2012 Rome Grand Prix circuit revealed

Gianni Alemanno – the mayor of Rome – will be hoping that Ferrari’s threat to pull out of F1 is a bluffing exercise.

This is the street circuit in Rome which is at the centre of Alemanno’s hopes to hold a Grand Prix from 2012.

Update: See below for new track map and more details unearthed in the comments.

Update 2: Now there’s an official website as well. See here for more: Rome Grand Prix track video lap

Vit unearthed the story in the Italian papers and translated the following details:

  • Ecclestone gave his OK and will help Rome to “realise their dream”
  • First it was intended to use more of the Cristoforo Colombo street, but after Hermann Tilke?s visit this project was changed and new track was mapped.
  • Track: start on Tre Fontane street (where paddock would be build using rugby fields), left turn to Val Fiorita street going uphill to Colosseo Quadrato (Mussolini time monument), turn to the Civit?? del Lavoro street with a chicane on Agricultura square, right turn to Cristoforo Colombo street and up to Marconi square, U-turn at Marconi square around the obelisk at the widest radius (there is still a possibility that this turn will be further on Colombo around Palalotto building so that cars will pass the bridge over the lake), after turn back in direction of City centre on Colombo, right turn at Industria square, downhill to the left to Luneur park, left turn to the start/finish line.

What surprises me about the circuit is how simple it looks – it has far fewer corners than recent additions to the calendar, like Singapore. That’s no bad thing – I’m all for more variety in circuit designs.

Presumably the long, sweeping first turn could be taken flat out, making turn two a viable overtaking opportunity. And the long, looping

Here’s some pictures of the area courtesy of Google Streetview:

First turn

First turn

Second turn

Second turn

Hairpin at the monument

Hairpin at the monument

Final turn

Final turn

Will F1 end up racing at Rome in three years’ time? Many European Grand Prix promoters are struggling with high race fees and low attendance. But if there’s any country that can pack an F1 race, it’s Italy.

Providing Ferrari stick around.

Big thanks to Vit for the tip and for the scan of the original article which you can find on the F1 Fanatic drop.io

Update: Guido in the comments posted this map described in a different story which looks much closer to what we’d expect from an F1 circuit:

Also see the press release posted by HounslowBusGarage. Thanks for the comments guys!

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86 comments on 2012 Rome Grand Prix circuit revealed

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  1. Heckie said on 13th May 2009, 22:37

    noooooooooooo. this looks rubbish

  2. Scott Joslin said on 13th May 2009, 22:47

    My gut feel when I saw the layout was “isn’t this a track from Gran Tourism 3?”

    I just wonder which track will be dropped for it?

  3. Robert McKay said on 13th May 2009, 22:48

    There’s a spoon-like extension which looks suspiciously roundabout-like.

    If Formula 1 ever has a track that employs a roundabout, then we’ll have to cancel the whole sport, I know that for a FACT.

    Overall, looks like they knocked this one up in half an hour, forty minutes tops.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th May 2009, 23:21

      Like Halfords’ turn at the Birmingham Superprix course? (@2.19)

    • Funny how much our current year F1 cars look like those F3000’s…

      I don’t think racing into the roundabout is what’s wrong with it, it’s the five-turns-and-nothing-doing design like the thing Tilke rubber-stamped in… Bucharest was it?

  4. I agree with the folks that dislike it, though at a glance it’s nice in principle, in practice it looks like there’s nothing happening except an unnecessarily sharp hairpin around a monument which will be in danger of getting defaced by car debris.

  5. Andrew White said on 13th May 2009, 23:03

    What happens at turn four where the circuit appears to go through a tree? I looked at Google Streetview and it appears to be a quite steep mound with some trees on it…

  6. mkh1 said on 13th May 2009, 23:09

    I hope Bernie’s not thinking of making this the site for the Italian GP. Monza should never be replaced, it is one of the great tracks on the calander along with Monaco and Spa.

  7. von said on 13th May 2009, 23:25

    hmmm… i kinda like the idea of a roundabout in an F1 circuit ;D
    But judging from what we can see now… it looks like we might end up with yet another no-overtaking-as-longs-as-everyone-has-4-wheels circuit like Valencia or Singapore :( At least we might hope Italians will do something crazy with it (a few turns on cobbles? ;D)
    btw, what is it going to be called ? Since Imola was always San Marino GP and I assume Monza is going to stay on the F1 calendar as Italian GP… It looks like a Vatican GP coming up :P Maybe the Pope would consider sponsorship? :)

    • It would have to go through St. Peter’s Square, and I’d be all for it.

