F1 Recap: Meet the Wild, Vibrant Fans Who Turned Up for Austin’s US Grand Prix
November 14, 2023
FEVO got involved with Austin’s Circuit of The Americas and its flagship race — the F1 US Grand Prix — for one simple reason: they host one of the most captivating and exhilarating live sporting events on the planet.
Sure, we knew our technology could help bring the world of motorsport to a bigger audience via a simple, streamlined and socially optimized checkout flow. But that’s more of the “how” we work with COTA. The “why” is because it’s a bucket-list item not only for auto-racing fans, but for anyone who loves a huge, ambitious, senses-overloading experience. And wherever there is an experience like that on offer, FEVO wants to be involved.
A Formula 1 race is a decidedly collective experience. While the main event lasts less than two hours on Sunday, the excitement is palpable and constant across the three-day event. Fans are there not just to catch the on-track action, but to be among their people. When they’re not watching races, they’re discussing the history of the sport, bantering about strategy and builds, debating legacies, and roaming the grounds to participate in a feast of F1-themed activations. It is a fandom of die-hards but also one open to newbies, with the old guard happily detailing the ins and outs of the sport to anyone eager to learn. In short, it’s the kind of immersive experience that gets at the core of everything FEVO was founded to do: bring people together for a day they’ll never forget.
FEVO’s involvements at COTA were various and sundry. We allowed them to digitize their hospitality sales, create easy buy flows and simplify the purchase process for shuttles and grounds passes. We placed QR codes throughout the grounds that enabled fans to purchase early-bird tickets for the 2024 race. And on top of that, we sponsored and hosted a 4,800-square-foot tent at COTA’s iconic Turn 1 for the second year running.
Over the course of the weekend, more than 10,000 fans passed through the shady respite of the FEVO Fan Lounge. We had state-of-the-art racing simulators, limited-edition racing prints from three Texas-based artists, a full-service bar, tunes from a series of incredible local DJs, and quite possibly the most revelrous atmosphere on the entire 1,500-acre plot of land that COTA covers. There were conga lines. Singalongs. Checo chants (so many Checo chants). A guy literally did a backflip off of our stage — twice.
But the most satisfying part of our weekend was meeting the fans. They came to us from all walks of life and corners of the globe, many of them clad in DIY gear commemorating their favorite drivers or teams. Very large and eccentric hats were a notable theme.
We met a woman named Kathy dressed in full Alfa Romeo garb who announced herself as “the president of the fan club.” Not the Alfa Romeo fan club, but a literal fan club: The [Hand] Fan Association of North America. She was drawn in by the FEVO-emblazoned clack fans we were giving away. “I can spot a good fan from a mile off,” she told us.
We met a man named Eric who goes by “The Ferrari Pope” because he, well, dresses like the Pope, if he were more into car-racing than Catholicism. We met a professional Will Ferrell impersonator dressed as Ricky Bobby, complete with Wonder Bread jumpsuit, sideburns and soul patch. We met a Scotsman and Scotswoman preaching the gospel of Texas BBQ, the greatest discovery they’d made on this, their first trip to America. We met the unofficial Daniel Ricciardo superfan club, complete with lycra T-shirts bearing his tessellated face and a sheet of temporary tattoos they were using to recruit new members. Fathers and sons came through, couples, groups of friends, companies on team-building outings.
With each of these fellow racing fans came new memories, new friends. Watching them pass through the Fan Lounge reinforced why we do everything we do at FEVO: the goal is never the event itself, but the people you meet and the moments you share along the way.
In keeping with the FEVO ethos of focusing on the fans first and the experience second, we also captured some of the most interesting and colorful people we met over the course of the weekend on film. Below, you can find a selection of some of our favorites.
Until next year…
You can also watch our recap video of the FEVO Fan Lounge right here …