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If I had to stereotype people, based on vehicle they own , I would describe Lotus owner as open-minded. I'd like to share a very unique experience from Austin GP and maybe find some kind of logical answer. If you approached me on Sat and asked if I'll be in Austin in 2013 , I would have said absolutely , but the answer to same question on Monday, after one of the most memorable weekends, would have been much different.

I could talk about beer selection that was quickly limited to domestic brands, and on Sunday you had to walk through different stands just to find Guinness. But Miller lite hit just the right spot on warm Texas day. Could talk about waiting in line for bratwurst and after I paid, was given hoagie bun and told now I have to wait in sausage line, which was twice longer that the one I spend 45 min in. We could talk about more serious issues, like Grand stand T12 rocked from left to right when 20 thousand people got up at same time for US anthem. Quite a few people standing around us freaked out , I would lie if I said it didn't bother me, I don't think you have to look far to find videos of these temporary stands collapsing . However, I was so amassed and impressed with what was build in a bit over a year. COTA organizers have done a wonderful job . It is without a doubt the most beautiful track I have visited. Im sure all these minor things can be easily taken care of for next GP event . What I would like to talk is something that absolutely shocked me ,and I don't thing can be changed.
I was looking forward to this trip ever it was put on F1 calendar. Never been to Texas , always said Ill bring cowboy hat as souvenir. I thought for sure you'll be able to buy them at track, maybe even with different team colors. I was wrong there were none. So on Sat we bought 2 Ferrari yellow decals found store near Austin that had large selection of hats and bought 2 . Picked up a red spray can at Wallmart and painted them red in the middle of the night in hotel parking lot. Yes we got ourselves 2 Ferrari cowboy hats. We were curious how people going to react. Sunday morning, after $60 parking fee in dirt field , we were still standing at car when for the first time I heard question "where did you buy these hats ". Question that Ill hear at least 100 times that day . When we got to main entrance people where already telling us what cool hats .... It worked, feedback is good . Through out whole day we been asked to pose for pictures or take pictures with them.After we say we made hats , we heard so many reply "im bringing one for next year ". During GT3 race , Ferrari club of America photographer tracked us in grand stand asked if he could take picture to put it in magazine , he never seen anything like that. Walking through crowd I can see people pointing at us giving thumbs up . Ferrari cowboys, where you bought hats ..... During lunch we went to main building. We had people knocking on second floor windows, to grab our attention and give thumbs up. All sudden these F1 photographers come out of first floor rushing towards us to ask if they can take pictures . Sure . they end up taking us to side .Stand this way , smile , look to the left ...I could see group of people gathering to see what this is all about . We felt like rock stars . Out of 120k people we the only ones came up with it .and everybody loves it ???

Not everybody. there is second part to this story, part that started in store where we bought hats. I was very surprised that in small souvenir store on side of road you could buy hats raging from $50 to $899. there was a steam machine that they used to tailor hats . the angle in front how much it curves . I thought it was absolutely amazing. Very nice older lady was done with my friends hat and working on mine. When my friend asked if ban that goes around base is glued or stitched on. she tried to explain that on cheaper ones its glued on .Great it s easy to remove , why would you remove it , we gonna paint them red, Ferrari color . Her demeanor immediately changed and in fairly angry voice she says Don't be making fun of Texas . I told her we not making fun of anybody, Texas is hosting one of the biggest sporting events in the world , we just adding a little bit Texas flavor to F1. I dont think it made any difference what I said .Damage was already done. I realized that people are serious about the hats , but how serious I will only find out next day. To every ten or so thums up and high fives there was angry comment some people would wait till you walk by some will say to make sure you heard them .It ranged from o lordy , they must be from different country, how dare they, one guy was right in front of me looking in my eyes "f...ing foreigners". After I told one woman that Im from Atlanta ,she replied "I bet you like those fruity drinks" It took me a few sec to figure that one out . I guess its a politically correct way of calling someone a f...t . I have noticed some were asking us where we are from just to find out who dared to do such atrocity. I started telling Im from Lithuania. That's where I'm originally from. After Lunch we got back to grand stands it got even worse. As soon as we walked out of staircase I could hear several people near our seats say O My God . This cool couple that we were hanging out all Saturday, going to get beer , rooting for different race cars , had really good time ,wouldn't even talk to us. We exchanged only few words throughout race. Not even 10 min after we got in to stands guy one row below, couple people to my left ,turns around shouts "this guy right here" and pushes me , It was on . I think the only reason it didn't get to full fist fight ,neither one of us could hear each other because race cars . Allegedly his wife said someone kneed her in the back . His wife wasn't even sitting in front of me , she was sitting to my left on a lower row. His wife didn't even turn around to look at me. She knew what's up , her redneck husband was trying to show of in front of his friends. Woman to my left got bit freaked out , started apologizing to me and rednecks wife , she said maybe she hit her in back , but she would have felt doing it .... She didn't get it cause she wasn't local .......

