Circuit of The Americas(tm) celebrates inaugural FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX with perfect weather, big crowd and deja vu for Lewis Hamilton
Austin, Texas, Nov. 18, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Circuit of The Americas today entered the record books as the first purpose-built Formula 1™ racetrack in the country to host its own Grand Prix. An exuberant crowd of 117,429 packed the new 330-acre facility to watch Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton claim his fourth Grand Prix of the season and his second United States Grand Prix victory in five years having won the 2007 Formula 1™ race last hosted in Indianapolis. Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel, current points leader in the drivers' standings, was second with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso third. McLaren was awarded the constructor's trophy for Austin's inaugural event. Hamilton's victory means both the driver's and constructor's titles won't be decided until the season's final race in Saὀ Paulo, Brazil, next weekend.
The $400 million sports and entertainment venue, completed only days before its first major event, received rave reviews from the tens of thousands of fans who traveled the world to witness Formula 1's return to the United States. The 3.4-mile, 20-turn circuit produced several opportunities for overtaking, highlighted by Hamilton slipping past pole sitter Vettel on Turn 12 to take the race lead during Lap 43. Fans packed the stands and general admission areas to cheer on their favorites and to watch Hamilton pass under the checkered flag and back into U.S. racing history. Total attendance for the three-day event was 265,499 with Friday's practice sessions and Saturday's qualifying rounds drawing 65,360 and 82,710, respectively.
"The entire Circuit of The Americas team thanks our guests, our community, our new Formula One family and racing fans around the world for making our first Grand Prix such a remarkable experience," Circuit Chairman Bobby Epstein said. "The racing was spectacular. The crowd was enthusiastic and appreciative, and we showed the world that Formula 1 has a new U.S. home in Austin, Texas."
Highlights of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX and Austin Fan Fest Powered by Mobil 1, including high-resolution images, can be accessed at www.circuitoftheamericas.com/media-center.
About Circuit of The Americas
Circuit of The Americas is a world-class destination for performance, education and business. It is the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the United States designed for any and all classes of racing, from motor power to human power, and is home to the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™. Racing series joining the Circuit's 2013 line-up include MotoGP™, V8 Supercars™ and GRAND-AM Road Racing™. The Circuit of The Americas' master plan features a variety of permanent structures designed for business, education, entertainment and race use. Its signature element is a 3.4-mile circuit track. Other support buildings include an expansive outdoor live music space, an iconic 251-foot tower with observation deck, an events and conference center, a banquet hall as well as a state-of-the-art medical facility. For more information and downloadable video, audio and photos, visit: www.CircuitofTheAmericas.com.