November 13, 2023

2023 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix for Texas Highways

I was fortunate to once again have the opportunity to travel to Austin to cover the 2023 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas for Texas Highways magazine. When I first had the assignment of covering the race in 2015, I figured it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Somehow, whether through pure luck, manifesting it, or just maybe some skill I've not attended the Austin-based race eight times as credentialed media. It gets more challenging every year to get creative, but such an amazing experience very time.

Below you'll find mainly outtakes from the published photo essay, which can be found here: "F1 in Austin Makes History With America's First Sprint Race"

Scuderia Alpha Tauri's Yuki Tsunoda climbs the "Big Red" hill towards turn one during the Grand Prix.
MoneyGram Haas F1's Kevin Magnussen rounds the tower complex during Saturday's Formula 1 Sprint Race.
The back of Red Bull Racing's pit wall command center with the main grandstand in the background.
McLaren's Lando Norris exits turn one in the early stages of the Grand Prix.
Fictional racing legend Ricky Bobby poses with a longhorn outside the paddock entrance prior to Sundays race.
MoneyGram Haas F1's Nico Hulkenberg speeds down the start/finish straight.
McLaren's Lando Norris overtakes Ferrari's Charles Leclerc at the first corner of the 2023 Formula 1 Lenovo United States Grand PRix.
Scuderia Ferrari's Carlos Sainz passes the COTA Observation Tower during Satruday's Formula 1 Sprint Race.
Scuderia Ferrari's Charles Leclerc speeds up the hill towards "Big Red"—the first corner of the racetrack named after one of the initial investors, Red McCombs—during the Formula 1 Sprint Shootout.
Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team's Fernando Alonso—a two-time F1 Drivers Champion—stops at the end of the pit lane at the start of the Sprint Shootout on Saturtday aftertnoon.
Kim Reimer—the "Ferrari Hat Guy"—hails from Florida and has been to numerous Grand Prix including Montreal and Miami, and makes a new hat every season. This year's rendition is his 20th such hat. He likes the United States Grand Prix here in Austin because the track provides numerous excellent vantage points where you can see the track action for a good duration, versus the slivers of track many other racetracks offer.
Scuderia Ferrari's Charles Leclerc is interviewed after finishing third in Saturday evening's Formula 1 Sprint Race.
Racing legend Jackie Stewart—Sir John Young Stewart OBE formally—speaks to attendees in the paddock area behind the team garages.
Members of the University of Texas Longhorn Band flash the horns before hefore heading out onto the track to perform prior to the race.
A very Texas-sized welcome greets visitors as they enter the Grand Plaza area at the circuit through the main entrance gates.
In a bit of deja vu from the Sprint Race the day prior, Max Verstappen also won the 2023 Formula 1 Lenovo United States Grand Prix on October 22, 2023.
A large homage to Austin's Mexican Free-Tailed bat population on the mural outside the main grandstand.
The Porsche Carrera Cup Norht America is one of the support races being run during the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix weekend in Austin. Here, a competitor heads towards turn three during the qualifying session Saturday morning.
A performer does lasso tricks on the councourse outside the main grandstand during Friday's track action.
Scuderia Ferrari's Charles Leclerc navigate the second qualifying round for Sunday's Grand Prix.
Scuderia Ferrari's Carlos Sainz navigate the second qualifying round for Sunday's Grand Prix.
McLaren F1 Team's Lando Norris crests the hill at Turn 10 with the massive Texas state flag and COTA tower looming in the background.
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team's Nico Hülkenberg stops to take a selfie with a fan during the team's unveiling of a special livery for ithe United States Grand Prix.
A new mural to th eleft of the main grandstand outside the circuit depciting the three primary race series that COTA hosts, as well as items from the Austin skyline.
Oracle Red Bull Racing's Sergio "Checo" Perez navigates the tower complex during free practice one.
Juan Marin, visiting from Houston, is attending his second United States Grand Prix, after having grown up watching it. He couldn't pass up the opportunity after living just a couple of hours away.
Prema Racing's Chloe Chong takes part in free practice one of the F1 Academy series, and all female series meant to serve as a pipeline to the elite levels of motorsport for women.
A view from the back of the Turn 19 grandstand while fans take in the first Formula 1 free practice.
At the United States Grand Prixc, Formula 1 as a whole—and the teams individually—have long embraced what people in other countries view as U.S. culture in general and Texas culture specifically. Here, Scuderia Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz play a friendly game of corn hole in football-styled team jerseys, cowboy hats, and face mustaches.
Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas arrives at the track in cowboy couture.
Race preperation presents itself in hundreds of different ways, not the least of which are teams accounting for their tire allocation for the weekend, and makig sure they're inflated to the requireed specifications.

