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”

  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.

  21. Incredible news, instead of contemplating a trip to Montreal or farther afield I’ll have a race in my backyard. Be wary of anyone stereotyping Austin in with the rest of Texas, this city is a very different place with a mind and culture of it’s own.

    I’m interested to hear where they will build the track, east of town is rather flat but there’s land near the airport. West is dominated by hills which would make for better scenery and the potential for an awesome elevation variable course.

    If Austin is barely known can you explain the hordes of people that move here every year from the rest of the country? Austin is regularly named as one of the best cities to live in the states, and the city’s (and the states) economy fared much better than most of the rest of the country in recent years.

    1. US Williams Fan
      26th May 2010, 0:52

      “If Austin is barely known can you explain the hordes of people that move here every year from the rest of the country? Austin is regularly named as one of the best cities to live in the states, and the city’s (and the states) economy fared much better than most of the rest of the country in recent years.”

      I have heard the same thing…. while parts are of the US (like mine) are in a slump and population is dwindling – places like Austin are booming!

      I think in New York or San Fran or NJ there would be many restrictions on circuit design, promotions, schedule etc – perhaps Bernie felt that there would more freedom to design a circuit/event in a city like Austin.

      Looking forward to it!

  22. Jose Arellano
    25th May 2010, 19:36


  23. Robert McKay
    25th May 2010, 19:38

    Well, good to know we’re going back to the USA, with the added bonus of making the Canadian round more viable too.

    But when I read “purpose-built” facility, I can’t say I get very excited, regardless of whether or not Tilke is involved – which I’m 95% certain he would be anyway.

    But maybe I’ll be proven wrong.

  24. Ned Flanders
    25th May 2010, 19:55

    Austin seems like a slightly strange place to host the race, but Joe Saward has mentioned on his site that it’s “the largest US city that does not have a team in any of the major professional sports league”… which explains why they might need a GP

    1. Indeed, but the city is home to the main campus of the University of Texas. One of the nation’s best schools for academics as well as party atmosphere, the school’s sports teams are some of the best-known and followed in all of America. Those are the main sports attractions in town, but the USGP will further enhance that reputation :)

      1. That does not sound too bad. And from the pictures of night time Austin, it looks like the city can make a nice backdrop here as well.
        Would it be a night race, like the one in Jersey city planned to be?

  25. “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.”

    Gosh, how do I *love* that corporate lingo…

  26. Wow! Great news. I’ll definitely be buying a plane ticket, that is, unless Bernie also signs a deal for NY, which is my backyard.

    Please god no Tilke.

  27. I’m hoping they get the guy that designed the Monticello circuit, and retire Tilke to the land of traffic lights.

  28. Hooray! I always knock Bernie but also always acknowledge when he dopes something good – and hopefully this will be one of those times.

    Plus points so far:
    – It’s in the USA
    – It’s in the South, NASCAR country. Hopefully this will bring F1 more into the US sporting mind, instead of being some over-priced, elitist Northern day out (no offence intended, that’s just how some people think, I’m not one of them)
    – It’s going to be done properly and from scratch. Whilst that might mean a Tilkebore, at least it won’t be the rubbish infield we had at Indy.

    – Will it be a Turkey (mostly good), Sepang (carbon copy) or an Abu Dhabi (could have been good, ended up being underwhelming) Tilke track? Will it even be a Tilke track? I hope an American company gets the contract, it would really help sell the race if it was a jobs creator.
    – Will there be an oval element to it? Despite the move away from them in American series, I think it’s still nigh-on essential for an F1 race in the USA to include such a huge piece of its racing DNA. Maybe some kind of mix, with a semi-oval for the last section and a normal layout for the rest of it. Not quite old Monza but in the spirit of it.
    – What about adding a NASCAR/IRL round to it that acts as a support race for F1? Or even the other way around!

    1. An Indy support race the same weekend is an amazing idea.

    2. It’s high time they did something different with circuit design.

      It’s not like there are any American series that require an F1-specification venue – IndyCar can happily race on tracks like Mid-Ohio which F1 wouldn’t touch, and NASCAR seldom gets off ovals.

      So why not build a new high-speed course for F1 – if not actually an oval then not far short of one, with just straights and fast, wide bends. Where slipstreaming is more important than “slow in, fast out”.

      Ah, I’m dreaming. But if Herman Tilke gets out his cookie cutter and stamps his usual mix of straights and slow bends in some obscure corner of Austin, it’ll be a missed opportunity.

      1. Bartholomew
        25th May 2010, 21:53

        I like this idea. An oval could be a part of a high-speed layout, a new “Monza of the Lone Star State”.
        A high speed race with good helicopter filming

        Tilke VERBOTEN ! ( that means FORBIDDEN )

      2. This. I think that a track in the style of the old Buenos Aires track or the Hermanos Rodriguez track in Mexico – a very fast semi-banked corner at one side of the track, and a decent flowing section on the other side, would be a great idea and would give the American race its own unique character.

