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. Xibi said on 14th May 2009, 10:11

    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.

  2. ajokay said on 14th May 2009, 10:12

    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.

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 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.

    • DGR-F1 said on 14th May 2009, 13:24

      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…..

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 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.

    • Steve said on 4th January 2011, 12:12

      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.

  3. Chalky said on 14th May 2009, 10:26

    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.

    • Bas said on 14th May 2009, 15:01

      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.

  4. ukk said on 14th May 2009, 11:59

    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

  5. YeaMon said on 14th May 2009, 13:37

    **** this trash. I want Monza!

  6. Chalky said on 14th May 2009, 13:40

    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?

    • ukk said on 14th May 2009, 14:27

      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 :-)

  7. Robert McKay said on 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.

  8. 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.

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

  10. guido said on 14th May 2009, 17:09

    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


  11. BrokenBaculum said on 14th May 2009, 20:15

    I like it, but not at loss of Monza. If only the European GP could be alternated, between Valencia, Silverstone, Nurburgring and this circuit, instead of filling a new slot.

    If that were the case, it’d be good.

  12. HounslowBusGarage said on 14th May 2009, 20:49

    Well, if the *right* circuit is the one presented by Guido, this is what Il Messagero has to say about it

    ROME (May 14) – “The candidature of Rome as the seat of a Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2012 is no longer a dream but a real possibility.” Said Mayor Gianni Alemanno, during the presentation in the Capitol of the study of pre-automobile travel, thus launching “a project on which the town of Rome depends/balances”.

    The plan has synergy with the Province and Region. “From now on a central part of the constitution of the Promoter” said Alemanno “must involve everyone, Province, Region, social, economic and political, to make sure that Rome can move forward and attain this application in competition with major cities.” A core issue is the strong competition from other world capitals such as Paris, London and Beijing, which have also made a proposal to host a Grand Prix of Formula 1. “They are all rival cities, but we believe that the scenario that Rome would offer to build a Grand Prix (track) is unique in the world.”

    Investment of Euro 160 million. The track of the future Gp di Roma will be more than four kilometres long in the northern part of the district of Eur, passing around the Palace of Congress and the Palace of Industry. According to the draft prepared by the City pre-investment in organizational terms amount to about 160 million euros, while the jobs that could be created are 10,000, with over one billion euros a year of economic impact on the national territory. The impact on tourism would be 324 thousand tourists more for a total of over one million and 300 thousand visits with tourists from 18 countries and 33 months of promotion on the web.

    The circuit of the Grand Prix which will be 4,669 meters long and which will be lapped in a time of one minute and 34 seconds at an average speed lap estimated at 177 km / h. It will not affect the Cristoforo Colombo and even Laurentina but will be the route in the north dell’Eur affecting viale dell’Arte, Viale delle Tre Fontane and Via di Val Fiorita. The course has been announced by the President of Fg and Group President of Federlazio, Maurizio Flammini, founder and promoter of the project.

    Flammini the district lends itself “because of the width of the roads, the relative lack of buildings along the route and the ability to offer spectators wide/long views. The Dell’Eur” neighbourhood characterized by examples of rationalist architecture as “the Palace of Culture Labour, the Palace of Congress, the Palasport “and even a hint of new architecture with the cloud of Fuksas, now under construction. ‘A scene of incomparable beauty that will complement the image of historical Rome. Access by spectators will be facilitated by the four metro stations that dot the route allowing access on foot without the obligation to use private cars.

    “We can not produce a Grand Prix in Rome without the Red (team).” “I do not think the idea of a Grand Prix in Rome without the Ferrari – Alemanno said – I am absolutely convinced that when you run in Rome and even earlier, Ferrari will be on the track. These days we have heard many times and Montezemolo has insisted that Ferrari cannot wait to race in Rome. ”

    “There is no negative impact on the environment.” The mayor did not fear that the event could have a negative impact from an environmental point of view: “It is a carefully designed circuit – said the mayor – to minimize the negative impact from the environmental and viability of the neighbourhood Indeed, it will be radically reviewed and improved through this initiative. ”

    The contrary Legambiente: “Finding alternatives all’Eur. The environmental Chiera are against the creation of a national circuit, capable of hosting the F1 Grand Prix. “The project of the Grand Prix of Rome brings together so many critical issues to be truly impossible – denounced Lorenzo Parlato, president of Legambiente Lazio – the impact on the city will be enormous with months of work, and weeks of tests on the neighbourhood streets in the midst of offices and buildings, noise and traffic will go through the roof, it is an absurd choice. It’s amazing to think of paddock and boxes located in the beautiful green spaces of dell’Eur. We believe we should think, to find an alternative solution in a dedicated location, leaving the unique scenery of Rome to many other cultural events. From a financial point of view we ask also that no provision is made for any public investment for the transaction. ”

    “Rome the capital of the key. The Northern League with the MEP Paolo Grimoldi attacked the Grand Prix of Rome, which would jeopardize the race on the Italian circuit of Monza. “We are seriously worried – he attacks the legislature – The feasibility of the Grand Prix of Formula 1 in Rome is the confirmation that a certain party, the North does not affect anything. It is a shame that the supposed capital of the country is trying to humiliate and rob the other cities in the territory every day. What to Rome is a dream for Monza and Brianza is a nightmare. ”

    Totti -It would be extraordinary. “I welcomed the news that a Formula 1 race is to be held in Rome. The racing people have a particular charm and racing in Rome I think is extraordinary.” The captain and symbol of the Rome football, Francesco Totti, all’Adnkronos commented with enthusiasm, the possibility that the capital could host a F1 Grand Prix: “All major sporting events like the World Cup of Swimming this year, do not that add that much prestige to our city – Totti adds – and I am sure that we are equal to the importance of the event.

    Monza: An end is called to the looting. Monza has bipartisan opposition against the draft of a Formula 1 Grand Prix in Rome. “The government cannot continue to plunder the Brianza and North in general, with the theft of the Grand Prix of Italy at Monza as well,” said Gigi Bridges, Alderman implementation of the Province of Monza and Brianza and presidential Centrist candidate in the next provincial elections. It is impossible to live with two Grands Prix in Italy, insists the Centre Right candidate, Dario Allevi, Deputy Mayor of Monza and fellow party Alemanno. “The commencement of a Grand Prix in Rome would undermine sponsors and spectators to the race Brianza. I soon expect to take firm and decisive control of the institutions on the ground because only through joint action rather than isolated events will this attack be rejected. My immediate commitment is to tell the government that we are no longer willing to tolerate those who blatantly plunder us and penalize us.”

    So it is apparently being seen as an attack on the Monza race in northern Italy.

  13. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th May 2009, 21:39

    It looks like an old, classic circuit from the 50’s/60’s.

    It does – sort of like Pedralbes and Montjuic Park in Spain.

  14. Robert McKay said on 14th May 2009, 21:54

    The updated version looks reasonable, at least by modern F1 standards. Some of it does look quite fast and flowing, although other bits are the odd switchbacks and chicanes I said I expected more of.

    I think the shame is though that with a street circuit you are so fundamentally limited with what you can do, given that all the buildings are there and all the existing road you are using is designed for traffic flow, in grid/block format at that, and not the ultimate driving experience.

  15. teeb12345 said on 14th May 2009, 22:18

    How does one go about becoming a Formula 1 circuit architect? I would really like to show Mr Tilke who is boss. He has been allowed to design too many tracks and I think bernie needs to let someone else have a shot at it so we get different styles of tracks.

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