In less than two weeks, more than 120,000 people will descend upon Austin for the Formula 1 race. Austin will probably never be the same after November 18th. The city is preparing to shut down a large segment of downtown Austin to handle the traffic and safety officials are expect the Formula 1 weekend to put more strain on the city than the South by Southwest Music Festival. Just wrapping up in New Delhi, India, the Grand Prix will head to Austin from November 16th-18th. With more than 100 bands playing and 120,000 people in town during the Formula 1 Fan Fest, the best thing to do is take a deep breath and enjoy the city as Austin enters the international spotlight. After the Formula Grand Prix in Austin, it will head to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from March 23rd – 25th, 2013. Ready or not, Formula 1 has arrived and Austin is about to get a little crazy!
I came across some interesting statistics from Austin Man Magazine (which is actually a pretty cool website) about Formula 1.
3.4 miles in one lap around the course
6 confirmed number of helipads at the track to ferry in ample-walleted race fans by air, though some rumors have the number as high as eight
12 estimated number of hours Austin police say some race fans may have to wait to leave the track due to traffic and huge crowds
20 number of turns on the track, six of them being either hairpin or almost as difficult
133 feet total vertical rise of the track from the starting line to the first turn, making it a distinguishing feature from other Formula 1 tracks
200-plus miles per hour expected top speeds of cars in the straightaways
$545 cost per person for a there-and-back helicopter ride to the track
$5,500 cost of a 15-year license for premium seating at the track
40,000 number of international travelers expected to fly to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport for the race, necessitating the construction of a temporary additional terminal
120,000 most commonly referenced estimate of the total crowd for the race
300,000 expected number of visitors to Austin during a week of pre-race festivities
$350 million estimated total budget for the track
$400 million lowball estimate by Austin officials of the race’s annual economic impact
$500 million annual budget of a multi-car Formula 1 team like those fielded by Red Bull, Lotus, McLaren or Ferrari