Category Archives: san francisco formula 1 group

A Visit to Austin 2011



“Like a fine plate of barbeque

bear down on the meat

and ease off the potato salad”

This week, I’ve been in Austin enjoying a community of energetic, friendly and downright hospitable folks who’ve all been very supportive and enthusiastic of the upcoming race next year.  While here, I’ve been tweeting a bit from various spots in town, and meeting many whose businesses and livelihoods are due to experience an uptick next November when the race comes to town.

My first visit was with American Stateman Internet Editor Dave Doolittle, and it was great to get such a friendly welcome my first night in town.  Dave’s a local who, like many here, have watched Austin grow over the decades and looks forward to what’s coming next year.  He’s also an avid F1 fan who happens to have had the story of a lifetime land right in his backyard – lucky guy!  His dad’s been a big F1 fan also, and had the foresight to co-found AtlasF1 back in the late 90’s – so F1’s certainly in the family.  Follow Dave’s coverage as he tweets news and events around town as they unfold, you can also check out his coverage on the Statesman online.

A lunchtime crowd waits outside Franklin BBQ

The first full day in town it was time to get down to business, so Franklin BBQ was where I headed.  A serious lunch spot has a serious wait, so after 30 minutes in line I had a chance to sample their delicious ribs and rub elbows with the local crowd.  Funny how long that wait sounds writing it down now, but here in Austin, folks are easy to strike up a chat, even in the 90 degree heat outside.


Ribs are taken seriously . . . this is Texas!

That evening, I met up with San Francisco F1 Group alum Alex Wong, a recent transplant from the city by the Bay, and an amazing guy who’s been behind the scenes as Austin gets ready to go big next year in F1.  We met up with some friends at Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar on 6th – and found more music and energy than most cities this size serve up in a single night.  A fantastic evening out, highly recommended.


Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar on 6th – a must see

I’ve got a few days left in town, and just yesterday, Alex and I made it out to the track to meet with our friend Oliver, a civil engineer from Tilke who offered to show us around the circuit.  I was ready with camera in hand, so we ventured out of town and took in the sights while imagining the sounds from America’s first purpose built F1 track in decades . . .







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Filed under American F1 circuits, American F1 Fans, Circuit of the Americas, san francisco formula 1 group, Uncategorized, United States Grand Prix, United States Grand Prix in Austin

The NFL Season and F1

It’s that time of year again in America when each Fall, televisions in every sports bar across the US blare with a crowd’s roar, network trumpeting ID’s blare, and the whistle of referees arresting play – cue to – even more blaring advertising.  It’s a tradition. As a fan of both the NFL and F1, it’s a bittersweet moment.  Locally, a group of F1 fans I’ve led, the San Francisco F1 Group, shifts from sports bars to the local karting track to watch races so as not to go head-to-head with a parched 49ers fan base.

Since 2005, running a group of dedicated Formula 1 fans in a major US city has created a bit of a learning lab and how best to bring fans, bars and venues together in the right mix, and during this time of the year, it’s never more difficult to organize an F1 viewing group around a live or DVR’d Grand Prix at a US sports bar. If you’re looking for a group to join, or have one you’d like to share (several have been forming since the announcement of the new circuit in Austin), here’s an open source map showing groups and F1 friendly venues across the US:

View F1US: F1 venue guide in a larger map

The start of the Fall classic this month has new significance this year as groups of F1 fans who watch racing together have been growing in numbers, and will no doubt find that some venues have a difficult time accommodating both F1 and football on Sunday mornings.  This year, one third of the F1 season will take place during the NFL’s regular season, with the majority of sports bars showing more than one NFL game at a time. As our group in San Francisco started out, it was common for a group of 50 F1 fans watching one race to be offered the same number of screens as 10 NFL fans watching 3 different games.

For many new F1 communities that’s what F1 is up against in this country, and it’s a situation most F1 viewing groups would like to avoid.  The good news is that F1 fans watching their sport at bars and venues in groups were never nearly as large or as well organized as they are today, and with a tightly networked group of fans, it’s possible to switch venues at a moment’s notice, or find a more F1 friendly venue before the next GP.

Find a great venue or a group for watching F1 this season?  Share your comments.

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Filed under American F1 Fans, Events, F1 and NFL, F1 broadcasting in America, F1 in America, san francisco formula 1 group, Social Media, Uncategorized