October 31, 2018

2018 Formula 1 Pirelli United States Grand Prix for Texas Highways magazine

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate to once again return to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas to cover the 2018 Formula 1 Pirelli United States Grand Prix for Texas Highways magazine The weekend narrative was Lewis Hamilton's impending fifth driver's championship making him one of only three drivers to reach that number. However, despite starting the race on pole, it wasn't meant to be. Kimi Raikonnen ultimately took the win—his first since 2014—giving the crowds something to truly be excited to see, even if it wasn't the history they were expecting to see.

Here's a selection of photos from the weekend, but to see the full photo essay you'll need to head on over to Texas Highways.

The iconic COTA Tower at sunrise on race day. Just because this is a motorsport event doesn't mean you can have a typical Texas Highways landscape.
Tires upon tires upon tires lined up outside of a team garage. The wet weather early in the weekend necessitated lots of these green-walled "intermediate" tiles being used.
Lewis Hamilton's—of the Great Brittain—number 44 Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport car sitting in the team garage as they make final adjustments to prepare the car for the weekend.
Driver Lando Norris putting his McLaren through the paces in a very wet FP1 session. Lando will be driving full-time for McLaren for the 2019 season.
Daniel Ricciardo speeding past the iconic COTA Tower during FP3.
Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen signing autographs.
Charles LeClerc's Alfa Romeo Sauber exiting turn 1 during FP2.
Fan-favorite Daniel Ricciardo running his number 3 Red Bull Racing machine through turns 12 and 13.
Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso running his McLaren through turns 12 and 13 during the rain-soaked FP1.
Sergey Sirotkin's number 35 Williams Martini Racing exiting turn 1 during an even more water-soaked track in FP2.
Sebastian Vettel at turn 10 during Saturday afternoon's qualifying session.
Due to the extraordinarily low ground clearance, it is common for sparks to fly from underneath the cars as they run over any track imperfections.
Charles LeClerc in his parade transportation.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during the pre-race drivers' parade.
The University of Texas Longhorn Show Band performing on track prior to the race.
McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Force India's Esteban Ocon during the pre-race drivers' parade.
Lance Stroll opted for some Texas appropriate headwear for the festivities.
Prior to the start of FP3, the team performs several repetitions of pit stop practice by rolling the car into the pit box and performing different tasks like changing the tires. This practice is what helps them do pitstops in under three seconds on a regular basis.
Kimi Raikonnen between turns 5 and 6 during qualifying.
Haas F1's other driver, Kevin Magnussen, flying past turn 19 during FP1.
Pierre Gasly's number 10 Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda flying up the hill into turn 1 during FP2.
Kimi Raikonnen giving a thumbs up to the crowd after securing his first race win in 113 races, and first since rejoining Ferrari in 2014.
Max Verstappen's team enjoying an unexpected second-place finish for the 2018 USGP.
Max Verstappen celebrates with his team after a stellar drive from 18th to 2nd, something extremely rare in Formula 1.
Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen celebrates his second-place finish.
Max Verstappen turned 21 just before the race, finally allowing him to actually drink the champaign on the podium at a U.S. race.
Podium group photo.
Media, teams, and fans crowd the podium ceremony.

October 27, 2017

2017 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix for Texas Highways

I once again had the opportunity to shoot the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas for my colleagues at Texas Highways magazine, and I wasn't going to miss it. For the most part, Austin was once again blessed with tremendous weather for the most important parts of the weekend. And while I think there were issues with my credentials, thus not being able to also cover the Justin Timberlake and Stevie Wonder concerts, it was still a really great race on the track, which of course is really the whole point. Below is a smaller subset of images from the weekend, for the full gallery please visit the photo essay over at Texas Highways.

Prints & Canvas

Matt Wetzler is an editorial, motorsport, portrait, and destination wedding photographer based in Whitefish, Montana.

Copyright ©Matthew Wetzler 2008–2024