2012 Rome Grand Prix circuit revealed

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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!

86 comments on “2012 Rome Grand Prix circuit revealed”

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3 4
  1. Spoiler: Imola is a terrible circuit.

    1. Agreed !

  2. 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.

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

    was it a school project for kids to send in?

  4. Prisoner Monkeys
    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.

  5. Prisoner Monkeys
    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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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…

  6. 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????

  7. 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.

  8. 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! :-)

    1. Yes and they would have to race to the song “self preservation society” lol

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

  10. 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.

  11. Who wouldn’t have this over Valencia?

    As long as it doesn’t replace Monza and other traditional circuits, I think that this design is worth an addition. It’s got a very good point for overtaking and by the looks of it, cars wouldn’t require a steep aerodynamic setup, which will undoubtedly help in overtaking.

  12. It looks like an old, classic circuit from the 50’s/60’s. Short, simple, and punchy. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen. But surely if you’re going to have a Roman Grand Prix, you’d want the circuit to be, you know, in Rome, with the Colosseum, the fountains, and the parks, rather than an edge-of-town industrial estate.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      14th May 2009, 10:53

      Actually, the EUR district (Esposizione Universale Roma) where the circuit is located was designed by Mussolini to celebrate twenty years of fascism (sounds right up Bernie and Max’s alley) in a planned expo that never came about, owing to World War II. There’s actually quite a few lesser-known landmarks in the area, including the Obelisk, the “Square Colleseum” and a giant sports dome. Just because Formula One is in a famous city, it doesn’t mean it should be obligated to visit all the landmarks. If you do that, you’re really limiting yourself as to where the circuit could go.

    2. This is also the argument against a City Of London GP – the tourist board and the money-makers would love to have a race round the famous landmarks, but the cost of closing busy shopping streets and making them safe takes too long (Monaco takes 3 weeks) and would cost too much to be practicle – especially since Bernie would take all the revenue too…..

    3. Prisoner Monkeys
      14th May 2009, 14:33

      That’s a very common misconception. The money from hosting a race doesn’t go straight into Bernie’s coffers. Some of it does, but most of it would go towards FOM so that they can function. They need to get their money from somewhere, and that somewhere is the hosting of comercial rights to Grands Prix.

    4. Maybe this will be a chance for people to understand that Rome is not only the Coliseum, or Piazza di Spagna, but also places like Eur.

  13. Like Halfords’ turn at the Birmingham Superprix course?

    For the locals in Birmingham it’s not a roundabout but an ‘island’. My wife’s from there and it was a bit confusing when you first get directions about going round the island!

    Nothing wrong with using street circuits as long as there are wide turns. It’s the bottleneck part of the Birmingham Superprix course that caused an issue when 1 car turned side-on blocking the course.

    I quite like the initial look of the Rome course. It would be interesting to see how much elevation change you get in it.

    However, losing Monza for it would be difficult to bear. I can never see anyone making another Monza like track. After losing the old Hockenheim, Monza is the only pure speed track left.

    1. well you would get elevation change, excessive elevation change that is at ‘Tree Corner’. Its just too steep, no space for a smooth upcurve… FIA would not certify this track with probability abounding to certainty because of just that.

  14. I hoped the track will actually pass through Historical Rome, but it is nowhere near :-( With this location and surroundings it could be any city :-( Shame

  15. **** this trash. I want Monza!

  16. I hoped the track will actually pass through Historical Rome, but it is nowhere near :-( With this location and surroundings it could be any city :-( Shame

    Surely the roads there would be too narrow with no chance of any grandstands or pit complex being built. But then maybe Bernie could get a Vatican GP if you wanted a bit more character in the surrounding buildings?

    1. yes, the pits would be a problem, but not the roads. there are quite some wide roads there, along the river and the boulevards.

      The Vatican GP is also an interesting idea :-) Just imagine the trophy and who will be handing it :-)

  17. Robert McKay
    14th May 2009, 13:41

    To be honest, I don’t think it’s got enough corners for a modern Grand Prix track.

    I don’t say that in a “we need to add in some entirely pointless switchbacks and chicanes” way – I actually like the fact that, although its rather bland looking, at least its not bland and overdesigned (as others have said, looks a bit American streetrace circa 1986) – but in simple terms of what tracks actually seem to appear on the calendar, I suspect this track would get some extra fiddly sections added on.

  18. A strange layout, but like Keith said, variety is good.

    I definitely think they should travel further south down Cristoforo Colombo though, across the river, around that large round building (it says ‘Pala Lottomatica’ there on the map) and back across the river.

  19. There’s more chance of me being WDC in 2012 than there is this circuit coming to fruition..

  20. NOOOO !!
    The map you displayed is not the right one !
    Here you’ll find the correct map, presented today
    It has many more bends, no less than 26-28, depending on the way you count the. nevertheless, it has long straights and the varage lap speed has benn calulated at 177 kmph


    1. Nice spot Guido! Have added the map above…

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.