F1 to race in Texas, USA in 2012

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Keke Rosberg won F1's only previous race in Texas in 1984
Keke Rosberg won F1's only previous race in Texas in 1984

Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed Formula 1 will return to the United States of America in 2012.

But, despite much speculation about a race being held in or near New York, the destination for F1’s next US Grand Prix is Austin in Texas.

According to Formula1.com a ten-year deal will see F1 race in Austin from 2012 to 2021.

Ecclestone said:

For the first time in the history of Formula One in the United States, a world-class facility will be purpose-built to host the event.
Bernie Ecclestone

The race is being organised by Full Throttle Promotions. Managing partner Tavo Hellmund said:

We realise that over the last 30 years there have been one or two missing pieces from the previous editions of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.

We have a tremendous opportunity at hand to do it right – to feature Austin as the backdrop and produce the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix as one of the great sporting events in the world.
Tavo Hellmund

The promotion company say further details on the race will be announced shortly. At the moment there is no information on exactly where the track will be or who it will be designed by, though it would a surprise if anyone other than Hermann Tilke got the job.

F1 raced on a temporary street circuit in Dallas, Texas, in 1984, but never returned to the venue. The United States Grand Prix was last held at the Indianpolis road course from 2000 to 2007.

255 comments on “F1 to race in Texas, USA in 2012”

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3 5
  1. polishboy808
    25th May 2010, 18:57

    Woah! Is this a joke? So so SOOOOO Random to choose Texas, what track, PLEASE MORE INFORMATION! Dallas is just a 1 and a half hour plane flight away from me so this would be fantastic! Well only if the track is good of course.

    1. polishboy808
      25th May 2010, 19:00

      BTW nice job Keith on being the first one on the web to post about this! (Not counting F1.com of course)

    2. The track will be purpose built, but I haven’t been able to find out where.

      I agree. It seems so random after all the talk about NYC and “the right people.”

      1. According to Wikipedia which is of course 100% reliable, Texas is the 2nd largest US state by population and size, so maybe not totally random.

        1. I’m not knocking TX. It just felt like Bernie was pushing so hard for the NYC skyline in the background.

          Personally I wanted the SF Bay Area to host an F1 race: like Sears Point (upgraded) or perhaps a temporary track on Alameda Island (retired Navy base), but TX isn’t too far. I’d be happy to go to a race in Austin.

          1. Boston F1 Fan
            26th May 2010, 0:07

            – San Francisco? Where SUVs are banned from the city center and everyone drives a Prius? Not a chance.

        2. polishboy808
          25th May 2010, 19:14

          No, not random that they chose Texas, but random that they chose another State other then NJ after all that talk.

        3. i thought it was the biggest in size.
          ‘it would a surprise’ missing ‘be’ there keith!
          can’t wait to see the layout. hopefully it’ll be fast.

          1. From the top of my head, I’d say Alaska is the biggest in size… So Texas 2nd would make sense.

          2. oh yeah forgot about about alaska!

      2. wow that was a bit of a surprise. I don’t see I heard or seen anywhere ever indicated Texas. I heard mentioning of course of NY, California, Florida, Indiana as possible destinations but don’t think a single one mentioned Texas.
        Now what about the track? Street track? Purpose built? Is there any existing track there maybe already? All other mentionings always had a circuit layout/area/track proposal with it. Then here comes this one blam out of the clear blue hey we will race here 2012 through 2021. MORE INFO.. LOL. 10 hours by car or 1.5hr flight (plus 2.5 hour car).. Hmmm. Consider that a fixed yearly visit for me between 2012 and 2021… Yihaa..

        1. “purpose-built to host the event.”

          So yeah if it’s built by Tilke which I expect, It’s another Tilkedrome.
          Still, I think some of his newer tracks aren’t too bad. I just wish they would relax the rules he has to work by.

      3. I agree Marc, It feels like I’m one of those characters in a cartoon and another character has grabbed and pulled me with their walking stick. yoink!

        I suspect it was more about who would do what Bernie wants, than what would be nice for the teams, fans and drivers.