I left Texas in disbelieve. Other than few minor blemishes COTA was absolutely ready for F1 and it showed it to the world. I guess Question that Im trying to ask is having a red cowboy hat with a Ferrari decal in GP venue is so frikin insulting or a lot of Texas people are way less ready for F1 and all cultural diversity that it brings with it.
My flight was delayed I was looking through all the pictures that I took that day and laughed . I remembered different events of the day and could clearly see why F1 never conquered Nascar country , Its simply 2 different worlds , that shouldn't be mixed together, and if you do ,you"ll make them both sufer, it has nothing to do with racing . I could see a year or two years from now tourist walking with McLaren ,Red bull and Ferrari cowboy hats and local people will absolutely hate it, the reason it was funny it took $400 mil track 2 $50 dollar cowboy hats and spray can to figure it out .
P.S. Photo , so you have an idea about outfit. Please don't give me too much crap about Ferrari outfit . I own Lotus too. :)
 

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Welcome to the world brah! I was there and found the locals to be very friendly and welcoming. But you will always find a few who are intolerant of difference. I've been to Lithuania and found it to be a very racist place, worse than what you described. It happens everywhere.

I suggest you be a little thicker skinned if you plan to live on planet Earth. Just remember an awesome weekend with a tremendous qualifying and a great race.

PS, The hat looks good.
 

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I was pretty surprised they decided on Austin, TX of all places to build a F1 track. Would have been better to have it on the west or east coast (and by east, I mean north east). Basically should avoid all the redneck, "good ol boy" states. They don't understand F1 (nor the fans), all those curves and turns confuse them.
 

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I always tell my kids, be aware of your environment and find a way to fit it. If you stand out in the wrong place at the wrong time you may regret it.

It's Texas man. They do what they want, when they want, how they want. I have a number of friends who live in Texas, great place, love the people. But just like where I live (NJ) gotta be cool about what you do.

F1 has always been one of my favorite motorsports since I was a teenager (went to Watkins Glen many times to see the Grand Prix races, yes.....I am that old). These days you can't get anywhere near the cars, drivers, pit crew, etc. I stay home and watch on TV.

How The Circuit of Americas will make money I do not know. The return on a $400 million investment needs to be regular and some big numbers. One F1 event a year doesn't make it.

I hope it is successful and I wish the people of Austin Texas all the best on this. And yes, I do like Texan's.......they are different people and that is what makes this world such a great place.

Oh, buy the way, I like the hat (even though I'm not a Ferrari fan). Great idea! Imagine the comments if you did a Lotus theme on a cowboy hat.......
 

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I live, work and was born in Austin. If you go downtown and hang out for a day, odds are you will not see a cowboy hat. I own a ranch outside of town and I don't have a cowboy hat however the race course is located in a hick infested part of Austin that also looks at me like I am some kind of alien. There are bad parts in all towns so don't stereotype Austin based on an experience in South East Austin.
 

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I was pretty surprised they decided on Austin, TX of all places to build a F1 track. Would have been better to have it on the west or east coast (and by east, I mean north east). Basically should avoid all the redneck, "good ol boy" states. They don't understand F1 (nor the fans), all those curves and turns confuse them.
I suppose it has to do with the fact that business-friendly Red state of Texas manned-up to build a facility. The coastal states are so busy drowning in debt of their entitlements and urge to restrict free business rather than work with them.

To the OP, I think the answer is clear to your predicament. You go to cowboy country, they are gonna be Red-BULL fans! :p Hat looks good!

Happy Thanksgiving all! I am thankful there is an F1 race this weekend!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I live in Atlanta, its by far the most liberal city in South East , but you drive 45 min outside and its whole different world. I loved Austin, downtown bars , the whole atmosphere , we drove to San Antonio , checked out Alamo , riverwalk , I loved the whole weekend experience.
And yes I seen maybe a handful people that were wearing cowboy hats on streets. So it was defenatelly unexpected that people took offense to it when they seen us at track. After i told story to some of my friends they were asking why , is it the color or the Ferrari sticker, I have no idea.
Im not trying to stereotype ,I'm just trying to understand why one would find it offensive to begin with.
Seeing this difference in peoples reactions made Sunday that much more interesting.
 

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You didn't later swap the pants in the posted pic to a*sless chaps, did you?
Kidding of course.
Too bad about the negative feedback. I thought the red Ferrari cowboy hat it was a great idea!
I wonder what those same people thought about the podium hats. Yeesh!
 

