Monticello Motor Club making United States Grand Prix bid

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Monticello Motor Club circuit
Monticello Motor Club circuit

Monticello Motor Club is making a bid to hold the United States Grand Prix.

According to Autoweek the club’s 6.59km (4.1 mile) track has already been inspected by F1 circuit designer Hermann Tilke.

A letter from the Monticello Motor Club president Ari Strauss reads:

A few months ago, [MMC chairman] Bill McMichael and I met with Bernie Ecclestone, President/CEO of Formula One Management (FOM), and discussed the terms for an exclusive 10-year United States Grand Prix to be hosted at MMC.

Shortly thereafter, Hermann Tilke, the chief engineer and circuit designer for F1, spent time at MMC and confirmed that our track and surrounding properties, with some expansion and minor track modifications, is an excellent location for a Grand Prix.

Since receiving a letter of understanding from FOM confirming their hope to bring the U.S. Grand Prix to Monticello, Bill and I have continued to secure the backing and support of local, state, and federal politicians and organizations.

Earlier this year Ecclestone said he didn’t intend to take the United States Grand Prix back to Indianapolis because “It?s all the wrong crowd and the wrong people.” Is a private motor club a better fit with his view of where F1 should be racing?

This line from the letter seems to suggest fans wishing to attend the race may have to become members of the club:

If F1 comes to Monticello, our intent is to preserve MMC as, first and foremost, a private country club. Obviously, demand will accelerate as well as the initiation fee for new members.

Or they might just be hoping the increased publicity for their club gains them new members.

Ecclestone has been chasing a Grand Prix in New York for decades but Monticello would not satisfy his desire to have a race within sight of the Manhattan skyline – a dream the aborted Jersey City project would have fulfilled.

Could Monticello be the destination for F1’s return to America? Have your say in the comments.

Monticello Motor Club video lap

Monticello Motor Club location

Location of Monticello Motor Club circuit below. The satellite image appears to have been taken before the track was built in 2008:

United States Grand Prix

122 comments on “Monticello Motor Club making United States Grand Prix bid”

  1. Prisoner Monkeys
    21st May 2010, 8:52

    The full circuit in particular looks like it could be good – but the question is, is the circuit up to standard?

    It might not be in Manhattan, but it could be a god starting point. Host the race there for a few years, and keep open the prospect of a move to New York City. If that gains enough momentum, a move could be on the cards. If not, there’s a nice-looking circuit to be used.

    1. Tom Johnson
      21st May 2010, 20:37

      ‘Host the race there for a few years?’ The business model is 10 years. It’s a private members club, hardly what F1 needs, popularity is the watchword not elitist entertainment for the chosen few. Apparently the owners are talking to local state and federal authorities about making this work financially so they’ve got no chance, Americans hate tax commitments. They could look beyond the end of their noses as Montreal and Melbourne do but they won’t.

    2. im sorry but this track needs a lot of hard work and improv is very dangerous and not very wide

  2. Magnificent Geoffrey
    21st May 2010, 8:53

    “If F1 comes to Monticello, our intent is to preserve MMC as, first and foremost, a private country club. Obviously, demand will accelerate as well as the initiation fee for new members.”

    Major alarm bells ringing in my head after reading that! Having to become a member of a club to attend a GP? You what? For the love of God, Bernie, please just stop. Now.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      21st May 2010, 9:04

      Um, Bernie doesn’t control anything at MMC.

    2. Don’t forget Silverstone is a private club circuit, but you wouldn’t know from a practical point of view. But it’s unlikely to happen, it looks far to good and interesting a circuit to be included as a new GP.

    3. “If F1 comes to Monticello, our intent is to preserve MMC as, first and foremost, a private country club. Obviously, demand will accelerate as well as the initiation fee for new members.”

      I’m not sure how anyone is interpreting this statement to mean everyone who attends the GP is going to have to become a member. It’s pretty clearly stating that demand for membership at their private club will increase due to the high profile nature of a GP, and they will be raising their membership initiation fee accordingly.

      1. There’s no practical way they could expect everyone to become members to attend the GP – membership at Monticello is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. More likely is that they’ll simply have “box seats” for the club members getting free tickets.

        It wouldn’t be a new precedent for non-members to be able to attend the track – they already have “open” weekends where other clubs are allowed to rent the track out for the weekend.

        I do hope they do bring the GP to Monticello though – it’ll make the second Formula 1 track in NY that I’ve raced on :).