      4. In case anyone doesn’t know, Austin is progressive and full of good music, good food and art. It has absolutely nothing in common with the rest of Texas. There will be some Texans at the race, but if the stands are full, they will be full of people who have flown in, booked 4-star hotels, and will spare no expense to have a great time. The New York location, by contrast is in the center of a huge population of dedicated race fans who would have filled the stands and slept at home. Bernie is catering to the disgustingly rich elite he always caters to. Same old, same old. The talk about racing in upstate NY was clearly just a ploy to pressure someone to sign on the dotted line.

        1. im a texan, and i know a lot of people that will go to this. we arent a bunch of hill billies down here

          1. I didn’t say or mean to imply that Texans are a bunch of hillbillies. I have friends and relatives in Texas. I’m saying that Texans are down-to-earth people who enjoy NASCAR (as I do) because you can meet the drivers at the local Chevy dealership or get an autograph at the race track. I only know a few Texans, but they don’t strike me as people who give a hoot about drivers and teams that don’t give a hoot about the fans. But maybe I’m wrong and there’s a strong elitist population that will pay a few hundred bucks for the cheap seats to watch cars run through a single corner sixty or seventy times in a row. I’d rather watch it on TV if you can’t get into the pits or feel like you are part of the action. In the sixties and seventies, F1 was still accessible to the fans at U.S. races. It isn’t anymore because the drivers run for themselves and Bernie. The fans are just ciphers on a sheet of paper. That’s why F1 doesn’t work in the USA anymore. No humanity.

          2. You are probably right, however some recent Texas legislations speak strongly for the hillbilly hypothesis. Especially the changes in curriculum introduced by Texas State Board of Education…

          3. Well, I tried not to mention that…

    3. Being in Houston, this is great news!!!

    4. DamionShadows
      25th May 2010, 23:10

      I’m with you 100%! I just hope it doesn’t turn out like USF1! And I don’t really care if the track isn’t good, I just want to be able to watch an F1 race without flying to another country.

  2. Custom built track, lets hope Tilke isn’t designing it :S

    1. Doesn’t really matter if Tilke is designing it, I’ve seen the movies, there is already tumbleweed in Texas ;)

    2. Depends what kind of mood Tilke’s in, we could get a Sepang or an Istanbul park, an i’ll fight for those tracks.

      Depends also on what kind of land it’s built on it’s always possible elavation might be at hand.

      An it depends whether he takes his Sepang or Abu Dhabi overtaking hat with him.

      Still Texas is a racing state, so the track will be used an hopefully grippy. Hope the Texans like it though, Nascar crowd for the meh.

      1. I’m a Texan, born and raised and I’m thrilled! I jumped up in the air when I first saw the news. Finally something other than just watching Indycar at Texas Motor Speedway. Austin is cosmopolitan as it gets and I think F1 will be a great fit for the city. Not all Texans are Nascar loving hicks :)

        1. I live in upstate NY, just a couple hours from Monticello. My disappointment is your happiness. Congratulations!! Austin is a great city; enjoy the race.

          1. If this gets confirmed, I’m penning the date down in my calendar! It will be a good excuse to go back to Texas to visit friends and family and watch the race of course! Kill 3 birds with one stone!

            So..we’ll be watching F1 and drinkin’ beeeer!!

          2. Thankyou M! I will enjoy it, I hope you can make it down for it someday and enjoy some of our hospitality. :)

      1. Not enough hairpins.

        1. that will be fixed at the same time they build in more chicanes, most likely. Or maybe Texans won’t let them!

          1. Not enough acres of tarmac run off, more like.

        2. You can say that agin, a say you can say that agin.

          1. Sideshow bob
            26th May 2010, 2:47

            I don’t see any exciting high-speed turns there. I think two key ingredients for an exciting track are hair-raising high-speed turns and elevation changes.

            I certainly can’t say that I have any confidence in this new GP becoming a success.

        3. Hahahhahahahahhaahahhahahahahahaha!!!!
          Oh my God, that was a deadly sacrasm :)

          I had the same exact thought…

        4. agin agin and agin …. more hairpins, what a prat that Bernie is, same for the CVC banksters that filled his personal bank balance on the back of our support for F1 and now find themselves unable to fund their bid.