    3. Pengo (Blake Merriam)
      25th May 2010, 20:37

      Oooooohh. A NASCAR/IRL support race is a GREAT idea. Watching the NASCAR “buses” navigate around the road track then watching the F1 cars carve it up!

      1. @Icthyes, sorry, Sepang carbon copy? Of what?

        Otherwise hell to the yeah, Please a low downforcer, if not, something fast with overtaking spots, WE ALL KNOW IT’S POSSIBLE.

  29. I’m cautiously optimistic, but I need to see the money first. Where is it coming from? It takes an enormous amount of cash to build something like this. Donnington signed an agreement too, and we know how that turned out.

    1. yeah this does seem to be something we’ve missed in the excitement. Whose financing this? Where the billions comming from, an will their be protests an the like.

      An how are they going to build something that big in time?

      More importantly whose designing the track an does he understand the principles of corner wakes effecting draft to pass, as well as braking zones required for said passing.

  30. In the last years all the new races were at places where not many people care about f1: China, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Turkey… After Valencia it’s good to see another track where there are actually gonna be some spectators there.

  31. Austin is a great city. The Austin-San Antonio region is growing fast. Huge university which hosts 90000 fan football games seven times a year. Dallas and Houston are just a few hour drive away. 6th Street is awesome if you like to party or lusten to live music. Beautiful Lake Travis a few minutes away. It will be a lovely place to host a race.

  32. I wonder what if instead of this new track, the race was awarded to Laguna Seca. That would be awesome!

  33. HopefulState
    25th May 2010, 20:18

    Would be interesting to see where they build it. Two years is a short time to build a track from scratch if it hasn’t even been designed yet. The only existing track I know of in Austin is Driveway Austin, and that’s more of an driving school than a track, could they expand that?

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      25th May 2010, 21:11

      Is that the one on Delwau Lane, just north of the airport?

    2. HounslowBusGarage
      25th May 2010, 21:11

      Is that the one on Delwau Lane, just north of the airport?

      1. HounslowBusGarage
        25th May 2010, 21:16

        Sorry for the duplicate. Not sure what happened there.

        1. HBG, is that Lennin in your Gravatar?

          1. HounslowBusGarage
            26th May 2010, 8:28

            The very same. Apparently I look like him.

      2. HopefulState
        25th May 2010, 23:55

        Yeah, there also used to be a drag strip/road course up in Round Rock just south of the La Frontera shopping center, out where they shot the Chainsaw Massacre.

  34. We need to get away from keep building new tracks all the time, they just have no character. If I was in charge of F1 I would be looking to put together as diverse a schedule as I could. I would love to see an F1 race on the runways and taxiways of an airport for instance. As for Texas there is a street track that from what I remember in the ChampCar days was pretty wide and could offer a good trial for f1 in the area without committing to the cost of a all new facility.

    1. HopefulState
      25th May 2010, 20:48

      The track the ChampCar used was in Houston at the next to the Astrodome. There’s talk of it coming back for the IRL 2011 season, I wouldn’t mind it if Austin stole the race from them.

    2. I agree, it seems very odd to build a new, purpose-built track in a country with plenty of motorsports heritage. It makes sense to hire Tilke for places like Bahrain, but building a new one in the US just baffles me.

  35. Hair E Ball Ox
    25th May 2010, 20:50

    Well I for one think this is a great idea and dont understand all the ‘nay-sayers’.

    This has all the potential to really bring back F1, in the US, to its former glory days of the past.

    Being held in Austin isnt such a bad idea…..

    It’s in a part of the country that is race savy. Yes, its admiditly NARSCAR, but if it’s done right it could really make F1 take off in the US.

    Also, it has a race savy promoter and the locals & officials seem to be behind it rather than against it, al la New Jersey.

    I think this could really be the make or brake point for F1 in the US. They’re working with a blank canvas rather than working within the confines of an existing track. So Im going to remain fully optimistic that this will work.

    1. Indy had had NASCAR racing there for 6 years already when F1 showed up. Not to mention, they had 90 years or so of Indy Car racing history which is much closer to F1. I fail to see how Texas would be more race savvy…

      1. Hair E Ball Ox
        25th May 2010, 23:11

        Who said it was ‘more’ race savvy?

        Indy was wrong frm the start and then we had back to back fiascos with Michelin & then Schumacker letting Rubens pass at the line.

        Here they have an oppertunity to build the entire footprint as they want without having to work within the confines of an existing infrastructure.

        My point is, starting from scratch within an area where the local and state government are behind it, a long term commitment and existing race fans is a great place to start.