    4. Rick DeNatale
      21st May 2010, 18:15

      Think of the GP like a golf tournament.

      You don’t need to be a member of Augusta National to attend the Masters, nor of say St Andrews when the Open Championship is held there do you?

      Most professional golf tournaments are held at private courses which are opened to ticket holding spectators for the event.

  3. Agree Prisoner.
    The track looks good, and it is a very important thing.


    It’s from some time ago. At the time it wasn’t at standard at all!!! Hope it is better now. But the tracks look interesting.

  5. Another track is publicly showing interest! The Jersey City track was here, now we have this outfit. Who is Bernie negotiating with in real, i hope to learn before the end of the year.
    At least is shows, that Bernie is taking the job of getting F1 back into the USA to heart.

    That said the track might not be too bad, i think it was shortly discussed when we last had the US-venues discussion here.
    Nice video post of the laps done there, gives us a feel of what the track looks like

  6. Very nice track. There are lots of passing opportunities, and nice scenery! I hope this makes it into the calendar.

    1. Obviously, there will have to be certain modifications made to meet the demands of a modern F1 circuit. To wit – existing course usage in red, and modifications necessary in blue:


      1. Thats not even funny. I mean, there is a proper chance it will happen if they get the GP.

      2. you made me laugh out loud…

    2. Could you point one passing opportunity? I didnt detect anything. If we are thinking about F1-racing, overtaking will be as easy as in Hungaroring. Its easy to understand, why Tilke likes this circuit..

      1. are you joking?

        1. No, Im not joking. The track looks nice to drive.

          But F1-racing is different story. As you said, its very techical: I see too many slow and middle speed corners. It means means max downforce which means no overtaking.

          As we all know, the most entertaining F1-events had seen on tracks, where teams have to use minimal downforce. Monticello wont be one of them..

          1. I see your point, but it is not as slow as it seems in the video,I was there this weekend and there was a retired 962 that was flying.As well as an AMS evo with aero.I cant think of any place on the track that stays slow for too long,my car in the video is no where near an f1 car,granted some modifications would be made but its a great starting place.

  7. I love the look of this track, especially when you compare it to most of the recent new additions to the F1 calendar.

    At least it is not one of those boring concrete run-off ridden Tilke designed tracks which only feature simple 2nd gear corners. This looks like a proper track with nice green grass run-offs and trees etc. It looks more like an old-fashioned track the way it should be, long winding corners with different radius and grass and elevation changes.

    It beats Indy by miles if you ask me. But personally I’d love to see the US GP at Elkhart Lake/Road America or Watkins Glenn. I suppose that won’t happen though …

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      21st May 2010, 9:28

      It’s no doubt going to need some upgrades. Grandstands, for one, but they’d be in need of some Armco and some run-off. Grass doesn’t cut it – Formula 1 cars will just slide over it. They’ll either have to go with gravel to arrest a car, or tarmac to allow a driver to catch the car.

      However, it’s not all doom and gloom – they painted the tarmac run-off around Yas Marina a light blue. If they can do that there, surely they can paint it green here.

    2. Its a great track,my favorite. Very technical,more than it looks in my video.Much work would need to be done for f1 but it has so much going for it already.

  8. Bernie said Indy was all the wrong crowd and wrong people? Why, because they were ppl that could actually afford the Indy inexpensive tickets? I was there in 2005 and 2006. Met a lot of fantastic ppl from around the US and around the world. With George no longer part of Indy, Indy might not care about having F1 back anyway. So, Bernie might give it to some place owned by a private auto club … well, maybe I shouldn’t really say anything bad about that … Silverstone was/is owned by a private club, but most of the issues there is because of Bernie’s demands, not because of the club. I have a feeling I won’t be interested in attending another F1 race, even in my own backyard, as long as Bernie is in charge of things. Thank goodness for my Nascar and the fan friendliness of those in charge!!!

    1. I think he was more talking about the organizers.

  9. Daniel Zylberkan
    21st May 2010, 9:31

    its eerily reminiscent of tracks from both sides of the atlantic especially Spa and Road America, a bit of brands hatch long flowing, fast, technical, fun and definitely not a sanitized flat piece of tarmac. I’d still rather have the race at watkins glen but this would a good second option

  10. Robert McKay
    21st May 2010, 9:31

    I can’t entirely work out where the track goes, but I have to say: this, this I could get on board with.

    Particularly if they don’t use that chicane/kink at the bottom left and just take the direct route.