      I think the plan is that there’d be no more Monza. :(

  8. Nick said on 13th May 2009, 23:27

    how about just put canada & us back??

    bernie has lost it….singapore, bahrain, turkey, fuji, valencia…are all recent additions which are lame.

  9. James_mc said on 13th May 2009, 23:35

    Tree Corner (as it will eternally be known now!) looks like it could be steep!

  10. Steve_P said on 13th May 2009, 23:38

    So, Hermann Tilke is helping with this project? Does he have some special deal with Bernie or something? How did he come to get such a monopoly on F1 track design?

  11. HounslowBusGarage said on 13th May 2009, 23:40

    What a vile excuse for a circuit.
    It certainly can’t be called the Rome Grand Prix – it would be like holding a race in Croydon and calling it London!
    The roads here are quite unsuitable for a street circuit without totally re-laying them just before the racing – imagine lorry shaped ‘tramlines’ about twenty mm deep!
    Let’s go back to Las Vegas, Phoenix and Detroit all in one. They will all be better than this!

    • Alex Bkk said on 14th May 2009, 0:00

      “Let’s go back to Las Vegas, Phoenix and Detroit all in one. They will all be better than this!”

      HousnslowBusGarage…That was the very first thought that crossed my mine when I saw the track.

  12. Meh. Looks kind of bland. Maybe if it ran through that ‘S’ shaped section of the park at the top left corner, it might hold a little more appeal. But who wants a track full of slow right handers, a big 180 degree turn and two long straights joined by a swooping corner?

  13. Ronan said on 13th May 2009, 23:47

    Bland bland bland. Reminds me of the Ceasers Palace circuit. The glamour and history of the city count for nothing if the track is a bunch of bland 90 degree corners away from the famous landmarks.

  14. Bas said on 13th May 2009, 23:56

    Firstly, after T2 the course leaves the road to drive straigth up some stairs towards the Colosso Quadrato. Shurely that cannot be part of the plan…

    shouldnt it be clockwise rather than counterclockwise?
    the sweeping lefthander following start/finish is waaaay too fast with the straight before it and no runoff – its begging for another senna/tamburello scenario. Also theres no runoff at the right turn into the Via Cristoforo Colombo, nor at the left turn into the Viale della Industria.
    Change the track from counterclockwise to clockwise and suddenly theres no runoff problems at all. First turn is no last turn, entry speed is slwoer due to the shorter straight preceding it and there is now a possibility of squeezing in a small left-right-stretch-right-left bus stop chicane, without shortening the tracks only straight too much.
    Tilke is no idiot: he definitely looked for runoff. Trust me, ive seen up close how the track layout plans evolved in Singapore. There the speculating press initially got the racing direction messed up too, and the initial plans they showed changed significantly in the final version.

    that pond is to Rome what fountain of wealth was to s’pore, they really want it, but its not feasible: it’ll make the track more than 2km longer and theres no runoff nor space for a chicane in those sweeping left and right corners in between the bridges and the Via C.Colombo both directions.

    But they would still need it.

    Regardless of all the above, it simply wont happen in this layout. its less than 3.5km, and with that little corners laptimes would be well under a minute and traffic reminiscent of ordinary Rome rush hour.
    Its also quite narrow; S’pore is really narrow at Anderson Bridge, but 4 lanes for most of the remainder. This track is 3 or 2 lanes for half of its course.

    So let the press get back to the drawing board and come up with another ‘plan’ based on the little leaked info they have. Or let us just wait till a real presentation comes out of Rome with Bernie present.

    On a personal note, i really wouldnt like to see all of Musso’s excessive sugarpie buildings and monuments, theyre plain ugly in fact.

  15. mp4-19's world of nonsense said on 14th May 2009, 0:05

    looks crap. Can i say crap?

    • ValveGuy said on 14th May 2009, 2:32

      You can call it crap.

    • mp4-19 said on 14th May 2009, 4:40

      “mp4-19’s world of nonsense”

      what does mthat mean?? & i have a fair idea of who you are.

    • mp4-19 said on 14th May 2009, 4:56

      most uninspiring track i’ve ever come across. we mustn’t have a race in rome just for the sake of having it. i dont know whats so exciting about this track. i dont think it has any elevation changes. its look like a rough sketch. i dont like it. rome is an ancient & holy city. we must not deface it.

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