        It’s hard to argue that Indy had any of those factors, save for the fans.

        Bottom line is where, exactly, in the US, could you build a track that has all those factors as a starting off point?

        I think Austin should be commended for going after it. And instead of being negative, im trying to hope that this works out. At minimum it has great potential.

  36. If Bernie is steering away from Indianapolis trying to find the “right people,” I’m not sure what he expects to find in Texas. It’s no less a beer-and-hotdog place than Indy was.

    1. As a resident of Texas, I’m offended by that remark. We do not eat hotdogs around here…

      1. beer-and-rattlesnakes?

        1. Bartholomew
          25th May 2010, 21:55

          The “right people” for Bernie are those that put money in his pocket

          1. very true.

            And making this comment longer with needless filler so it will post.

  37. As an Austin resident and F1 fanatic since 1976 – this announcement just made my day, heck it made my week, month, and probably year too.

    A friend of mine suggested that I must have been wishing on a star, but to be honest I never in my wildest dreams expected this announcement. I would have been happy with NYC or a return to Indy (an event I loved going to.)

    I’m an ex-pat Brit who has been lucky enough to see F1 at Brands, Silverstone, and Spa as well as at Indy. I was also lucky enough to do some work around the fringes of the F1 scene in the past with McLaren and Lotus plus worked with James Allen on his biography of Mansell several years back. I thought my F1 days were restricted to watching it on SPEED and listening to the wonderful commentary of Varsha, Hobbs & Matchett. But it seems no more.

    As for Austin’s credentials? As a couple of previous posters pointed out, Austin is not stereotypical Texas. It’s a highly liberal city with a strong artistic and creative community (one of the reasons I came here) with more music, artists and writers per block than anywhere else I’ve seen. It also has a thriving movie industry and is one of the most innovative IT centers in the US. Dell is based here and most of the US video-gaming industry. The second larges Apple campus is here and Facebook and Google have just opened offices here. Yes some of us do wear cowboy boots and drive big trucks but there isn’t any tumble weed. Austin is in fact on the edge of the Texas Hill Country which has some of the best driving roads in the US.

    On the face of it Austin doesn’t have much of a car culture – but we have a small paved oval track south of town and a private road race track which is well used. Until recently we used to have a world class kart track at the airport too.

    Welcoming F1 to Austin is an awesome opportunity for both the city to show the rest of the world what it has to offer, and for F1 to win a whole new legion of supporters.

    Austin is unique, and F1 has another special place to visit on its calendar.

    Looking forward to 2012.

    1. Congrats and kudos on the enlightenment. As a resident of the midwest, I can understand people expecting stereotypes. Still, I’ll have to wait and see how this plays out over the years. I’ll be impressed if they keep fans coming back and I’m sure I’m gonna try and get out there to see my first Grand Prix.

      Another thing I’m curious about… if they race in Texas, surely they won’t make the same mistake as ’84 and run it in the damn summer? I’m assuming it’ll be at the start or end of the season.

      1. You are right about the scheduling concern – You don’t want to be be hanging out in Austin in July and August if you aren’t used to 100 degrees F plus temps.

        Austin is just a few hours away from two of the biggest cities in the US Houston and Dallas, and San Antonio (another fast growing area) is only an hour south – it has a large potential catchment area. The city is also used to attracting people, and growing, major events like the South By Southwest media and tech show and the Austin City Limits music festival.

    2. GrumpyATX'n
      27th May 2010, 14:44

      “Spot On” Mr. Porter.. I’m a native Austinite and was stunned by the news. So points that may help those unfamiliar with Austin..

      F1 Politics aside, there are some factors that allow Austin to stand on it’s own merits.

      – Austin hosts one of the worlds largest combined music/multimedia/film festival every year. (During that same week in March we also host a major Rodeo, and two large regional sporting events). In June, we host one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the US. We are used to huge crowds descending on our city. Come, visit, have fund, spend money. JUST DON’T MOVE HERE!

      – As one article pointed out, The DFW, Houston and San Antonio population centers are less than 3 hrs by car. Many millions to draw from.

      – The State of Texas has a huge fund for such events and is providing $25million for this project and $27million for next years Super Bowl in Dallas. This wasn’t just the city, but the entire State, Governor and State Comptroller. We are coming up on a gubernatorial election so the sitting Governor is looking to build political capital with just such announcements.

      – As mentioned Austin has weathered the economic downturn very well. An article on Yahoo just yesterday noted we are the number one Real Estate market in the US. (Groan..)

      – Many celebrities “live” in Austin. By “live” I mean own a home and list it as their primary residence as to avoid state income taxes in California, New York, etc.. In fact race car legend AJ Foyt got into trouble here in Travis county because he claimed his lake house as primary residence to enjoy the “homestead exemption” on the local property taxes… The media reported that he only visited the property infrequently which would make it debatable as to whether or not he actually “resided” there…. Lots of people with lots of money have Austin on their radar.