    1. It uses the entire perimeter except on the far right rather than go straight from top right down to the helipad it uses that loop to go back towards the long club straight then back towards the helipad. The pit straight is next to the inner loop road mid-left.

      The video used the chicane/kink but I’d like to see them use the sweeper that’s probably only supposed to be used when using the left part of the circuit only… besides the run-off probably wouldn’t be adequate.

      I like the look of that ‘Kryptos’ chicance on the far left, looks very Hockenheimish from the map and quite quick from the video.

  11. I guess the ‘wrong crowd’ just means they wanted too much money…
    I consider the Indy oval the preferred home of the US GP, would be a nice change. Watkins Glen and Laguna Seca are great alternatives as well.
    But this MMC track looks like a valuable alternative: it seems to have a nice flow to it.
    Miles ahead of that NJ fabrication ! But: major developments are needed from the looks of it. Hope it doesn’t turn into a US Donington.

  12. The track looks marvelous…

    … but it’s a tad too long, it’s likely to be too narrow, and not up to current F1 safety standards by the look of it (any clue to what FIA grade they have?). Quite a lot of work would still have to be done, but they’ve already hired H. Tilke to look at alterations.

    A major plus is that it’s only a 2-hour drive from Times Square, Manhattan!

    1. Robert McKay
      21st May 2010, 9:44

      At least if it’s too long it looks like there’s plenty ways to shorten it :D

  13. Looks like a great track. Like others have said with a few minor mods, i.e. runoff area upgrades, some grandstands, upgraded paddock, public transport, and spectator facilities, I think it would be a good venue.

    It’s easy to forget that the USA has some really good road courses. Always equate USA with Ovals.

    1. I think the MMC website sums up perfectly why it’s a good venue:

      – Grand corners in the style of great European tracks
      – Over 1.5 miles of straights, some of the longest in North America
      – Thrilling elevation changes
      – A total of 22 turns including hairpins, increasing, and decreasing radius turns

    2. it’s pretty sad we have that reputation because you’re right: there’s a lot of great road courses here with some very good history behind many. If only we could get F1 to race on Mid-Ohio!

  14. chaostheory
    21st May 2010, 10:03

    Looks interesting. Hope they wont change the layout for F1; and dont shorten it, please!

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      21st May 2010, 10:47

      I don’t think all would be lost if they shortened it. Seriously, check out the perimeter design – the eastern half of the circuit would be a sequence of high-speed bends before dropping down to that ninety-degree right-hander.

  15. Nutritional
    21st May 2010, 10:08

    “with some expansion and minor track modifications”? That seems like a rather large understatement. I didn’t see many, if any grandstands, nor the usual behemoth of a pit facility and start-finish stand. I didn’t see any ash-fault or sand trap run-offs and it seems like at many corners the arm-co is too close to the outside of the turns for F1 standards. Additionally, if memory serves, on of the reasons F1 left Watkins Glen was because it was not really close to any urban centers. This track definitely doesn’t seem to address that issue. I think the track lay-out looks good, but other than that, I’d guess there’s a lot more work to do before this becomes a serious bid.

    1. This track is very close to many major cities.
      NYC 90 min, Albany 95 Min, Pilly 120 Min, Syracuse 180 min.

  16. HounslowBusGarage
    21st May 2010, 10:16

    Loooks like a nice track with plenty of sweeping elevation changes, but it does look a bit narrow. I’d like to see an ALMS race here.
    The Switch-back looks fun!
    The Google map bit is confusing, though. If you zoom in it shows what looks like small airfield. Aha! the track was opened in 2008, so I suppose the Google Maps pics are earlier than that.

    1. Nutritional
      21st May 2010, 10:19

      A Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series would be a nice event on this track too.

  17. That turn 10 ‘Carousel’ is great in the on-board lap :)

    1. Thanks, it is a blast,you really have to wait a while before turning in on the apex, but my Friend Brian likes to take the inside around it,he has won a few f 5000 races so maybe he’s right.

  18. Looks a bit narrow to me, kinda like running F1 at Oulton Park :/

  19. Can’t see videos from work. But I like to overall look at the moment.
    US F1 GP is one of my favourites and there’s almost something exclusive about a country club, sort of like how golf is. Maybe that’s the idea?

  20. I liked it,but I suspect that it’s a ploy Bernie to leverage another track to accept his demands.

    It seems like a place to do some real racing. It’s almost too good to be true. Factor in rule changes for 2011 no rear diffusers and a different tire supplier… yes I think this track could be a fantastic place to race. Maybe the rule changes alone would spice up the Tike tracks, but this one looks sweet.

