Circuit of The Americas


Circuit of The Americas


  • 56 Laps
  • 2012 First Grand Prix
  • United States Grand Prix Grand Prix
  • 5.513km Circuit Length
  • 308.405 km Race Distance
  • 1:36.169 Charles Leclerc (2019) Lap Record

Situated in Austin, Texas, the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) has played host to the United States Grand Prix since 2012.

Spanning 3.426 miles (5.514 km), this state-of-the-art purpose-built track is one of three races currently hosted in the U.S. alongside the more glamorous Miami and Las Vegas street circuits.

Circuit of The Americas

First Grand Prix2012 United States Grand Prix
Number of Laps56
Circuit Length5.513km
Race Distance308.405 km
Lap Record1:36.169 Charles Leclerc (2019)


When was the Circuit of the Americas built?

The Circuit of The Americas, the brainchild of renowned designer Hermann Tilke in partnership with the American architectural firm HKS, experienced a somewhat rocky beginning. The circuit’s construction faced multiple challenges and setbacks, leading to uncertainty about its completion. Despite these initial difficulties, the efforts to bring this ambitious project to fruition were ultimately successful.

The wait for the circuit’s completion proved worthwhile when it was officially opened on October 21, 2012, by none other than Mario Andretti, the 1978 Formula 1 World Champion. Andretti’s involvement in the inauguration was symbolic, linking the circuit’s modern, state-of-the-art design with the rich heritage of Formula 1 racing in the U.S.

The Circuit of The Americas was designed to be a premier racing venue, not just for Formula 1 but for various other motorsport events. It features a unique layout that combines challenging turns, elevation changes, and long straights, designed to test the skills of the world’s best drivers.

Despite its initial hurdles, the successful opening of the circuit marked a significant milestone in the expansion of Formula 1 into the United States and has since become a key venue in the Formula 1 calendar.

When was the first United States Grand Prix?

The first United States Grand Prix was held in 1959 and has a storied history at multiple venues and tracks over the years.

In 1959 the first official United States Grand Prix took place at the Sebring International Raceway. For its second year, the race moved to the Riverside International Raceway in 1960 followed by a more permanent location in New York between 1961-1980. The Watkins Glen International hosted the race for two decades, becoming synonymous with the U.S. Grand Prix during this period.

A complete change happened in 1981 and 1982 when the race was held in the parking lot of the Caesars Palace Hotel in Las Vegas before changing again in Detroit, Michigan between 1982 and 1988. The Detroit street circuit hosted the race, in 1982 alongside the Las Vegas event.

A one-off event was held at the Fair Park Street circuit in Dallas, Texas 1984 before finding a home in Phoenix, Arizona between 1989 and 1991. The Phoenix Street Circuit was the last venue before a lengthy hiatus.

After a nine-year gap, the U.S. Grand Prix returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, using a road course that included part of the famous oval between 2000 and 2007.

Formula 1 marked its return to the United States in 2012 with the first race at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. This event was the first United States Grand Prix since 2007.

The return of F1 to the U.S. was highly anticipated, with over 100,000 fans descending on the Austin venue, eager to witness high-speed racing action in the U.S. again.

The 2012 United States Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton achieve his last victory driving for McLaren. This win was particularly memorable as it marked the end of an era for Hamilton with McLaren, a team he had been with since his debut in Formula 1. Although not his last race for the team, it was a fitting farewell and set the stage for his subsequent move to Mercedes in 2013.

After its first event, the Circuit of The Americas, designed specifically for Formula 1, received widespread acclaim for its challenging layout, which includes a mix of high-speed straights and tight corners, providing an exciting and dynamic race. The enthusiasm and large turnout of fans underscored the growing popularity of Formula 1 in the United States.

Circuit of The Americas lap record

The official lap record for the current F1 Grand Prix layout is 1:36.169, set by Charles Leclerc during the 2019 United States Grand Prix driving for Ferrari.