      So in short, Austin was a hidden gem that people with money have already started to… (trying not to use ‘exploit’ here..)

      So, come.. Have fun, spend lots of money.. I’ll probably be in the stands next to you.. JUST DON”T MOVE HERE..

  38. Texas??? What the heck be a formula one Billy Bob? we likeee them Nassscarr down here.
    Austin is an OK city, I just can’t picture Austin, by itself, filling up a racetrack.
    You can bring F1 to a redneck but a redneck will never go to a F1. Too much cow dung in them boots to go to a F1.

    What a hoot..

  39. I’m not getting my hopes up, afterall the last time an F1 project happened in the USA it was a huge disaster. I am of course talking about the failed entry of USF1, the new national team for the Americans to back. Similarly the project got the go ahead from the F1 bosses, and similarly it was a start from scratch high risk programme. Surely if this is going to work in the Western World it will work in the USA, afterall it has the world’s best economy, but as was proven with the USF1 disaster this is not the case – they could not get the financial backing and had to fold before they got going due to a lack of sponsorship. Why should this new track be any differant, there is just a thought at the back of my mind that this isn’t going to happen. I hope I am proven wrong because if this fails it is the final mail in the coffin for F1 in the US

  40. Let’s hope that by “with Austin as the backdrop” they don’t mean, built in a dirt field 100 miles away in the middle of nowhere at the end of a two-lane highway. Texas has a lot of nowhere in which to precisely site an F1 track, so be afraid of an “Istanbul” situation.

    If it is close to Austin, it is an inspired choice. Austin hosts many large annual festivals, including in information tech and web industries, it has a major music scene. It accordingly has decent hotels and nightlife. And its becoming rapidly overrun with wealthy coastal people looking for brand new mid-century modernist houses, indepedent coffee houses, and who prefer not to run into gun-toting conservative Texans on the run down to Whole Foods in their Audis. And there is a large and highly rated university there, which keeps the cultural tone fresh. (It’s good even though it is “public,” which term is normally a mark of failure and shame in this country in any context.) This concludes my wikipedia draft on Austin, TX.

    1. As someone else mentioned the promotors mentioned in the press release have some connection with Thunderhill Raceway, a small paved oval track which is located in Kyle about 20 minutes drive south of Austin. There’s a lot of undeveloped land in that area.

      I wonder…

  41. I’m hoping someone gets the idea of calling anyone but Hermann Tilke. If Tilke is called to design the circuit, we will have to pray.

    1. Prisoer Monkeys
      25th May 2010, 22:58

      *headbang* *headbang* *headbang*

      Hermann Tilke works within rules set out by th FIA. Anyone who replaced him would be bound by those same rules and would only produce a similar circuit. If you look at some of Tilke’s non-F1 designs – Motorsportsland Aragon springs to mind – you’ll see that he’s actually pretty good.

      It’s the rules, not the designer that needs changing. And if FOTA get the regulations for the cars right, they may not even need that …

      1. Hair E Ball Ox
        25th May 2010, 23:24

        PR couldn’t be more right. Unfortunately too many people are quick with a comment without fully understanding the situation, as if they have more knowledge than the people actually involved in F1.

        Im not by any menas waving a Tilke flag here but its not like he can simply design any track he wants. Obvioulsy he’s doing something right, in terms of the FIA, otherwise he wouldnt be their only designer.

        He’s asked to do a job per their reg’s and he does it. Yes, it would be nice to have other options as far as an architect is concerned, but they too would be under the same confines as Tilke.

        1. Hair E Ball Ox
          25th May 2010, 23:30

          I meant PM, obviously.

          1. Electrolite
            25th May 2010, 23:47

            Absolutely. You look at Turn 8 at Turkey and wonder how he got away with it in my eyes.

          2. Prisoer Monkeys
            26th May 2010, 2:26

            You look at Turn 8 at Turkey and wonder how he got away with it in my eyes.

            Geography, mostly. Keith posted a really great article about this time last year where Tilke explains his design process. He tries to challenge the drivers on each circuit (Turn 8 being the obvious example, but the old turns 9 and 10 at Bahrain and turns seven, eight and thirteen in Shanghai also spring to mind). The problem isn’t just the rulebook, it’s the tract of land he’s given. Sure, we’d all love to see a circuit on a piece of land that ould be described as a minature mountain range, but sometimes he’s given a flat paddock and nothing else to work with.