    1. a ploy by Bernie*

      Need an edit function. ;)

  21. Looks good, some nice corner sequences in there. As long as they use the perimeter road and dont neuter it with acres of run off it should be a decent starting point.

  22. I quite like the look of that track, but I fear that it will be a shadow of its former self once they let Hermann Tilke loose on it. Roll on acres of tarmac run off…

  23. Prisoner Monkeys
    21st May 2010, 11:02

    Autosport have picked up the story now, and I just spotted something I missed in this article:

    A few months ago, [MMC chairman] Bill McMichael and I met with Bernie Ecclestone, President/CEO of Formula One Management (FOM), and discussed the terms for an exclusive 10-year United States Grand Prix to be hosted at MMC.

    I’m guessing the response from Ecclestone may have been somewhat positive. Strauss wouldn’t have mentioned meeting with Ecclestone and Tilke at all if there was nothing gained from the meeting.

    1. You missed the fourth paragraph? :-P

      I have to say, it looks only slightly less optimistic than the Jersey City one to me.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        21st May 2010, 15:01

        Hey, I had the opportunity to get the first post. Of course I wasn’t paying attention.

        And while it’s certainly written in an optimisitc way, it stands to reason that if Strauss’ meeting with Ecclestone went badly, he wouldn’t mention it at all. And if he did metion it, it wouldn’t make its way onto the internet and get picked up by major news sources.

        Interesting that they don’t metion a date for the race. Of course, being May 2010, it’s probably too late to get a 2011 start – unless they go for later in the year. But I doubt that would happen.

  24. I think this is the best Formula1 track, and i’m not even american! But really as soon as my eyes fell on the track layout i fell in love with it. i hope F1 geos there.

  25. Ned Flanders
    21st May 2010, 11:07

    Nice idea, but is it going to happen? Nope. Michael Schumacher will confess all of his racing sins before there’s an F1 race at Monticello. It would cost about $100 million to bring it anywhere near F1 standards

    1. Ned, Prisoner Monkeys mentioned a 10 year contract. I certainly think that over 10 years a very reasonable profit could be made even at 100 million…

      1. Ned Flanders
        21st May 2010, 12:59

        As long as Bernie and CVC are in charge, no circuits will ever make a profit. Even if they charge a smaller race fee than they would elsewhere it’ll still be an awful lot of money

  26. If they insist on member only, then according to

    the initiation fee is $125,000

    1. I also meant to add that the circuit map/location, for once is better seen using mapquest, instead of google maps.

  27. Looks like a decent enough track but when you compare it to even the new section at Silverstone (which is a privately owned circuit that complies with modern F1 standards) then it’s got a lot of butchering ahead of it before any F1 car races there…

  28. Marc Connell
    21st May 2010, 11:46

    looks good but i think drivers wont like it.

  29. I’ve driven the circuit as well. It’s wonderful and easy to get to. If they hold an F1 race there, it will be open to spectators, not just club members. Here’s a full lap HD video at higher speeds in a Porsche Cup.

  30. Hmm… popularising F1 in the states by holding a GP at a private country club – if you wanted to dream up a sure-fire way to grate on American sensibilities you would be hard pressed to do better than this. Especially given where the country’s economy is at and popular resentment at big money right now.

    Good track or not – this would only top the PR disaster that was the six-car non race at Indy.

  31. I agree with most of the comments, looks great, but scared bernie et all will pressure them to add too many great big ugly run offs and it’ll ruin some of the nice rural-ness

  32. Monticello excites me, its such a wonderful flowing circuit and harks back to the good old days… which is its failing in the current guise. As already said, it would need a lot of work to bring it top current F1 standards, but if they did decide to do that and keep the current layout of the track, this would be a very welcome addition to the calendar in my view.

    Unfortunately, I agree with Keiths earlier sentiment…

    Quote – “I have to say, it looks only slightly less optimistic than the Jersey City one to me.”

  33. there is a lack of run off areas.. :(

  34. I’m sorry but ONE helipad? That’s plainly not sufficient for F1’s needs P:

  35. Bartholomew
    21st May 2010, 12:48

    I´m sure that Keith will want the simplified outer layout !
    Me too !

  36. Too bumpy and narrow and lots of trees to go for run off and they would have to build a Berlin wall to keep out that riff raff from Scranton PA to get Bernie’s tick.

