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

  1. Kovy said on 14th May 2009, 0:07

    I actually kind of like the design, so long as we keep Monza.

  2. Paul said on 14th May 2009, 0:18

    No one knows what this track will race like, even given the assumption that this project sees the light of day.

  3. TommyB said on 14th May 2009, 0:30

    People moan about all the circuits being all the same. This one finally looks a bit different and people still moan. I don’t want it to replace Monza but this looks good

  4. Choltz said on 14th May 2009, 1:14

    Driving in this box doesn’t seem like it would be fun to drive or watch.

    There are much better old tracks like Imola and new tracks like Algarve that should be considered over Rome when it comes down to racing, but money talks. I just wish BE could find a balance between making money and keeping the races as races, and not shows…. if that makes any sense! :)

  5. m0tion said on 14th May 2009, 2:17

    I kind of like it but think they should extend it behind the sports fields making the best feature of it into a long sweeping S bend instead of a single high speed curve. I also like the U turn around the obelisk.

  6. Paul said on 14th May 2009, 2:21

    Spoiler: Imola is a terrible circuit.

  7. Gman said on 14th May 2009, 2:28

    I’m not against Italy having two races, but this is not the best of ideas…

    At the moment, we have too many races in places the sport really dosen’t have a strong focus in. At the same time, the future of the British and German GPs are in danger, while there is no race in the United States, Canada, and France. In my opinion, Bernie and company should be more focused on getting those races back than starting up this project.

    I’ve never been to Rome, so I can’t offer any commentary on the surroundings, but I would still say go back to Imola if F1 is looking for a second Italian date. To me, this project seems to be another concept where the Tifosi pack the stands and the normally-dominant Ferrari boys romp to victory on another hard-to-pass-on street circuit.

    Not the best deal.

  8. todd said on 14th May 2009, 3:37

    eerrr that looks like the most boring and un-inventive track ever.

    was it a school project for kids to send in?

  9. Prisoner Monkeys said on 14th May 2009, 4:22

    I don’t mind it. It looks pretty compact at the basic view, but a lot of it is going to depend on how wide and how long the circuit is.

  10. Prisoner Monkeys said on 14th May 2009, 6:57

    I have an observaton to make. Every time a new circuit is unveiled, a lot of people immediatedly pounce on it as being representative of the sport’s flaws. But NOWHERE does anyone EVER suggest an alternative, or how the circuits can be improved. I think that for what he has to work with – namely the influence of local geography on what can and cannot be done with a circuit – Hermann Tilke actually does a pretty decent job.

    The only change I’d make to this circuit is the hairpin: I’d run the course down over the bridge and have the cars loop the big rotunda thing. That way, the curren hairpin could be reconfigured as a high-speed chicane, and if it were done correctly, designed as the kind of corner where you can take flat out and have fresh rubber but have to back off if you’ve been going for a while, it could actually be a pretty awesome corner, a kind of Eau-Rouge-meets-Becketts/Maggotts/Chapel-in-a-city with even less amrgin for error than those corners normally allow.

    • Bas said on 14th May 2009, 14:55

      Im flaming this track because it quite obviously is not a serious plan – theres all of these basic mistakes in it – its something that the press have drawn up based on what theyve heard (was leaked).

      suggesting improvements to an f1 track is no easy thing, since designing one is a hugely complicated job, and there is much more to conisder thna just nice corners, runoff areas and a pit building: theres logistics, disaster evacuation, the land it is built on, local regulations, etc etc.
      Im happy with most peoplpe not suggesting any improvements: most wouldnt be capable of producing anything better and it would be irrelevant anyway unless theyd send it to Tilke and not post it here. But if you want me to have a go at it, feel free to ask me and ill have a go at it over the weekend.

    • Bas said on 14th May 2009, 15:11

      that hispeed chicane cannot be a hispeed chicane since theres no runoff. overwater bridges sun into the same issue.

      Tilke tracks are not so exciting because theyre often on flat land – where the organizer buys a nice square poststampp of land near some metro area airport, to get lots of townsfolks and tourists. often its a former swamp (malaysia/China) or Persian Gulf south coast location (Bahrein/Abu Dhabi). Former swamps innately have no elevation, and building it would be unfeasibly costly, and persian gulf cost location have every little elevation… the bit they have is loose sand, and if you build a track on it, the sand will just blow away from underneath…
      So the main issue with bad tracks is with the organizers who want the wrong location in the first place. And with bernie listening to FOA’s (CVC’s) wallet…

  11. scunnyman said on 14th May 2009, 7:51

    As for the track in Rome, I think it might work. They’ll have to smooth the edges a bit and looks like we might get something resembling the bus stop chicane from spa (when it was a good bus stop).

    I agree with others that it should not take away from Monza. but some other crappier circuits yeh. Barcelona maybe????

  12. PJA said on 14th May 2009, 8:50

    With all the 90 degree corners the layout does look a bit odd, I am all for variety of circuits as long as they provide good races.

    With so many new countries wanting a Grand Prix and F1 already not going to places like Canada, USA and France then I don’t believe any country should have two Grand Prix even if they end up calling it something like The Mediterranean Grand Prix. If there are two good circuits in one country wanting to host a race, then I think they should alternate like the German and Japanese Grand Prix currently do.

    As F1 already has an Italian Grand Prix at Monza I hope a Rome Grand Prix doesn’t happen, especially as the high speed low down force Monza will be more unique circuit on the calendar than another street circuit.

    The decision will of course come down to how much Bernie will make from it, and he has voiced a preference for races around major cities as he thinks they are more glamorous, ignoring how good the race would by.

  13. DGR-F1 said on 14th May 2009, 8:58

    Very nice, but why?
    It would be more interesting to use the route used by the Mini Coopers in ‘The Italian Job’ – stairs and all! :-)

  14. John H said on 14th May 2009, 9:22

    Terrible… but it’s still better than Valencia. :)

  15. Luca said on 14th May 2009, 9:25

    I live in Rome and i think this circuit could be a good one.. i liked more the one used for Ferrari’s 50th anniversary (Circo Massimo) but anyway there is enough space to make some improvements.

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