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The podium was wearing Pirelli cowboy hats. The whole experience sounds kind of bizarre because people from Austin typically leave others alone. Maybe they were out of state and thought you were from Austin but hopefully you come back because the race was a success in so many other ways.
 

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I live in Atlanta, its by far the most liberal city in South East , but you drive 45 min outside and its whole different world. I loved Austin, downtown bars , the whole atmosphere , we drove to San Antonio , checked out Alamo , riverwalk , I loved the whole weekend experience.
And yes I seen maybe a handful people that were wearing cowboy hats on streets. So it was defenatelly unexpected that people took offense to it when they seen us at track. After i told story to some of my friends they were asking why , is it the color or the Ferrari sticker, I have no idea.
Im not trying to stereotype ,I'm just trying to understand why one would find it offensive to begin with.
Seeing this difference in peoples reactions made Sunday that much more interesting.
Dapcius, I can't believe ANYONE would take offense to your Ferrari cowboy hats. Are you kidding? I think they're a great idea and absolutely love the idea. Make sure you go back next year and do the same thing. It was very inventive and humorous.

That's a good point that was brought up about the Pirelli cowboy hats that the race winners wore. What did these same idiots take offense to that, too?

If I was there when they started mouthing off to you I definitely would have told them to shut the $#^% up. I think they're just jealous because your Lithuanian women are so exceptional.

I hope to see you at the GP next year. I'll look for the hats.
 

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Next time dress more appropriately.....
 

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I have to say, I do find this a bit odd. Anyone that has been to multiple cities in Texas will tell you that Austin is the antithesis of the typical Texan stereotype. It actually, in many ways is probably closer to Silicon valley. It has a large tech industry base, an upper middle income average demographic, and a large young adult base given the University's strong presence. Lastly, it has by far one of the coolest music and night life scenes outside of many of the more common metro areas like NYC, LA, etc.

I think you just bumped into a few bad apples. I say give it another chance next year and if it happens again, just go "Texas" on them.
 

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I have to say, I do find this a bit odd. Anyone that has been to multiple cities in Texas will tell you that Austin is the antithesis of the typical Texan stereotype. It actually, in many ways is probably closer to Silicon valley. It has an large tech industry base, a upper middle income average demographic, and a large young adult base given the University's strong presence. Lastly, it has by far one of the coolest music and night life scenes outside of many of the more common metro areas like NYC, LA, etc.

I think you just bumped into a few bad apples. I say give it another chance next year and if it happens again, just go "Texas" on them.
Exactly. There were literally tens of thousands of people there that day. It wouldn't have been that hard to run across just a few bad apples. I say we all wear Lotus F1 Team cowboy hats next year and attend as a group. You know, kinda like the "strength in numbers" type of thing.
 

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If you had on a green Lotus cowboy hat, no one would have said anything. Austin is a Lotus town. We don't like those fancy Ferrari folks.
 

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If you had on a green Lotus cowboy hat, no one would have said anything. Austin is a Lotus town. We don't like those fancy Ferrari folks.
Ahhhhhh! So that explains why this incident happened!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That's a good point that was brought up about the Pirelli cowboy hats that the race winners wore. What did these same idiots take offense to that, too?

If I was there when they started mouthing off to you I definitely would have told them to shut the $#^% up. I think they're just jealous because your Lithuanian women are so exceptional.

I hope to see you at the GP next year. I'll look for the hats.
Thank you guys. I knew i will find moral support over here.:bow: Id like to specify by local I did not mean from Austin, its more mentality thing than location .
And yes i probably will be Austin next year its a helluva track and event .
 

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Wow. That's crazy. I saw either you or your friend at COTA and your Ferrari cowboy hat made me smile. I'm sorry it seems your luck was bad and you were surrounded by idiots.
 

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Here is a theory: That part of Texas is still considered bible belt. I think the RED hat made them think of Satan or the devil or something like that. They perhaps viewed it as "an abomination of all that IS cowboy." It definitely breaks the tradition of either white (good guy) or black (bad guy) cowboy hats.
I think a truly [email protected]$$ hat would be one that is black, but has a gold band and ACBC emblem on the front. In fact, I would wear that (and I'm no hick). Type 72D style.
I lived in San Antonio for 4 years, and there are definitely places there and in Austin that are backwoods. There are also very lovely places with great people to match.
Sorry you had some ignorant individuals speak to show you just how ignorant they are. This happens all over the world.
I hope that they DO make that track profitable, because I plan on flying there every year for the F1 race (I'm bummed I couldn't make this year, but I'm stuck in Afghanistan).
 
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