      2. I think Motorland Aragon does have a high enough grade to hold F1 races and tests, it’s just that F1 doesn’t go there…

  42. Yea Haw!!!

    Austin’s National Recognition
    – Known as “The Live Music Capital of the World”
    – Voted “Greenest City in America” (MSN)
    – Voted “Least Stressful Large Metro” in the United States (Forbes)
    – Voted Top Two “Best Cities” in the United States (Money Magazine)
    – Voted Top Three “Hippest Cities” in the United States (Forbes)
    – Voted Top Five “Safest Cities” in the United States (Forbes)
    – Voted Top Ten “Sports & Fitness Cities” in the USA (Sports Business Journal)

    1. Hair E Ball Ox
      25th May 2010, 23:26

      Not slagging off Austin my any means here but…..

      exactly WHAT does Forbes mag know about being ‘HIP’?

    2. HopefulState
      26th May 2010, 0:06

      Its also known for some reeeeaaaaallu bad traffic.

  43. Bartholomew
    25th May 2010, 21:47


    The great state of Texas has a historic opportunity, and will waste it with a generic Tilkedome.
    Hire the designer of Road Atlanta, f.ex. Do something unique and American, not another generic international style Tilkedome !!!! please

  44. Charles Carroll
    25th May 2010, 21:48

    I am really excited about this! I am an American and I am a brand new fan of F1. I just started watching it this year, recording the races when their air late at night/early in the morning on Speed TV. I never really got into NASCAR, mostly because I never felt part of the culture which surrounds it, and it has a bit of a “professional wrestling in cars” air about it. A bit contrived with manufactured drama. That, and F1 cars are incredible in terms of speed and technology. I followed Indy for a while, but when they broke apart, it was hard to know what was going on. F1 just has the history, the cars, and the best drivers, and I love it!

    I am eager to go to a race, but have not had the funds to travel overseas. It would be great to see one here, and Texas is a good location for one as well. Those folks love racing, and they will get behind this. I also hope that the US will be able to establish a team based in Austin as well.

    Thank you for this site, by the way, it has been most helpful! You guys all know so much about the sport, that it has been a pleasure to read the articles and the comments. Now all I need is an avatar like Ned’s!

  45. Uh, I’m not so sure. Going to Montreal– a great city within driving distance, but if I’m getting on a plane, I’m headed across the pond. Spa, Silverstone– not Texas. Would like to be proven wrong.

  46. Luis Salvatierra
    25th May 2010, 22:14

    As a resident of Oklahoma I will be happy to drive 8 hours to see the race. This is good news for the US and definitely for Formula 1.

  47. Right, this could be fantasic if:

    2. Build a high speed blast through the hills, full of slipstreamin potential. Its something weve missed since Hockenheim was brutally murdered, and I think it would be just the thing to capture US attention. Not and oval, but in the same sort of ultimate speed principle. So yeah, simple track, long straights, actual overtaking chicanes and a proper compromised low downforce setup.

    1. Prisoer Monkeys
      25th May 2010, 23:00

      What slipstream potential? We haven’t had slipstreaming since the 1980s. It’s the aerodynamic regulations that cause this, not the circuits.

      Once again, I see the fans attack the most obvious target, blissfully unaware that they’re storming the wrong city.

      1. Meh, forgot to enter my email address, so my whole post was deleted.
        In short:
        I agree with PM.
        Just because Tilke doesn’t make a new circuit doesn’t mean it’ll be any better. The designer still has to follow the FIA rules, which makes corners as the Eau Rouge or the corkscrew impossible. Still, I think some competition would be good ;)

      2. PM hes done 12 F1 traks, from my last count, and made alterations to many other. Even if he was brilliant, that sort of monopoly on track design is seriously not good for F1, i think even you can see that.

        And secondly, have you noticed how tracks are moving towards mid to high downforce setup. There are two low downforce tracks, Spa and Monza. Another one couldnt do any harm, we need vairety in tracks, cars designers, teams and drivers.

        Even though the rules are stupidly restrictive, its for the good of F1 that someone other than Tilke gets the gig, I dont get why you cant see this!

  48. Magnificent Geoffrey
    25th May 2010, 22:31

    I’ve only just woken up to this news but this completely blows my mind. Formula 1 going deep into the American South? I really really hope this works!

    1. That seems to be the generall reaction. Seems like Austin isn’t typical deep south Nascar land though.

  49. I think this is fantastic news. I would have loved for F1 to come out to Laguna Seca or Sears Point where I live in the San Francisco area, but Texas is a lot closer then NY and this makes it a real likelihood that I will get to see F1 in person soon.

    Austin is not like the rest of Texas from what I hear and I think the international fans will be pleasantly surprised by the culture there. It is probably a lot more progressive and cultured then Indianapolis.

