Everything to know about the Formula 1 Lenovo Grand Prix

Max Verstappen and Red Bull might have already wrapped up the Formula 1 drivers and Constructors Championship, respectively, but that doesn’t mean the 2023 Austin Grand Prix doesn’t have plenty to offer. From a three-way fight for second place to a unique VR experience, let’s go through everything you need to know about one of the most exciting race weekends on the F1 grid before the upcoming Las Vegas series.

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When: 

Free Practice: October 20th, 2023

Qualifying: October 21st, 2023

Race: October 22nd, 2023

Where: Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas

How to Watch: 

Qualifying and Practice: ESPN2, ESPNews, and ESPN3

Race: ABC and ESPN3

Tickets: General admission starts at $545, with individual turn tickets ranging from $600 all the way to $1,010. Big spenders can also enjoy exclusive luxury club tickets, including the Podium Club ($3,390), Plaza Club ($4,890), Turn 12 Club ($6,670), and Paddock Club ($8,118).

Lenovo VR: If you have a Paddock Club ticket, you’re in for a treat. A unique addition for fans attending this year’s race, the Lenovo ThinkReality VRX F1 project lets attendees experience the thrill of driving an F1 car in an alternate reality. Using their new ThinkReality VRX all-in-one headset, racing fans will be able to play an alternate reality slot racing game around a replica of the Circuit of the Americas.

Users will be able to view the course from a variety of different perspectives while controlling the car’s speed. This is a great opportunity to check out the latest and greatest in virtual and alternate reality technology.

Course: The Circuit of the Americas has long been considered one of the favorite tracks for drivers and spectators alike. Not only does it feature one of the best turns on the entire calendar, but the track offers a little bit of everything. Multiple overtaking opportunities, a solid mix of low and high-speed turns, and variable elevation help keep the race exciting and competitive throughout.

Fans have also raved about the excellent watching experience, with great views available from every grandstand on the course as well as a lenient general admission policy. Be warned though, parking at this race is commonly described as a nightmare, so make sure to book yourself extra time to get to the track on race day.

Key Storylines: Now that Red Bull has captured both titles, this race is all about a razor-thin battle for second place in the Constructors standings. Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes (326 pts) currently hold a slim lead over Ferrari (298 pts), and you can’t count out the surging McLaren either (219 pts), who have racked up an impressive 104 points over the past three race weekends. With impressive straight-line speed, this could be a chance for the Scuderia to pass Mercedes on a track known for some long straight and high-speed corners. 

And don’t think for a second that the race for silver in the drivers’ standings is done either. Max Verstappen’s teammate at Red Bull, Sergio Perez, seemed a shoo-in to finish 2nd just a couple of months ago, but a slow second half of the calendar has him hanging onto a 30-point lead over Lewis Hamilton that is narrowing by the week. If Hamilton gets a podium finish and Perez disappoints again, things could get interesting in the race for second place.