It is exactly 9 months ago that we got the green light from GoAmerika to attend the United States Grand Prix. Robert Doornbos handed us our ticket on the 15th of January for this dream trip, the time is finally here to travel abroad.
Our United States GP F1 travel report
The day starts early, as we depart to Schiphol. Suitcases packed, ESTA granted, plenty of dollars in our pockets and of course the Formula 1 tickets. This will be our first trip to The United States of America, so we’re quite excited. The coming week we will be in Texas where the Grand Prix of America will take place.
“Everything is bigger in Texas”
After a pleasant flight, we land at Philadelphia International Airport, curious as we are, we try to catch a glimpse of America through the tiny airplane windows. We have read and heard a lot about America and our first conclusion is: America is just as we expected, and even better! As we are amazed and look around at the airport, we’re getting ourselves something to eat and in the meantime search for our connecting flight to Dallas where we will spend our first night. Luckily the flight to Dallas is just as easy going as our first flight, when we arrive at our destination, we head to the car rental company to pick up our car, a Nissan Altima. GoAmerika arranged everything on this trip very well for us. The American people we meet on our way are very friendly and helpful. We finally arrive at our hotel late at night, time for some well deserved rest.
My way or the highway
The first few days we take our time to discover the city of Dallas and to get used to the local culture and habits, we also buy a local sim card to make sure we can always stay online. We feel at home and get used to the driving habits in America quite fast. We already read some regulations about participating in the traffic in the States, that came in handy because there are some differences compared to The Netherlands. Unfortunately it happens to be the wettest October ever in the history of Texas, there is a lot of rain and even some floods that have completely washed away bridges and roads. But nothing stops us while we drive towards Fort Worth, we recommend you go there if you have the chance. The typically Texas style houses and buildings give us the real Texas feeling. To complete our Texas experience we enjoy a good and large piece of meat while the sun goes down.
The next day we get up early and drive towards Fredericksberg, a small village South of Austin. It is quite a long drive, but the roads here are fine. We notice that the traffic is very relaxed, people follow the rules and don’t tend to stress a lot. On our way we spot some big ranches and numerous pickup trucks driving through great landscapes. When we arrive at our typically American style Motel in Fredericksberg, we park our car directly in front of our room. In the village we also enjoy the local hospitality, the great food and the wonderful sightseeing spots.
The Formula 1 United States Grand Prix
The main reason for our trip to America is the Formula 1 Grand Prix, we are huge motorsport fans so this will be an event to enjoy a lot. Thursday morning we pay a visit to the 302nd Squadron of the Dutch Royal Airforce at Ft. Hood in Killeen. These tough guys have the privilege to do a fly-by with their Apaches and Chinooks in formation, right before the start of the Grand Prix. After this quick visit we hurry to the Circuit of the Americas for the usual pit walk. We get a better view of the track as we get closer. This is why we got here, a great day in the pitlane, while the Formula 1 circus is preparing for a weekend of racing action.
GoAmerika got us some great grandstand tickets at turn 9, so friday and saturday literally go passed by in the blink of an eye. We can see most of the track form our spots. We make some quick photos of the cars passing by at high speed. We see a lot Americans attending the Grand Prix who are all very positive and enthusiastic about the Formula 1. Later that day, we even manage to get ourselves into the holy ground of the paddock, where we bump into Max Verstappen and most other drivers.
To finish our day on saturday with an extra bang, we decide to attend the show of Bruno Mars. Bruno performs live, directly after the qualification to entertain the guests till late at night. We were positively surprised by his fantastic performance, what great artist! If you ever get the chance, we can recommend everybody to go to a performance of Bruno Mars.
On Sunday it’s race day! Max Verstappen will start from the 18th place on the grid, this because he was fined with a penalty for switching his gearbox. There are a lot of other fans who have the hope that Max can pull a stunt and achieve a good result in this race. Simultaneously to the start of the national USA anthem we see the 2 chinooks and 3 apaches from the Dutch Royal Airforce performing a fly-by over the starting grid, goosebumps! The cars are on their starting positions and are ready to go, they rev their engines as the light turns on. And it’s lights out, away they go! Max had a very good start, and after quite a hectic Grand Prix, he manages to move up his way through the field and he finally finishes at a very well deserved second place. So cool to see him perform his overtaking action live at the track!
We head to the podium to see Max shine and enjoy his champagne, this is a great way to end our last day here in the United States. We go back to pack our bags and check in for our flights home and drive back to Dalles. Our first real USA adventure was one to remember, check out our United States GP gallery for more pictures! We want to thank GoAmerika for making this amazing trip possible!
See you at the next Grand Prix!