    1. More progressive and cultured than Indy, by a lightyear man.

  50. Here’s my prediction:
    Lewis Hamilton will win the inaugural USGP in Austin,TX.
    On the way back to his hotel suite after the event, he’ll celebrate by thrilling some onlookers with smoky burnouts and donuts in his AMG Mercedes courtesy car. On a public road.
    He will NOT get arrested.
    More likely that he’ll be presented with the Key to the City! :)
    Go Austin!

    1. Best Post! Well done Sir.

  51. Mark Maloney
    25th May 2010, 22:58

    Talk about surprised; I live in Austin and nobody in Austin knew about it even being in the works. I just said last week that the Monaco Grand Prix was my dream vacation. Funny, now people might be thinking the same about my home town; to a lesser degree, of course.

  52. Electrolite
    25th May 2010, 23:00

    Eat your heart out, Hermann…



    1. No street circuit pls :X

  53. For all of those wondering how much America cares about F1…

    ESPN Sportscenter (the premier sports highlight and news show) just ran a brief 15 second segment on the news of the new USGP. However, they did not even have footage of F1, instead showing video footage of an Indycar race.

    Maybe it is a licensing rights issue, or the national media just doesn’t really care.

    I am personally disappointed with the announcement. I think Austin is a great city, but it is just not the right place for a race. Texas is so vast and the population density is so low compared with the East and West coasts. I just don’t see people traveling and attendance being poor.

    1. So say you I have local group of guys here in Miami, Fl (40 guys) who upon hearing this news are already planning our trip for. I am sure the sheer number of road car clubs and endless SCCA clubs around the US are doing the same.. You are talking about the US here.. Where a regular Nascar race sees upwards of 200,000 people in the stands… And the 12hrs at Sebring brought in approx 90,000 people and Sebring if you look on a map in the dead middle of FLorida with the closest big city being Miami about 120 miles away.. SPEED will be all over this and the event will be huge.

      There is a saying in Texas, “Go Big or Go Home”

    2. Richard, did you even read the article. 4 of the 10 LARGEST cities in the whole U.S. are within a couple hours of the race site. Just as much population density as the West or East coast, and let’s face it, it’s about time something cool went to the heart of the country instead of hugging the coastline for dear life.

      1. Texas is 28th in population density of the US. Not to mention significantly less than any east coast or midwest state.


        So, yes i did read the article.

        1. That’s a very misleading statistic. Texas is bigger than the other lower 48 states. While much of the population is, in reality, concentrated in the larger metropolitan areas of Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin; your statistic incorporates the vast and relatively sparcely populated western portion of the state.

  54. Prisoer Monkeys
    25th May 2010, 23:37

    I’m excited for it – I love a new circuit – but I’m a bit bemused as to how this is going to work. Given the expenses involved in shipping everything everywhere, it makes sense that the United States Grand Prix will be twinned with the Canadian Grand Prix as a flyaway leg. But Austin is a full 24 hours’ drive from Montreal. I suppose the races could be held two weeks apart with the teams driving cross-country to Austin, but how many of them would be receptive to that? Surely this would just create a situation where Austin is consider a flyaway race in the middle of a flyaway leg.

    Another potential solution would be to twin it with Interlagos on the final leg of the championship – the late-October/early-November weather in Austin would make this possible (unlike in Montreal), so adding it into the string of flyaway races might work.

    1. Yeah, but in October/November, football (the American kind) is KING in Texas, and pretty much anywhere else in America as well. Having the race that late would be a major blunder in my view.

  55. Texas – marvellous! Her indoors is half Texican, so just got free accomodation to a GP, whilst visiting her daddy… Total win/win for us(me!).

    Only slightly skewed aspect was location in Texas. Dallas/Fort Worth has the largest infrastructure in the South. Guessing Tavo Hellmund has a personal affection for Austin and is thus pushing it’s profile in this, but believe a US Grand Prix should represent just that, a big flashy reflection of the US of A. Is Austin really the place to do that? Last time I checked, Austin, to most of us auto-geeks, was the company that birthed the modern production car (the Seven) and signalled the nadir of taste (the Princess VDP).

    Given that even Bernie can’t afford Central Park, somewhere along Jersey City would fit the bill and provide easy access via Newark.

    Now what can be done to Herr Tilke’s rep to prevent him access to the US ;)

  56. Yukirin Boy
    25th May 2010, 23:39

    I guess I am too cynical.
    With recent F1 history of Donington, USF1, the abort by Prodrive and (OK it had two races) Fuji amongst others – I remain unconvinced.
    I really hope that a good circuit that can show off F1 can be built in Texas and have a race in 2012. But show us the plans, the money and local support at the time of the announcement.

