F1 Austin Dress Code: What to wear to the US Grand Prix at COTA

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Austin F1 fans wearing cowboy hats and dress in red bull team wear

There is no F1 Austin dress code application to general admission or grandstand ticket holders at the US Grand Prix.

There are, however, some tips on what you should and shouldn’t wear to prepare for the weather and the miles of  walking around COTA you’ll be doing.

If you have COTA F1 hospitality or VIP tickets then you do need to follow a dress code.

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Is there an F1 Austin dress code?

If you’ve got General Admission or grandstand seat tickets to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Austin then there’s no dress code that you need to follow.

If you have VIP or hospitality tickets to the F1 then you’re asked to follow a smart casual dress code. See examples and outfit suggestions for smart casual dress lower down this article.

What to wear to the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas

This section applies to Austin F1 general admission or grandstand seat ticket holders who don’t need to follow a dress code.

The most important thing to wear to the Formula 1 race in Texas is something that you’ll be comfortable and cool in. Given the heat and weather conditions likely to be present during the F1, you need to dress for the weather.

But remember, anything goes in the name of fashion.

Dress for the weather

The Formula 1 race in Texas is held in October. The average temperature for that time of year is 82 degrees Fahrenheit / 28 degrees Celsius.

At the 2023 United Stated Grand Prix the temperature reached 86 Fahrenheit / 30 Celcius on each day of the weekend.

Austin isn’t as humid as Houston, but average Austin humidity levels for this time of year are usually over 65%. That figure will vary a lot depending on time of day, usually the mornings and evenings are more humid. Expect it to feel muggy and very hot.

Comment
by u/doggod from discussion F1 USGP
in Austin

Here’s some suggestions on what to wear to the US Grand Prix to help you stay cool:

  • Go for loose fitting clothing that hangs off your body and doesn’t cling to you. That helps with airflow and keeping cool
  • Look for moisture management quick-dry technical clothing, often advertised as Dri-Fit (good for moving sweat away quickly)
  • Sports / technical clothing with inbuilt vents or mesh panels helps airflow across your skin
  • Loose, lightweight linen materials are some of the coolest
  • Women’s dresses and tops with cut-outs and big openings are good for keeping cool
  • White clothing helps reflect some heat and keep cool, black clothing absorbs more heat and will be hotter
  • Wear shorts 
  • Hat to keep the sun off your head and out of your eyes and face
  • Bring spare tops / t-shirts to change in to
  • Bring sunscreen!

It’s not unheard of for it to rain hard at the Austin Grand Prix. If that happens it’s often fast, heavy showers that pass quickly.

Think about bring a couple of extra things to prepare for a downpour:

  • Lightweight poncho, big enough to cover your backpack as well
  • Lightweight rain jacket
  • Something to sit on to keep your butt dry
  • Small umbrella

For a full list of things to bring to COTA for the Austin F1 race, see our full guide to General Admission at COTA (which also includes a guide to GA viewpoints).

Footwear

There will be a surprising amount of walking to do at the United Stand Grand Prix, especially if you’re a General Admission ticket holder and want to walk around the track and check out lots of different viewing areas. 

Plus if you’re in to the music you’ll be standing around at the concerts after the Austin F1 racing has finished. There’s only a few seats near the front for premium ticket holders, the rest is standing only.

COTA ATX” by Lee Leblanc is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The COTA circuit layout is almost 3.5 miles long but you’ll rack up more distance than that walking around the spectator areas.

Plus you have to factor in the COTA parking situation and how far you have to walk to / from your car.

Make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Running trainers with a good cushioned sole are always a good idea. If it doesn’t rain it’s likely the pathways around the circuit will be dusty, so wear something you don’t mind getting a little dirty.

But this is Texas after all, so never forget about the cowboy boots.

F1 Merchanidise & Team Clothing

You’re always encouraged to wear F1 team and driver merchandise to the Grand Prix to show your allegiances.

There will be dozens of stalls selling t-shirts, caps and sweatshirts at the US Grand Prix, but it will be pricey. If you have time buy the gear online in advance to save a few bucks.

F1 Austin dress code for Hospitality & VIP

The dress code for the VIP and Hospitality areas at the Austin F1 race is Smart Casual.

The Paddock Club and Champions Club are the areas which enforce this more strictly than the other Clubs, Cabanas and Suites.

Here are some guidelines on what smart casual clothing includes:

  • Full length pants are preferred, but when its really hot smart chino shorts are ok for men
  • Women can wear pants, a skirt or a dress
  • Only very smart jeans are usually allowed. Ripped / torn / dirty jeans are not.
  • Men should wear shirts with a collar like a polo shirt or casual dress shirt
  • All footwear should be clean
  • Smart trainers are allowed
  • Sandals, slides or flip-flops are not allowed. Smarter sandals like Birkenstocks should be ok.
  • Women can wear strappy sands, wedges or heels.
  • All hospitality areas welcome more formal clothing
  • No track or jogging suits
  • No beach clothing
  • Wearing F1 merchandise is ok in the hospitality areas. If you do a team’s pit garage tour you’re asked not to wear other team’s clothing out of respect.

If you’re ever unsure what you can or can’t wear just get in touch with your hospitality ticket sales representative and they’ll point you in the right direction.

F1 Austin Dress Code - Smart Casual Examples

Below are a few examples of smart casual clothing that would be great to wear to the F1 race in Austin, and keep you in check with the hospitality area dress codes.

And don’t forget that this is Texas. Cowboy boots and Stetsons are always welcome.

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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