          1. You do realise that’s a motocross track and he posted it as a joke, right?

          2. definitely comment of the day.

            you want ‘elevation changes’, that track sure does have them :)

      2. A high speed track. From the look of that, Kimi Raikonnen might enjoy coming back to F1!

        I did expect Bernie to have some announcement soon, now that the publicity and pressure on the venue to sign were there.

        Keeps suprising, but lets hope it catches on.

      3. Pengo (Blake Merriam)
        25th May 2010, 20:46

        OMG don’t scare us like that. Thats a bloody motocross track!

      4. Good find had a look at the street view the landscape very flat which is a bit of a shame.The corners all look very smooth no sharp turnins but it could change alot before it gets finished

        1. ah crap i’vw been made look silly it is an off road track :(

      5. That’s actually a motocross track, btw

      6. On a more serious note, from the information i got (Adam Coopers blog), the race promotor is also involved in Thunder Hill Raceway, which is on a 38 acres site.

        So the track might be built next to it right here: http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF8&q=austin+race+track&fb=1&gl=us&hq=race+track&hnear=Austin,+TX&ei=QBn8S53NKMWclgew0LXYDw&ved=0CCMQtgMwAA&ll=30.161974,-97.600179&spn=0.004768,0.009645&t=h&z=17

          1. As an American, I have to say, that’s hilarious.

            I have one question – will the drivers be allowed to set their pistols on the instrument panel?

        1. The area around Thunder Hill would make a good location – there’s a of undeveloped scrub land just close to the track, and it’s close to the main freeway that connects San Antonio – Austin – Dallas.

          The current track is a tight paved small oval, – http://www.thunderhillraceway.com

          I’ve spent many a Saturday evening there watching some good fun racing.

      7. That’s a motocross track already in existence. Not the F1 track they’re calling “purpose-built”..

      8. That’s Austin del Valle. It’s a motocross facility. Dirt bikes. Doubt if an F1 track would go there.

      9. Ah but it looks nice now, but take away all elevation, build in 602 acres of grandstand, convert half of that to advertisements, build a huge media complex and for an added extra add in a small pit area to keep the teams satisfied, add tarmac off track, and put police men, I mean sheriffs at every turn fining the cars if they do something.

        Actually, This could be the best Tilke track yet!

        1. If Tilke design this track then he should try to take Turkey there so that we have a good track in a place where F1 is growing.

  3. Woah this came out of the blue, lets wait for the details first before coming to any conclusions

  4. Please not a Tilke track… PLEEAAASSSSEEEE!!!

    1. Sounds like Tilke will be given free reign, and if that is the case expect a good track (esp with the terrain around there).

      true motorsport fans building a track and no requirements such as ‘oh, it has to pass in and around a hotel’

  5. inb4messageabouttilkedesigningit

    But, please, not Tilke :(

    1. Too late, people have already talked about that ;)

  6. Fantastic news that I have been waiting nearly three years to hear!!! While Texas is not an easy drive for me, I am thrilled to see the race return to the USA.

  7. Untitled258
    25th May 2010, 19:03

    But, i dont want to visit texas to watch a race, ive always had a plan to go to new york, look around the galleries and museums, then move onto a new york based race!

    Oh well, its certainly better then no race at all in america. A lot of NASCAR fans in texas too i believe, maybe they will get involved and go to the races.

    Though TBh i think a country the size of america really does need two races.

    1. the problem is, as texas is NASCAR counrty I thought they hated european f1!?

      1. Untitled258
        25th May 2010, 19:27

        True, that might be the case. Lets hope they are a bit more open minded about it though. Theres a lot of motersport fans there already maybe there is potential to convert them?

        1. newnhamlea1
          25th May 2010, 20:06

          no offense intended here but…

          texas…open minded?

          this is the state that houses people that tried to KILL the top gear team when they drove through in their cars that had ‘NASCAR sucks’ written on the side of them as well as ‘man love rules ok’ and ‘we love hilary clinton’

          1. In fairness I think that was Alabama…

          2. newnhamlea1
            25th May 2010, 20:22

            i am indeed mistaken. However, although this is not true for everybody from the ‘deep south’, the stereotype remains. Just look at George W Bush.

          3. I knew that episope would bite us in the a**…they did tend to find the biggest bunch of hicks they could to represent us southerners.I am sure you all have rednecks in your backyards too.Just don’t invite them to social events or put a camera in their face.

