan Fest Chaos Poses Challenges For Downtown Austin Businesses
- Austin Fan Fest Street Closures Continue
- Law Enforcement Offers Austin F1 Risk Assessment
- Formula 1 Track Shows Off Race Day Emergency Plan
- Cap Metro Makes F1 Backup Plans As Union Threatens Strike
- South Austin Neighborhoods Not Happy With F1 Helipads
- Austin Council Eyes F1 Helipad Code Changes After Neighborhood Outcry
- Austin Council Annexes F1 Race Track Land
- Bike Route Planned From Downtown Austin To Formula 1 Track
- Austin Formula 1 Racetrack Opens Saturday For Running Event
- Capital Metro To Provide Free Bus Service Around Downtown For F1 Weekend
- F1 Marks First Lap, Leaders to Discuss Preparedness
- Helipads Approved In South Austin For F1
- F1 Announces More Bands For Race Weekend
- Police, Nonprofits Bracing For Human Trafficking Increase
- How To Avoid Buying Counterfeit Tickets
- Austin F1 Transportation Plan Announced
- Austin Race Track Gets Green Light As Deadline Nears
- Pflugerville Wants To Study Impact Of F1
- Nelly Joins Aerosmith As Top Acts At F1 Grand Prix Concerts
- Condo Owners Wanting To Make Some Quick Cash Could Be Fined Thousands
- Festivals Planned During Austin's F1 Race Weekend
- Tens Of Thousands To Flock To Downtown Austin For F1 Grand Prix Events
- F1 Bringing Aerosmith To Austin During Race Weekend
- Texas Gov. Perry Promotes Austin F1 Race During Italy Trip
- Workers Needed For F1 Race
117,000 Fans Attend Austin's Inaugural Formula 1 US Grand Prix
Updated: Sunday, November 18 2012, 08:39 PM CST
As nearly 120,000 fans slowly but steadily made their way out of the Circuit of the Americas track following the first Formula One race on American soil in five years, nearly every fan had few to no complaints about Austin’s first go-around at hosting the race.
Sunday was make or break for Austin’s Formula One plan, put to the test early Sunday morning hours ahead of the race, as thousands of cars poured into the track.
“Easy, drove right in,” said Brad Filbey, who was visiting from Chicago. "Parked across the street for $40. These guys didn't decide to take parking until Friday. They made $8,000 yesterday."
Those lots also meant hundreds of pedestrians on the county roads, many keeping law enforcement busy warning them to stay out of the road as they managed the rush of vehicles. Travis County officials telling us deputies have issued citations and should have the number available Monday.
“I haven’t seen anything,” said Filbey. "The police have been very helpful."
"We had no problem getting here, getting around,” said Ricky Kannothra, an F1 fan who had been to a previous race in Indianapolis. “Very well organized."
Fans lined the grandstands and lawns early, many decked out for their favorite teams after years of waiting.
"I was emotional Friday when I went to the bar and there were all these F1 fans around,” said Kannothra.
Behind the grandstands, Tavo Hellmund, a promoter instrumental in bringing the race to Austin, expressed confidence the race was here to stay.
"I just think it's gonna be a huge impact for the city, and I’m glad a lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon," said Hellmund.
Also behind the pit building were celebrities such as Ron Howard and Matt LeBlanc, heads of state such as Mexican president Felipe Calderon and other government officials.
"I've heard from people all around the world that they've been to a lot of tracks, a lot of races, but they've never had the hospitality of which they've seen here," said Gov. Rick Perry.
When asked if state money should be used to bring an event like Formula One to Texas, he replied, “Absolutely. We probably wouldn't have had it otherwise without the state's involvement. Five hundred million people around the world (watching the race) hearing really great things about Austin, Texas, and the state of Texas. I would suggest to you that may be close to priceless.”
Still, on Sunday, the focus at the track was all about racing. As the cars made their way around the track, teams behind the pit building were already breaking down equipment to send to Brazil for next weekend’s race. The checkered flag waved two hours later, marking the end of Austin’s first F1 race, and one many fans and drivers hope will be one of many in years to come.
“I pray it is,” said aid Lewis Hamilton, the winner of the race. “It’s been the biggest reaction we’ve ever seen.”
City officials say many of the fans will leave Monday, making it one of the busiest days of the year for the airport.
By Adam Bennett
(Photo from COTA)
Austin Fan Fest
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