  57. Mark in Florida
    25th May 2010, 23:53

    It`s good news that America is getting an F1 race.I`m very suprised that its going to be in Austin though.Austin is a great city but its not considered a racing mecca by very many people.I wonder if the New York plan fell trough financialy and Bernie being committed to bringing a race back ended up in Austin.Maybe this wont be another Donnington.It was said that this was being privately financed so I would assume that there`s still plenty of oil money around.One thing that is in Texas favor is that it is centrally located albeit in the south.It`s not too far from the high rollers in Vegas or the fans on the east coast.Hopefully the track design will be one that is memorable and not some forgetable clone.The redesigned Silverstone track seems very interesting.Lets hope that it will succeed and be a great success.

  58. Stephen_P83
    26th May 2010, 0:24

    Wow….GREAT NEWS!!!! I hope this happens since I live in Austin. Honestly, there isn’t much of a racing heritage here (unless you’re talking about cycling). We had an awsome karting track that got closed. There is one private sports car track and that’s it for racing in Austin. There is a fan group at the University for people to watch Grand Prix together and it’s very small. I obviously love the decision since I live here, but it’s an odd one.

    Glenn, it’s sixth street not eighth street with the night life!

    1. Sorry about that.. honestly i spent a weekend there in march of 09 and by the end of the weekend i couldn’t see anymore… Either way Austin is the sheit!!

  59. Austin Texas ; Lets see . Great music . Great food . Educated . A bit of insane side to it . So whats not to like ?

    And if you read the official B. Eccelstone letter this has been n the works for a couple of years . So NJ and NY were I think a bit of a diversion tactic .

    See Ya all down there . Yee Haaw

    ” Thats right I’m not from Texas but texas wants me anyhow “

  60. Hope its an oval

  61. That 84 race was just a big go kart track…oh wait most F1 races now are just big go kart tracks with sand traps…fore

  62. wow, i am stunned. congrats to austin

  63. I live in Austin and I thought I would never be able to see a F1 race in person in my lifetime. Now I will be able to and I am walking on clouds at the moment. I absolutely can’t believe this. I’m going to go drink a few glasses of champagne…. or maybe beer.

  64. Good news! I realistically dont think NY was ever going to happen, more then likely a scenario Bernie released in the middle of negotiations to give him more bargenning power with the texas organizers . Either way it’s a great excuse for me to plan a trip to the US in a couple of years !

  65. A BAD news the track will be designed by Hermann Tilke??

    Why do he gets the job always??

    Good news for the USA fan.

    1. Prisoer Monkeys
      26th May 2010, 2:58

      Tilke isn’t evil. He plays by the rules set out by the FIA. Blame the rulebook, not the guy who has to abide by it.

      1. Tilke has a part in it though. Compare Istanbul, a pretty good track designed within the FIA rules, with………. Abu Dhabi, a pretty bland circuit who’s redeeming feature is it’s architecture, or Hockenheim, or Valencia, or…….

        The FIA rules do allow elevation, camber, changing radius corners and all the other things which make for an interesting circuit.

        1. Prisoer Monkeys
          26th May 2010, 8:41

          Tilke has to work with the land he’s given. He doesn’t get the first pick. Take Hockenheim for example: given that his modifications run through the old infield, it’s pretty obvious he was told to treat the old circuit as a perimeter. And in Valencia, well, he was limited by the natural run of the streets. And Abu Dhabi, whell, that’s on a reclaimed island, so it was never going to be much more than fat. Tilke doesn’t get to pick the land he builds on – he has to do he best he can with what he’s given.

          And while the FIA regulations do allow for those features, they also limit them. And more than a few degrees of banking requires special permission, while negative camber is almost universally banned.

  66. All that im hoping for from the track is that is state of the art in design, fan-friendliness, and that there at least be one turn that is Banked in homage to the US racing. Imagine seeing F1 cars on a 24 degree banked turn with speeds around 190 mph… That one turn will be worth the price of admission. Pushing the limits of adhesion and what is thought possible in a car. Would be a great challenge for ‘ole Tilke.

  67. What was a major mistake was having the announcement the same day as the site of the 2014 Super Bowl was announced. And seeing that is was a history-making decision to have the game outdoors at the new stadium outside New York City, that was the headline-making news in American sports today……

  68. Austin is a cultural island inside the state of Texas. The motto of Austin is, “keep Austin weird.”

    The biggest alternative music festival in the country (South by Southwest) is held in Austin.

    Austin is the “greenest” city in the US.

    The best university level jazz group is out of Austin.

    The people of Austin, when they refer to cities like Dallas or Houston, say, “that’s Texas, that’s not Austin.”

    Suffice to say, Austin is quite different from the balance of Texas. This plan just might work.

    1. Prisoer Monkeys
      26th May 2010, 3:33

      Texas is seen as the heart of NASCAR country. Austin are pitching themselves as worldly and comopolitain, the opposite of what NASCAR represents. If Formula 1 is going to be directly competing with NASCAR – and they would be, even if they were going to Indy or Monticello or New Jersey – then where better to start with the chink in NASCAR’s southern armour?

