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      02-10-2014, 04:36 PM   #1
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F1 2014 at COTA seating question

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Need some help. I have been to many F1 races in my lifetime. (All Indy, 3 Montreal, 1 Germany) I just booked flights and hotel and car for F1 at COTA and Im taking my 10 year old son. His first F1 race. Need some advice from those who have been there. Before the tix go on sale, I want to have a good idea as to where I should be sitting. Anyone ever take their kid to COTA? Grandstand across from pits? Maybe one of the turns? Need some advice.

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      02-10-2014, 04:44 PM   #2
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My wife and I went there for the motorcycle GP last year. Fantastic venue, except the food sucked. We had great seats just after the long straight, into the tight chicane area. Maybe 11? At any rate, it is such a great spectator track, you don't really need seats. There are so many open viewing areas, and there are grass bowls in most of the turns. Grandstand at start finish would be my last choice.

BTW, they has a ton of monitors at most locations, Big big screens.

Have fun. Call when you order the tickets and they will let you know where the big screens will be situated and that should help in your decision.

Cheers,
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      02-10-2014, 05:16 PM   #3
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When are tickets available for purchase?
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      02-10-2014, 11:26 PM   #4
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Main straight is nice. You can watch the grid form and the start, a spectacle of its own. A lot of action in the pits, there are multiple big screens to see action on the track and bathrooms/food are very close. Plus a lot of seats are in the shade, so you can escape the sun.

Friday and Saturday are great days to venture around the track, see all the turns. There are trams if your son gets tired of walking.

If you sit in main straight grandstand, try to get parking lot A. If not parking lot T is a good alternative.
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      02-11-2014, 08:52 AM   #5
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Thx all for your responses.
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      02-11-2014, 11:15 AM   #6
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Been to both F1 races, Continental Tires series, Australian V8 supercars, etc, so we have tried various locations. Best tickets are @ Turn 15. Some of the best sight lines on the track, but most people know this and the tickets are at a premium. Given what we know about the track now, we get.....General Admission tickets. Why? First year, we sat in Turn 5, and paid $400/ticket, w/no parking (park and ride + 2 hr wait leaving). This year, we sat in G.A. and paid $60/ticket, w/$50 for parking. 4 of us went, so you can figure out the math.

The goals for 2013 were:
a) to be able to pack a cooler full of food/alcohol (b/c as mentioned, the food is overpriced and kinda meh),
b) be able to get to our car from our seats pretty quickly,
c) to have good viewing angles,
d) to have amenities nearby, and
e) to miss as much traffic as possible on the way out.

Based on previous race attendance and the ability to survey the track, I settled on the hairpin (Turn 11, between 11E and 11W). It met all the criteria and offered a parking lot that is a short walk to our seats. You can see the cars rocketing down from T10, and disappearing down to T12. Lots of action in there, too (passing). In July, COTA ran a special via Ticketmaster for GA and parking, but they were trying to put you in lot F (you couldn't selet your parking lot). However, I called COTA and was able to get the GA special and parking lot selection (your lot is printed on your pass), as we wanted lot "L". We got there @ 930, brought lawn chairs and a couple blankets and were set. The view was excellent! At the end of the race when Vettel did his burnout? He did it in on the runoff area directly in front of us, so we had a front row view. We had 5 mins of traffic, and were moving freely after that. This will be our plan going forward for all race events. Hope all of this helps.

The only thing that kinda sucked was the weather was cool (50-60 degrees) and cloudy in the morning, then broke out to sunny and 90+ degrees (100 degrees track side, which we were). Unfortunately, our chairs didn't have umbrellas, but that will be remedied for the 2014 race




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      02-11-2014, 11:33 AM   #7
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Great intel. Thx man
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      02-11-2014, 12:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poleposition View Post
Great intel. Thx man
Fair warning if you get seats around turn 15. Yes they are very good seats, you can see a lot of action. But on race day the Grand Plaza behind turn 15 is a mad house. Main grandstand might be a little more kid friendly, with your 10 year old.
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      02-11-2014, 01:31 PM   #9
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      02-11-2014, 03:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJetE90 View Post
Fair warning if you get seats around turn 15. Yes they are very good seats, you can see a lot of action. But on race day the Grand Plaza behind turn 15 is a mad house. Main grandstand might be a little more kid friendly, with your 10 year old.
Turn 15 stands have a brick and motor restroom behind them which causes a *lot* of the congestion. Grand stands are all right, but the concourse area around there gets pretty packed, too.
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      02-14-2014, 08:40 PM   #11
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Been to both USGPs at COTA with my young son. Turn 9 is another good option because stands are on high ground and so a fair amount of the track is viewable. Parking was much improved in '13 vs. year 1. If you do the entire race weekend, get away from the masses and hit the best BBQ in Austin is at Rudy's (http://www.rudysbbq.com/page/locatio...stin%20-%20360
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      02-14-2014, 09:19 PM   #12
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Awesome. Thx man. Will definitely check out Rudys.
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      02-15-2014, 01:03 AM   #13
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Rudy's is ok, but they are everywhere. It is some good quick bbq. If you want the best bbq of your life. Eat at Franklin's BBQ, on 11th. But there is usually an insane line. On race weekend, most likely even worse. You can head down the 130 toll road from the track, to Lockhart, TX. BBQ capital of Texas. My favorite is Black's, been there since 1932.