  37. It would be great to have a GP in America again but maybe not here if they only let members attend. The attendance at GPs is iffy anyway, this would make it even worse. What do they mean “the wrong type of crowd”. Sounds like a pathetic excuse to me.

  38. Depending on what configuration they use, it could be a really good venue – better than the infield at Indianapolis was.

    My favourite choice would be racing on the Indy oval. When Bernie says “wrong people”, he’s of course talking about the same old thing, $$$$. Although I’d welcome any USGP anywhere, the Jersey city plan sunk my heart a bit, and was blatantly motivated by money and little else. Going to MMC will have exactly the same motive, of course, but at least it isn’t a joke of a track.

  39. i think this track is fantastic , turns 4-7 the kink, i think there are loads of overtaking opportunities. As nothing good is happening with F1 from the tracks perspective lately, I don’t think we’ll get this circuit or they’d probably add more chicanes for ‘safety’ purposes and suck out the soul of racing… damn my nerves are hot

  40. Part of the MMC member letter:

    “Shortly thereafter, Hermann Tilke, the chief engineer and circuit designer for F1, spent time at MMC and confirmed that our track and surrounding properties, with some expansion and minor track modifications”

    ‘minor track modifications?’ Please god no!

  41. This is exactly the sort of track F1 needs!

    Note to Hermann Tilke, stay well away.

  42. The Dutch Bear
    21st May 2010, 14:18

    The track looks interesting, I hope they will use this configuration. It would be, expect for Spa, the longest track on the calendar, This is a better plan than Jersey City was.

  43. I know I will get flamed for this, but here’s my thoughts.

    The track looks great, And I think that makes it more worthy of F1 than China’s long straight. But It looks rather tight, I would love f1 cars to go there, but I suspect as it is, It’s more like the newer version of that track in Argentina, (97 version I think).

    Which means I don’t think ti will allow for much passing, But that’s ok because it, Like Spa and Monaco, will look great, and not need 63 passes to keep me entertained, and it will have the drivers really working!

    But if I think it isn’t quite up to it, What will Tilke and Bernie do to it? Right now it looks great, but pretend it had tarmac run ofs, all the green was turned into stands and It had giant fences and billboards everywhere…..

    Do you still think this is a sure thing? My past experience of brining new tacks onto the calendar is that the rule is, If it’s good, tarmac it, if it’s still good, paint it blue.

  44. As a lifelong resident of Scranton, I really don’t take kindly to shots taken at my hometown. Among the “riff raff” here are many F1 fans, so perhaps you should take your comments elsewhere……

    Now that we’ve addressed that, the circuit looks fantastic. However, a track in a rural area was not what I was expecting. But if they can make it work, there’s no reason why the idea can’t work. The one thing I have learned about this sport is that fans will love the venue if the racing is good, and since many of the very knowledgeable fans here seem to like it, why not give it a shot.

    1. I may be wrong, Gman, but I think m0tion was assuming Bernie Ecclestone’s point of view rather than speaking to his own.

    2. Robert McKay
      21st May 2010, 15:09

      Is that Scranton as in where the US version of The Office is supposed to be based? I love that show :D

      1. Yeah it’s the same one…the city has gotten some really good publicity from that show :)

  45. One other plus is that the venue is relatively close to Montreal, so fans wanting a relatively cost effective doubleheader could easily afford the travel :)

    1. Good point. It would make sense for them to start using that fly-away for more than one race.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        21st May 2010, 15:19

        There’s talk within FOTA that the 2011 calendar will be re-arranged. There was that trouble with the Turkey and Monaco dates that saw Monaco moved forward a week because the teams would have to consider Istanbul a flyaway race. There’s a two-week gap, but apparently they want something different to be done next season. It stands to reason that they’d always group the Canadian with the American Grands Prix because having two seaparte fly-aways would be pointless. It’s often occured to me that they should just group the races together geographically. That means adding Brazil in with Canada and America. It would probably help if we had a second South American race.

  46. One point – from the map provided, that track is not even remotely close enough to have a view of the manhattan skyline. It’s like an hour up-state.

  47. I am coming to loath a current term that is being tossed around all too often. “Not up to F1 Standards” All of this coming from Fans of F1 who absolutely treasure the most UN-safe, dangerous track in the world. MONACO. I think the arguement of any Official or F1 fan of a track not being up to F1 standards are completely debunked.

