“Racing has always been a big part of my life. It’s my passion. All the work I put in is to become the best. I am a competitor and will not rest till I get what I am after.”
The 2012 season saw Formula One racing return to the United States for the first time since 2007 with an all-new venue in Austin, Texas.
Its signature element is a 5.5-kilometre (3.4-mile) Grand Prix circuit, located southeast of the Texan capital, and designed by Hermann Tilke in collaboration with American architectural firm HKS. The 20-turn, anticlockwise track, construction of which began in January 2011, draws inspiration from the best circuits around the world, as well as taking advantage of the site’s natural topography to include dramatic elevation changes of up to 40 metres.
There is a steep, uphill run into the hairpin Turn One, which instantly became the venue’s signature corner. Turns Three through Six look not dissimilar to Silverstone’s high-speed Maggotts/Becketts; Turns 12 through 15 give a nod to Hockenheim’s stadium section; and Turns 16 through 18 mirror the famous, multi-apex Turn Eight at Istanbul Park.
City-wide, you’ll spy bumper stickers and t-shirts affirming the officially unofficial slogan of ‘Keep Austin weird’ and there are certainly plenty of oddities to keep even the most inquisitive minds flummoxed. From visiting the colony of bats that occupy the city’s Congress Avenue Bridge to taking a tour around the Museum of Emphmerata, you won’t be stuck for something unusual to do.
In Austin, weird is certainly wonderful but there’s plenty more traditional tourist attractions to enjoy including the Capitol Building, the nightlife of Sixth Street, the beautiful Governor’s mansion and the Austin Children’s Museum.