COTA Turn 1: View, Grandstand, Seating Chart & more info

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Turn 1 grandstand at Circuit of the Americas

COTA F1 2021” by rsyphotography is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The COTA Turn 1 grandstand gives a great view of the first corner at Circuit of the Americas, one of the most action-packed corners on any race track. 

This article provides a full guide to the view, grandstand, seating chart and everything else you need to know about spectating from Turn 1 at Austin.

Contents

Where is the Turn 1 grandstand at COTA?

The COTA Turn 1 grandstand is situated on the outside of the circuit at the first corner. Image below courtesy of the COTA website.

COTA Turn 1 grandstand location

There is a big elevation change at Turn 1, where the run in towards the corner is on a steep uphill, the apex is on the crest of the hill and as they exit the track drops downhill again towards the second corner. 

The Turn 1 grandstand is located on top of the hill, giving great panoramic views.

The grandstand doesn’t quite run parallel to the edge of the track, instead it’s angled towards it with the right hand side of the stand (as you sit in it) being the closest to the circuit. This allows everyone sat in the stand to have clear views back down the main straight towards the final corner on the circuit.

COTA first corner

COTA Turn 1 grandstand view

Being sat up on the hill, the COTA Turn 1 grandstand gives amazing views which cover the entirety of the start / finish straight, pit road, Turn 1 and the run down the hill in to the second corner.

Depending how high up in the grandstand you sit you are also able to see the cars as they go around the right hander of the second corner, disappear under the bridge and then reappear in the distance around Turns 3 and 4 as they head towards the COTA Turn 6 grandstand. 

However the grandstand on the right hand side of the track at Turn 4, just after the bridge, can block this view slightly.

Circuit of the americas turn 3 and 4 view

Sitting high up in the grandstand at Turn 1 also gives you a view across the track to turns 16, 17, 18 and 19 and the final corner of Turn 20. These are a little further away so bring your binoculars for a better view!

Circuit of the americas turns 16, 17, 18 and 19 view from the grandstand

The image below shows the areas of track that are visible from the COTA Turn 1 grandstand highlighted in green.

Here’s the view from between sections 1 & 2, row 22.

Here’s the view from between sections 2 & 3, row 22.

Here’s the view from between sections 3 & 4, row 22.

Here’s the view from between sections 4 & 5, row 22.

Here’s the view from between sections 5 & 6, row 22.

Here’s the view from between sections 6 & 7, row 22.

The video below gives a great example of the view from section 1 of the Turn 1 grandstand during the F1 Austin Grand Prix.

Turn 1 general admission viewing

There is a huge viewing area for COTA general admission pass holders on the grass in front of the grandstand and to the left of it, back down the hill towards the start line. 

Whilst being at ground level means you don’t have quite the same vantage point, if you can get a spot in front of the grandstand you are still on top of the hill so should still have a great view.

If you are further to the left in this area you’ll lose a little bit of the view of the cars as they apex Turn 1 and run down towards the next bend, as that will be up over the hill.

The area in pink below is the GA viewing area. This is one of the most popular general admission spots and it fills up very early. And boy does it fill up. 

For the last few years the whole area has been absolutely packed during most major events, so if you want a spot you have to get there as early as possible.

COTA turn 1 general admission viewing

COTA Turn 1 grandstand facilities

  • The Turn 1 grandstand at COTA is not covered. It’s completely open to the elements with no shade, so make sure you bring adequate sun protection.
  • There is a toilet block and shop directly behind the grandstand.
  • The seats are full chairs with a folding base, fixed seat back, cupholders and armrests.
  • There is a giant TV visible from the grandstand. It’s located on the other side of the track on the infield and is angled towards the grandstand. From the general admission viewing area it’s close enough to be visible. From the back of the grandstand it’s a little further away so again the binoculars might be useful.

Grandstand seats at the circuit of the Americas
Circuit of the Americas giant TV screen at the first corner

COTA Turn 1 seating chart

Enter your name and email in the boxes below and the hi-res COTA grandstand seating charts will be sent to your inbox. These will include details of row and seat numbers. The files are too big to host here!

There are 7 different sections in the Turn 1 grandstand. The seats at the back of the grandstand are higher up and give more panoramic views across the track, but they are also slightly further away from the circuit itself.

There are over 3700 seats in the Turn 1 grandstand.

COTA Grandstand Seating Charts Hi-Res
COTA Turn 1 grandstand seating chart

Is Turn 1 at Circuit of the Americas a good place to sit?

The COTA Turn 1 grandstand is probably one of the best places to sit at Circuit of the Americas. The elevation change at this part of the track means that the grandstand is the highest seating area at the circuit. 

Both the stand and the general admission seating area right in front of it have an amazing view looking over much of the circuit. The only other grandstand that has quite so much circuit coverage is the COTA Turn 15 stand.  But in this Turn 1 stand you can see the whole of pit road, so can keep up with what happens during the pit stops.

Turn 1 at COTA always sees a lot of drama on the race track. The main straight is incredibly wide, often seeing 3 or 4 cars abreast as they enter Turn 1. The corner itself is incredibly tight, over 90 degrees, and the exit is narrower than the entry so it always acts as a bottleneck

NASCAR Cup Series Austin Texas EchoPark first corner crash

Sitting here means you’re in prime position for any first corner incidents, of which there are often many, as drivers try to use the wide entry as a key overtaking spot.

In the F1 at Austin in 2022, Carlos Sainz was spun round at Turn 1 on the first lap by George Russell. In the 2022 Nascar Cup series race there were countless incidents here as the whole field unsuccessfully tried to make it round unscathed during each of the restarts.

This is a much better grandstand to sit in than the COTA Turn 2 grandstand which has poor views, but tickets for this one are always more expensive.

The sun is usually behind the Turn 1 stand for most of the day so you don’t have to put up with it being right on your face the whole time.

Closest parking lots

The Turn 1 grandstand is most easily accessed from parking lots A or T. Parking lot N is also not too far away.

See the detailed COTA parking guide for more info.

COTA Turn 1 grandstand tickets

Tickets for the COTA Turn 1 grandstand can be purchased through the official Circuit of the Americas website, or through the official F1 ticket website for the Formula 1 event.

Other COTA grandstands

Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport travel guides based on my experience as racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who are planning on watching some racing themselves.

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