            Texas is a beautiful place,lets hope the track is too.

          4. I will have to see that episode…. I’m surprised they got away with a stunt like that, I think in all realism though, The texas area is a motorsport area, I think it should go down well, And the US has a lot of F1 fans, even if they are outnumbered by NASCAR fans, so there really should be a race over there.

            Hell while I’m being so nice I might as well admit I was watching NASCAR, And rather enjoying it.

            Now that I’ve got that off my chest, Back to blatant racism.

      2. Thats what I thought when I first heard the news, but if you think about it Indy never had a problem and it is NASCAR country.

        Second thought…Tilke! Not to bash Tilke, which is so tempting, but I would like to see a new designer just interpret the rules differently or just freshen it up. Plus this way we can see where the problem really lies, with Tilke or the rules.

        How are we going to fit all these into the calendar? Oh well im not complaining, the more F1 the better.

      3. You’d be surprised just how many of us Texans love F1. Afterall we have 4 of the United States 10 largest cities all within easy driving distance of where the race will be held.

        1. newnhamlea1 It was in Alabama where people attempted to kill the Top Gear team.

          1. newnhamlea1
            25th May 2010, 20:23

            yeah i just realised, sorry guys.

      4. Please, people. Let’s not descend into uninformed profiling when you don’t know the people and the places. We’ve followed F1 for years. We’re not talking about NASCAR here. Okay?

        1. DamionShadows
          25th May 2010, 23:22

          Amen brother. I always thought Texas would be a front-runner for an F1 race. I’ve been to Houston and Dallas (I live in Arkansas) and they offer the same things as LA or NYC. As long as Bernie doesn’t make some stupid comment about Texans and/or southerners and they play their cards right, F1 should flourish.

      5. As many of you are overseas I will just say that “Austin” Texas is actually a much more liberal area of Texas. Its college town so the people are much more educated than that redneck stereotype that Texas is famous for. To put it bluntly, Austin doesn’t embarrass America… so that should bode well for the venue.

        For the record I agree with everyone else that another Tilke lame ass boring track would be super douchy and highly expected of the FIA and its group of rich, vanilla personality, no vision idiot drink tank

      6. I live in Austin, and I love F1. I’m delighted about this, but I’m afraid all the tree-huggers around here will de-rail the project before it really gets going.

    2. Austin, TX is one of the coolest cities in the US.

      1. And I’ve always wanted to visit there! I’m booking fights now on Southwest. My car-mad son will be 4 yrs old then.

        Shame it’s not in the biggest population state, California, where I live, but at least it’s not in the biggest land area state, Alaska.

        Looks kind of flat, and it probably won’t rain unless there’s a big storm. Wonder how much down force is needed if a tornado passes by!

          1. Scalextric
            26th May 2010, 2:30

            Interview with the promoter, Tavo, from 2009.
            Use the direct download link.

          2. Scalextric
            26th May 2010, 4:10

            And here’s the event he was plugging in that interview. That’s just last year. He’s jumped quickly to the big leagues to say the least.


      2. it’s an ‘it’ city apparantly…

  8. One other note of interest..dose it surprise anyone that this announcement is made as F1 is heading to Turkey, where the future of the race is in debate? Nothing like announcing a new venue to tell the local promoters “Shape up or be shipped out….”

  9. Great news. Hopefully F1 won’t screw up with this track, unlike Indianapolis.

  10. I knew this post would be constant Tilke bashing.

    But anyway, that’s awesome looking forward to seeing what the track will be like :D

    1. well if you going to build all the tracks…

    2. If he can pull of another Turkey style track. His first F1 track and IMO his absolute best to date it can be a Tilke track as far as I’m concerned ;) Just no Valencia track please. 2012 sounds like purpose built or why not 2011?

  11. polishboy808
    25th May 2010, 19:11

    Reading some quotes from f1.com, Mr Hellmund said ” As many Americans know, Austin has earned a reputation as one of the ‘it’ cities in the United States”. One of the “it” cities? Scince when? Austin is barely known in the U.s. so I dont know what he’s talking about. But I saw comments on the article on Istanbul park and had a thought, how about combining the best turns in one track (Turn eight, 130R, etc…)? This would be a good oppertunity to make an awsome track, and help F1 become popular in America. The problem with Indy was it had no interesting corners, nothing special, but if you add the best turns, then maybe, just maybe F1 will take off again and become popular like it was in THE 60’S-70’S! Well a man can dream….

