Scott and Jarod photo

2015 F1 Washout. Mud and Mechanics.

Turn off traction control and slip on your rubber boots because you’ll need some tenacity to traverse the COTA parking lots and grounds. It was a mess! Pacific hurricanes rarely effect Texas weather, but this year is the exception. Torrential rain is forecast for Saturday and if Friday was any indicator, the crowd might need to bring a life boat.

The parking lots are all but marshlands and bayous. The mud is like quicksand for ties. My poor little ATS almost had to be rescued, but some quick thinking got it out of the mud and back on the side-road.

So after braving the elements and arriving at our SkyBox, we walked into a huge mess! Garbage was strewn throughout the floor, tables and chairs were overturned and water was everywhere. Because of the storms, the food had been taken away, the vendors had closed their doors, and the crowd had all but disappeared. When the storms finally passed, the track actually dried out a little. It was dry enough for the Porsche qualifying race and the original F1 cars to get out on the track. It was fun to watch, but under less than ideal circumstances.

Unfortunately, bad planning added to the mess. When I went to purchase some food (since the box food was gone), I was told that the kitchen {Thirty Four Chophouse} was out of chicken fingers (after I paid for them). How do you run out of chicken fingers when you’ve  supposedly prepped for a huge crowd? I’m still scratching my head on that one. They tried to save face by offering two hot dogs as an accommodation. Hardly comparable, but a noble offer nonetheless. Since I was cold, wet, and hungry, I took the bait.

Without the crowds, hustle, and fanfare, the event seemed lifeless. The rain will continue, so F1 2015 will likely be a wash out. It is unfortunate, but that’s just Texas weather for you.


race car Picture of fountain Cars racing COTA map fa car on track

Scott Ballew, a long-time Austin resident who now lives in Texas' Rio Grande Valley. Scott works in publishing and his personal life is focused on supporting arts and charitable fundraising.