Set against a warm Fall Texas day, a sold out crowd came out in force for the start of the 2021 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas this weekend.
The crowd rivaled previous Friday attendance took to turn 1’s spectacular views while several grandstands around the circuit were also busy.
Free practice sessions for Formula 1 and the W Series took to the circuit today, making their debut on US soil here in Austin this weekend.
Fan energy was noticeable from the paddock as well, as scores of fans waiting for a glimpse of Formula 1 drivers past and present, team leaders and celebrities to appear along the walkway between hospitality and team garages. The energy has been high in town and at the circuit all week, and the much larger than average turnout today was a good sign that the sport has made an impact with its awareness and popularity in America.
Mercedes AMG F1 took the top spot in the first practice session as Valttieri Bottas took the fastest time of the session with a 1:34.874s, and RedBull topping the sheets in the second session with Checo Perez at 1:34.946s. Teams struggled with degradation today and experimenting with the soft and medium compound Pirelli tires to understand race run lengths over the rough 3.4 mile circuit.
Off track, one of the most exciting announcements today was for American fans of F1 as Florida native and F3 star Logan Sergeant was announced that he will focus entirely on his goal to reach Formula 1. Sergeant recently turned down a drive in Indycar with AJ Foyt to join Williams’ Driver Academy for a year where he will compete in F2 en route to an F1 test and a much anticipated appearance by an American on the F1 grid eventually.