    1. Really? Austin is definitely one of the up and coming cities in liberal, green, techie, artsy, hipster America–which is exactly the market F1 wants to target here. It’s one of the fastest growing cities in the country, it’s got great quality of living, it hosts the South by Southwest music/film/tech festival, etc. Really, I think it’s the perfect place for F1 to come to.


      1. What hipsters do you hang out with? I’ve certainly never met any that are racing fans in the least.

        1. I couldn’t get to SXSW this year but listen to hype machine daily, have lots of friends in bands, drink at small bars and though a little old could be borderline hipster in mentality. I also race cars, am F1 obsessed so……. Oh who am I kidding I’m in a club of one and you’re quite right!

          1. You’re not in a club of one – I’ve actually come across several fellow F1 fans in Austin – and there is a lot of ex-pat Europeans here too (including me) who still want our F1 fix.

        2. Lol! Well, I know a couple–they were art history majors in college, are as hipster as you could possibly be, and met each other because she noticed the guy was wearing Felipe Massa Puma shoes. :) Her (now-defunct) F1 blog is a riot, actually.

          1. Thanks for the links – funny stuff.

    2. Austin is definitely one of the “up and coming cities” in the U.S. I’d love to visit there one day.. have heard nothing but great things about it. It is a bastion of modernism and music and arts in a state filled with George Bush-loving Republicans.

      1. I couldn’t get to SXSW this year but listen to hype machine daily, have lots of friends in bands, drink at small bars and though a little old could be borderline hipster in mentality. I also race cars, am F1 obsessed so……. Oh who am I kidding I’m in a club of one and you’re quite right ;-)

        1. Doh! reply in wrong message.

        2. When I go to this race, I will for sure be on 8th street . This is one of the best nightlife cities in the US just for this one street. Every weekend the close down a road and people can walk from from club to bar to restaurant all on one street. Austin is home to the University of Texas. Young lively people. Awesome choice and I in Miami will surely plan my trip from now to make sure that I am there to celebrate F1 in the USA.

  12. >World class facility.
    >Austin city being the best.
    >Texas economy.

    Yay. Not one word about making the track special and different from recent additions to the calendar, making it enjoyable to drive and watch.
    Another mediocre stop-n-go track with the most glamorous paddock area, rainbow-colored hotel above and under the circuit, and the all-new rent-a-jetpack feature to watch the track from any angle for the deep pocketed? I hope not.

  13. actually I seen it first on Noble’s twitter but not by much… :)

    This scares me a great deal actually… such an amazing opportunity that will ultimately be ruined… you know that Tilke will build it and it will be a beautiful track that is useless as far as F1 is concerned… The track record doesn’t lie…

    I was looking at that track in New York… the Monticello Motor Club… and it was looking Spa’esque… beautiful…that got me excited about a race in the US… not sure now…

  14. First off congratulations to the US for finally getting a race again.

    I don’t know much about Texas andf its enthusiasm for racing but I imagine this is being well recived across America and many would travel. I’ve just checked wiki -not the most reliable thing so please correct me if I’m wrong- and it appears that Texas have quite a few tracks but mostly clay/dirt and not asphalt. I know there will be a new track probably but it’s good for getting an idea for what types of racing usually sell in Texas. If anyone is from Texas here, I would very much like to know what you make of the news.

    I’m guessing ideas for New York could still very much on the table as we have been discussing it pretty recently and this deal must have been in the pipeline although what Bernie says and what really happens are two very separate things. NY may go under another title if it does materialise (and whether it happens at all is a while off yet).

    The great news is the length of the deal which means no more faffing about. USF1, Montreal and now the possibility of another attempt at getting a US team were all great signs that F1 can work in the US. I know US F1 failed but at least it tried. F1 really needs to make the most of it though and grab this opportunity as I feel last time, especially with 05, it really shot itself in the foot and many fans there must have been annoyed although I don’t know how well F1 will ever compete there with Indy and NASCAR etc.