    F1 has and will continue to race at a street circuit where the is zero run-off except for 3 corners. The rest is completely barricaded by Armco Barriers. That would be the equivilant of Putting Armco Barriers around the entire circuit at MMC. Would it be “up to F1 standards” then? Come on. That is a mute point as long as F1 continues to race @ Monaco.

    RUN-OFF ? Who needs it? these are supposedly the Best Drivers in the entire world. Let them face the challenge. Also need I remind you that we are going back to Montreal, where there is Wall Barrier less than 6 feet from the track that caused Kubica’s Crash in 07.

    The danger is there. the danger is everywhere. Why should only the new Tracks be subject to “F1 Standards”

    1. It’s funny, a lot of people will state how a potential track “isn’t to F1 standard”, like that’s a bad thing, but then complain about all the tracks that “are to F1 standard” labelling them as boring Tilkedromes.

      It’s also interesting how a bunch of desktop commentators can claim that a track isn’t up to standard and that it will need x millions of dollars to get it up to standard, which the owners will never be able to afford it. No doubt these people have fully audited the circuit in the current configuration, worked out what changes need to be made and fully costed those changes! I also assume they have access to the club’s financial situation and have been able to determine that they club cannot afford any changes, or arrange creditors / investors to fund any upgrades that might be needed.

      1. Nutritional
        21st May 2010, 23:36

        No matter whether or not we like Tilkedromes, considering Tilke is the chief engineer and track designer for F1, and the FIA is always trying to improve safety, it is a forgone conclusion that the track is going to have to look like one in order to get on the schedule. So, I don’t see why we have to be hypocrites if we are acknowledging reality.

        Second, this “desktop commentator” and most of the other “desktop commentator” on this forum have eyes and can watch a video, and can see a lack of grand stands, pit facilities, gravel traps, tarmac run-off and see that arm-cos are too close to the raceway, then compare it to current F1 tracks and notice there’s something missing. But, you know what, our mistake. We didn’t realize we needed an engineering degree to offer an opinion based on observation. Additionally, the general consensus on the financial side is simply that it is a bigger job than “some expansion and minor track modifications” Ari Strauss claims. Again, excuse me for jumping the bounds of my experience and intellect, but just looking at current pit facilities and start-finish grand-stands at current tracks alone, then comparing it to MMC, I’m guessing that’s a bit more than “some expansion and minor track modifications” alone.

        1. I agree everyone is allowed to have an opinion, however if it is an opinion people should not be passing it off as fact. From what I’ve read some people have concluded based on opinion presented as fact there is no way that the MMC could ever host an F1 race.

          In my opinion, no one, not even the most experienced civil engineer, not even Tilke, could say for certain what the exact extent of required upgrades, or cost would be just from watching a video of the track. From a video you cannot be certain if the width of the track complies, if the gradient of the track complies, if the vertical changes in grade comply, if the position of the barriers comply, if there is a enough runoff area etc. For sure you can watch a video and think that the track isn’t wide enough, or whatever, but you cannot know for sure, until you sit down and work it out, like engineers do. Then engineers say for certain what needs to be upgraded, and based on that people can work out how much it’s going to cost. At the moment it’s all speculation, and that’s fine as long as people know it’s speculation rather than 100% concrete fact, which in my opinion which is based on reading through the comments, the line between what is fact and what is opinion is somewhat blurred.

          Having said that I do agree with the opinions that the circuit is missing things such as grandstands, “F1 Standard” pits etc. It is my opinion however that they are minor issues standing in the way of any potential race. If you look at say Albert Park, there are no permanent grandstands, they are all temporary. The organisers there build them and then take them down every year. I can’t really see any reason why MMC couldn’t do the same. As for the pits, when F1 raced at Adelaide the pit building was temporary, like the grandstands, the rest of the year, the course is a lump of road in the middle of an empty paddock.

          Personally I think the MMC look to be a professional outfit and I would like to see an F1 race there, even though it would mean a very late Sunday night / early Monday morning for me to watch it.

          1. Nutritional
            22nd May 2010, 7:39

            Opinion is definitely blurred with actual fact far too often today, especially with politics. My reaction was more to your choice of words rather than your opinion. Beyond that, However, unfortunately for us Tilke will have the final say in track configuration because, as mentioned in the article, he is the official F1 track designer and engineer (or at least the head of the team of engineers who design the tracks anyways). In addition, there have been rumours that Albert Park is in the red, and its future may be up in the air, which would be unfortunate because it is one of my favorite tracks. Adelelaide was great as well.