Last edited by Blipit_; 02-15-2014 at 01:12 AM.
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      02-15-2014, 03:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blipit_ View Post
Rudy's is ok, but they are everywhere. It is some good quick bbq. If you want the best bbq of your life. Eat at Franklin's BBQ, on 11th. But there is usually an insane line. On race weekend, most likely even worse. You can head down the 130 toll road from the track, to Lockhart, TX. BBQ capital of Texas. My favorite is Black's, been there since 1932.
He's bringing his young son w/him, so Franklin's is out of the question. Lines usually start forming around 8am there. They make a certain amount per day, and a bit before opening time (11am) they'll send someone down the line to ask how much BBQ each person plans on ordering (by the lb). Once they hit how much they've made, they'll let everyone else in line know that that particular meat is out. They're only open for lunch.

You can always pre-order (5 lb combined meat minimum), which will be your best bet so you can take some back home with you

An idea of the line craziness:



I agree w/you, Rudy's BBQ is okay, but their smoked turkey is excellent.
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      02-15-2014, 08:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blipit_ View Post
Rudy's is ok, but they are everywhere. It is some good quick bbq. If you want the best bbq of your life. Eat at Franklin's BBQ, on 11th. But there is usually an insane line. On race weekend, most likely even worse. You can head down the 130 toll road from the track, to Lockhart, TX. BBQ capital of Texas. My favorite is Black's, been there since 1932.
I agree 100%!

Good link for anyone interested: http://www.austinchronicle.com/food/...rbecue-joints/
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      02-15-2014, 11:40 PM   #16
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Turn 1 was insane in 2012. The down shift were amazing, few run off moments, Lewis Hamilton's pass, and the stampede into turn 1 at race start. A good friend got us into paddock club for 2013 (unfreaking real). COTA is definitely a massive track, and I will continue to explore each F1 race, and definitely this coming march when I finally on the track with my own car yipeeeee!!!!
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      02-16-2014, 09:42 AM   #17
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Another good option for BBQ on the west side of Austin is The County Line (http://www.countyline.com/CountyLineHill.html). The location on Bee Cave Road has a nice back patio looking out over the Hill Country. The late October race weekend is perfect because not too hot to enjoy the evening outside if you want to kick back & relax after a long day at the track.
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      02-16-2014, 10:09 AM   #18
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Turn 2, GA tickets. took my kids to F1 and motoGP, sat on the grass, had an awesome time! +1 for food sucking. great track though, better than Laguna Seca.
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      02-16-2014, 12:48 PM   #19
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Ah, don't go to County Line BBQ. Their food is questionable at best.
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      02-16-2014, 01:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blipit_ View Post
Ah, don't go to County Line BBQ. Their food is questionable at best.
+1

I'll go to Rudy's any day over County Line. Brisket, turkey, polled pork, hot links, can't go wrong with any of it at Rudy's.
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      02-16-2014, 01:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whats77inaname View Post
Based on previous race attendance and the ability to survey the track, I settled on the hairpin (Turn 11, between 11E and 11W). It met all the criteria and offered a parking lot that is a short walk to our seats. You can see the cars rocketing down from T10, and disappearing down to T12. Lots of action in there, too (passing). In July, COTA ran a special via Ticketmaster for GA and parking, but they were trying to put you in lot F (you couldn't selet your parking lot). However, I called COTA and was able to get the GA special and parking lot selection (your lot is printed on your pass). We got there @ 930, brought lawn chairs and a couple blankets and were set. The view was excellent! At the end of the race when Vettel did his burnout? He did it in on the runoff area directly in front of us, so we had a front row view. We had 5 mins of traffic, and were moving freely after that. This will be our plan going forward for all race events. Hope all of this helps.

The only thing that kinda sucked was the weather was cool (50-60 degrees) and cloudy in the morning, then broke out to sunny and 90+ degrees (100 degrees track side, which we were). Unfortunately, our chairs didn't have umbrellas, but that will be remedied for the 2014 race

Thats funny, because I was also at GA Turn 11 (due to a friends recommendation that its not worth it to pay for grandstand seats) and I wasn't very happy with it. Most of the problem was that we weren't well prepared. Like you said, it started as a nice cool day, and then turned into a scorcher. We were wearing warm clothes, couldn't find any shade, and didn't have sunscreen. We were burning up out there. I got one of the worst sunburns of my life.

We also didn't bring chairs, because the GA lawns looked like they had a steep slope... but once we got there we realized that they weren't as steep as they looked, and because everyone else had chairs we couldn't see over them when we were sitting on the ground.

To top it off, we parked in the park and ride lot because we assumed the busses would drop us off near the track. Boy were we wrong! they drop you off at the bottom of the hill, so you have to hike all the way up the hill to the track. Once there, we were told there would be trolleys, but they were nowhere to be found so we had to hike all the way across the track to turn 11.

In the end we couldn't see much of the race, were sunburned and covered in sweat, probably walked over 3 miles, and were not happy.

Ohh, and the traffic sucked donkey balls.

If I go back again, it will be for something less popular so I can get reasonably priced tickets, not have to deal with the crowds, and actually enjoy the racing.
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      02-16-2014, 06:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
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+1

I'll go to Rudy's any day over County Line. Brisket, turkey, polled pork, hot links, can't go wrong with any of it at Rudy's.
+2

Not a fan of County Line either.

Anyone ever been to Ruby's BBQ? It's close to UT campus. Ate there a few times and it's like stepping back in time. Decent BBQ.
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