    Oh and well done Keith for the speed of getting this article up! You’ve been on fire recently, you must type over 100 wpm :P

    1. I’m from Texas and I think my state is getting a bad rap here guys. I am a huge F1 fan and I know many here in the Lone Star State. I think it’s great news and a great chance for the sport to find new fans. Even Texans unfamiliar with F1 will want a look, we want the biggest and the best here and F1 is it. It’s a great fit.

      1. I do hope the Texan style Tilke track will indeed be the biggest, best track, instead of gimmicky and unimaginative. I have some hope that with a background of liking racing, we can at least have some high speed corners etc. to make the track exciting.

    2. I live in Central Texas (about an hour north of Austin) and from what I’ve read in these responses, most people have no clue what Texas is really like. We have more than dirt oval tracks! In fact, there are 9 road courses within 3 hours of my house! Two of the newest tracks are in the Austin area – one is a motorsports training academy and the other a private track. The first private membership track in the US was also in Texas – Motorsport Ranch (Ft. Worth). I too, am surprised at the choice of Austin, but I am thrilled as well. I hope they can find the funding to make this happen!

    3. Can they not have NASCAR as a supourt race? Much like the V8s down under. This would could heplp bring some fans over.

      But realistically, F1 probably wouldn’t want them due to an air of superiority, and io don’t think NASCAR people would take kindly to being a “supourt race”, so i can’t see it hapening. It would be good for the fans, but when does that ever count?

  15. Exciting news. I’ve actually been through Texas many times while touring with my band. Very big place. Austin is an exciting city. After reading the info about why Austin was chosen it makes sense. Plus like mentioned before, all the Nascar fans in Texas should help the turnout. Can’t wait to see how the track turns out.

  16. Someone has said a purpose built oval! Surely that means and oval with an infield section too for the F1. If they wanted F1 oval racing they should do it at Indy.

  17. IllinoisBob
    25th May 2010, 19:28

    I am Jones-ing for a U.S. Grand Prix, and I really, really hope this comes to pass. Even with the “official” announcement from Bernie, however, I predict the race never happens. Of all the places in Texas, Austin strikes me as the least likely to provide the public support for an F1 race (or any other auto race). There is another agenda here. Shades of the Donington affair?

    1. IllinoisBob
      25th May 2010, 20:07

      A thought for the underlying agenda: Bernie is getting pressured by FOTA to have a U.S. Grand Prix. This announcement allows him to say he has a contract for a race and takes the pressure off a little bit. The announcement may say more about Bernie’s relationship with FOTA the the likelihood of having an F1 race in Austin.

      Other than a location, plans, construction, and money, this track is good to go. There is a big difference between a contract and the reality of a race track. This announcement should not be taken at face value.

      I hope my skepticism proves to be misplaced. I went to all of the U.S. Grand Prix held at Indianapolis, and Austin is a great town. If there is a race in Austin, I’ll go and happily admit how wrong I was.

  18. TEXAS???

    What a boring race it will be…

    Chuck Norris will win every single edition, lapping the field in an HRT after starting from the pits, blinfolded…

    Sorry I couldn’t resist :)

    1. And he will take good care of Vettel’s RBR with a roudhouse kick on the F-Duct.

  19. * note to Monticello Motor Club guys: would you buy a second-hand car from Ecclestone? *

  20. Fred Schechter
    25th May 2010, 19:34

    Wow,, still stunned.
    You’re all coming to visit!!!
    As for it being in Texas,,, anywhere else in Texas I’d worry. Austin,, I’m not worried. Austin is where the silicone valley and Los Angeles threw up and had a baby that wore cowboy boots and a sarcastically written T-shirt.
    It’s going to be interesting, epic, and Texas style.
    As for track design, we’ll see, (fingers crossed, no Tilke). I think Bernie finally get the whole “not in an oval” thing. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be making something from the ground up. Here’s hoping it’s a year round facility that has great variation and sightlines. There are some areas there that would be great (We’ll see what the site is first before commenting).
    I guess the word of the day is,, Welcome back Ya’ll!!!
    We’re goin racin!

    1. Amen Preacher! Yehaw.

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3 5

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.