  48. John Edwards
    21st May 2010, 14:59

    If they are going to have a tack in New York state there is one that’ll need a lot less work, its called Watkins Glen.

    This new place looks alright actually. But you’ll need 30 mill for a pits and paddock, 5-6 mill for grandstands even temporary ones and probably a good 10 mill to sort out the fencing and run offs. I’d be surprised if the Glen needed quite such investment.

  49. The track looks pretty good, glad to see the possibity of having a gp on a traditional road course as opposed to the “stadium” types.
    A large sum of money will be needed to bring it to F1 racing conditions. In the video you can already see where they have had to patch the track , not to mention run-off , stadiums , etc…
    The sad part is , of the 200,000 or so people that attended Indy according to Bernie we are not welcome.
    Up yours Bernie!


    Check this out, This is a turn by turn analysis of the track with photos.

    This track looks bigger in pictures than the top side computer rendering provides. This has the feel of an “American Spa” mixed with the technical turns of Suzuka.

    Track looks plenty wide through the turns for side-by side action.

    Great Track.

  51. I love the look of this track, it reminds me a bit of the old A1-ring with some aspects of Nordschleife as well, I dislike the silly little chicane placed after the long straight, but otherwise looks a very challenging circuit, and fun to drive! Much better than Indianapolis, and miles better than that central park circuit proposed last month.

  52. Alan Whitford
    21st May 2010, 16:15

    Doesn’t anyone remember that there is already an F1 track in upstate New York? Called Watkins Glen? Still a very active road layout, even NASCAR comes there now.

  53. More on the story coming in from the BBC at the moment:

  54. As a resident of the northeast U.S, if they build it I will go, but it has its own issues.

    Love the track but I think rural (and I mean rural) New York won’t meet the posh test of Bernie or the teams. Driving from NYC, several times a weekend?? Won’t happen.

    Route 17 (Only way to get there, as far as I know) is a two lane limited access highway. Haven’t driven it lately, but summer traffic can be a grind.

    Tilke’s comments about “slight mods and changes” will probably cost millions, not to mention effin’ up the track.

    I have to agree with others who suspect Bernie is just churning locations and developers against each other to get the best deal he can.

    1. Rick DeNatale
      21st May 2010, 18:22

      The thing which makes me wonder about this, is that the things which drove F1 from Watkins Glen (rural location, access…) would seem to apply.

      Personally, I’d love to see F1 back at the Glen for old times sake, even though I live in North Carolina rather than New York as I did in the 1970s.

    2. Yes it’s rural but let’s not forget that the area played host to a half million people for a weekend just over 40 years ago and less than 10 miles from the track. And what an amazing weekend it was! ( at least the parts that I can remember were :)) )

      1. Rick DeNatale
        22nd May 2010, 2:48

        Yeah, but those were just a bunch of hippies!

  55. ” Shortly thereafter, Hermann Tilke, the chief engineer and circuit designer for F1, spent time at MMC and confirmed that our track and surrounding properties, with some expansion and minor track modifications, is an excellent location for a Grand Prix.”

    HELL NO the track looks great don’t let Herman to touch it please!!

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      21st May 2010, 20:02

      Absolutely. This must remain a Tilke-free zone.

  56. Andrew White
    21st May 2010, 16:27

    It’s interesting to see how people react to a non-Tilke track. I don’t really like this track; it is too narrow and has too many unnecessary wiggles (like Hungaroring and Korea). On the plus side it has some nice elevation changes, although these will probably be neutered by the FIA rules by the time we get there.

  57. Thanks, Keith, once again for the informative article.
    But I have to say that this appears to be a (Bernie) smokescreen for some other option. If you can run a GP here then why not Cadwell Park? It’s too narrow, the armco’s too close (Nriburgring or Brands close) and there is absolutely no run off.
    I can’t see it happening!

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      21st May 2010, 20:03

      F1 at Cadwell Park? Now there’s an idea . . .

  58. I like it a lot!

    Obviously new grandstands need to be built, but the track doesnt need any new configurations (it’s got 17 apparently), it has plently of elevation changes and it’s in quite a nice setting.

    A few upgrades here and there, a sprinkling of salt and a sprig of mint and it’ll be good to go.

    Here’s hoping!

  59. Tilke is the opposite of Midas, everything he touches turns into crap.

    1. Couldn’t have put it better myself!!!!!

    2. Nutritional
      21st May 2010, 23:42

      lol, your eloquence knows no bounds, that’s awsome!

  60. Agreed, how many more tracks are they going to let Tilke ruin ? I do not understand it. Looks like a far more interesting track than most of his boring creations.

  61. Just to add. I am in Miami, If this happens there will be a road trip in my future. I would imagine there will be huge demand for this. New York in the summer is great.

  62. I suppose that anything is possible, but it’s hard to imagine MMC being able to undertake the massive improvements to the track and infrastructure that would be necessary to host an F1 event. And if I was a member, I don’t think that I’d be very keen on the whole thing. There would be a huge disruption of member usage while construction was going on, and the look of the place would change drastically. Pretty cool looking track, though, and speaking as a non member, I’m all for it!

  63. I like the track and the idea, but im somewhat unsure of the facilities at Monticello.

    Basically im sot sure Monticello is a well equipped town for a wide international audience, and its a little way to the nearest town. Looking at the sattelite images anyway.. maybe im not seing it right haha..

    I could see everyone wanting to go to USA for this experience and probably a nice holiday at the same time as well. I certainly would. I would say a minimum audience of 100,000 would be at this event. Just imagine all them in that little town…

    1. Good point, and while I have never been to either place (yet), isn’t Spa out in the middle of nowhere with a small town next to it? I am as surprised as anyone that Bernie would consider anything away from a major city, but if it works, go for it!

      1. Isn’t Suzuka away from most urban centres too?

  64. The track looks good, lots of overtaking opportunities or is it the cars let him pass? :)

  65. I think the track looks great. But if Donnington needed a face lift, this place needs major reconstructive surgery. I bet Laguna Seca is closer to F1 standards than this is at present.

  66. It looks like a very nice circuit to me. A bit similar to Spa ;-)

  67. Just “don’t shift sloppy” lol

    Looks like a fun drive – therefore no way will it be used

  68. Horrible choice for a GP. Monticello is NOT New York City. It’s 2 hours away in distance and 10,000 light years away in terms of culture. The infrastructure in the area could never support the needs of a GP weekend as it currently stands. Almost zero mass transit, roads are not adequate, good luck finding a hotel room, and unless you want to have every meal at a fast food restaurant, no choices there either. The promoters are trying to sell this as a New York City thing but it is in fact a quiet, almost pastoral location. The only people who could take advantage of all the amenities NYC has to offer during the race w/e are the people who head to the track by helicopter. The average fan would not find this venue accomodating at all. Why attend Monticello when you can go to Montreal (just 4 hours away by car) and have the time of your life at one of the best circuits in one of the most fantastic cities in North America?

    1. Bernie wannabe. Culture of nearby cities should not be a priority when choosing a GP circuit; the quality and challenge of the layout should come first and foremost. F1 is not “Jeremy Clarkson meets the neighbours” or “Wanted Down Under”. We don’t care about culture, we care about the racing. Anything else is just a bonus.

      And as for the infastructure, local roads, ect, many of the older circuits on the calendar are in the middle of nowhere, near no town of interest. Take Silverstone, the nurburgring and spa as examples.

      F1 has a duty to provide the best tracks on the calendar, not the ones which can throw the most culturally interesting post-race partys.

      1. Rick DeNatale
        27th May 2010, 18:09

        I don’t think it’s culture so much as accommodations for drivers, celebrities, team management, and corporate sponsors.

        That was one of the big reasons why Watkins Glen ultimately lost the USGP. F1 grew to the point where accommodations like The Glen Motor Inn weren’t enough.

        And with the announcement of Austin, it’s all moot anyway.

  69. Herb Sewell
    24th May 2010, 7:09

    Obviously the circuit needs to be F1-ized for a race to happen, gravel traps, f1 garages, grandstands, runoff areas, etc. More power to them. If they can come up with the bread to do this amen. I hate street races. Another USGP on a street circuit would suck, especially in Manhattan. I would like to attend the race but I am not going to become a member of the club because I would never get to use the facility. Think of it as a PGA Tour event on the country club course. You aren’t going to attract the riff raff, but there will be folks that come out who miss F1 and would relish to see modern F1 cars in the flesh. I have never seen a modern F1 car. I live in Northern California, and I have been to the tracks here but no dice, I have only seen the late 70’s early 80’s F1 cars. Maybe you can lure the ALMS there too. Take them away from Lime Rock. Anyway, good luck and I hope that this comes true.

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