      1. Wouldnt really say Texas is the heart of NASCAR country.. I think that honor has to go to Charlotte, NC.. All of the current big Teams, (Hendricks, Gibs, Petty) all have their shops there.. Nascar and Motorsports is a huge part of the economy for Charlotte.

        I think, having a race will in Charlotte would have more of a factor to NASCAR fans..

        I sincerly do hope that F1 has create a more Fan Friendly image by the time that 2012 comes around though.. NASCAR has huge emphasis on FAN involvement and interactiveness.. It’d be who of the MArketing guys at FOM to really take this challenge of coming back to the US and making this race a model for Fan- Interactiveness. It will be key IMO to the success and viability of the race to continue its success for at least 10 years.

        Worst thing would be for the fans to come out in droves in 2012 and then be absolutely turned-off to spending the money to go back again, because the experience was not that it was all cracked up to be.

  69. Awesome, I was planning a trip to the USA & Canada in 2012 & was planning on catching the Montreal GP whilst I was there, so now I can pencil this one in as well. Might play havoc with the rest of my travel plans, though, with having to race from one end to the other to catch both races (I assume there will only be a week between each). Nevermind, small price to pay.

    1. Prisoer Monkeys
      26th May 2010, 3:42

      It’s way too soon to tell how far apart they’ll be. Austin is a full day’s drive – 24 hours – from Montreal, and given that the teams had to hurry from Barcelona to get to Monaco in just two days, I don’t think the teams would ike it if the races were a week apart. Tere’s lws the possbility that they’ll fly, of course, but in this era of cost-cutting I can’t imagine they’d see that as the best solution, either.

      1. Haha it would sure be a sight to see a herd of F1 transporters crossing the midwest and the great plains as the left Canada for Texas!

      2. I’m sure they would have flown the gear between Montreal and Indianapolis when they were only a week apart. They don’t take the transporters o/s, it would probably be more cost-effective to fly it all than hire all the trucks needed to take it overland.

        And they back-to-back other fly away races and it works fine.

  70. It could be another Turkey.

    See what I did there?

  71. Prisoer Monkeys
    26th May 2010, 5:08

    We should have another circuit design contest for Austin.

    Keith, can we have another circuit design conest for Austin?

    1. Stealthman
      26th May 2010, 9:47

      I second that notion. PLEASE Keith… :D

  72. HopefulState
    26th May 2010, 5:50


    This story makes things seem kind of doubtful considering the land hasn’t even been bought yet for a facility that is supposed to be completed in a year and a half.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if I found out Bernie was just saying this to force someone else’s hand.

    1. Prisoer Monkeys
      26th May 2010, 7:48

      No, Bernie won’t do that. He’s never announced a contract with one venue to try and force another one through. There would be serious political and legal consequences. This artice from the same website – http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/cityhall/entries/2010/05/25/mayor_formula_one_is_coming_to.html – has quotes from the Mayor of Austin, the managing director of the organisation putting the event on, and the state comptroller and even the state govenor have weighed in to confirm it. It’s happening.

      Also, Abu Dhabi built their circuit in the space of eighteen months. It seems to be a pretty standard time period for a circuit to be completed. No doubt they have several sites in mind, and Hermann Tilke has seen them all. After all, he inspected Monticello and Liberty State Park, so there’s nothing stopping him from visiting Austin in the process.

  73. Within 200 miles of Austin are more people than in ALL of Australia. They should be able to draw a crowd.

  74. Does this mean we could see a comeback from Toyota in 2012?

    1. Prisoer Monkeys
      26th May 2010, 7:49

      No. They’ve already said they’re not interested in returning any time soon.

  75. The Dutch Bear
    26th May 2010, 7:18

    I’m amazed. Hopefully not a Tilke track and it will be more succesfull than Dallas 1984. That isn’t very difficult, of course.

    1. Prisoer Monkeys
      26th May 2010, 7:56

      Tilke is the FIA’s go-to guy for this sort of thing. There are very few others who can design racig circuits. There’s Apex Circuit Design, but they have a reputation for falling behind schedule (they’ve had projects in Russia and the Middle East that have been constantly delayed) and Populous, who did the Silverstone upgrade but the FIA will be wanting to see how that circuit is received before approaching them.

      As I’ve already said a dozen times across the internet today, Hermann Tilke is not the problem. If you look at some of his circuits like Istanbul and Aragon, you’ll see he’s quite capable of creating excellent racing circuits – but he doesn’t get carte blanche. He has to play by the FIA rule book for circuit design, otherwise the owers of the circuit will have wasted hundred of millions of dollars on a circuit that won’t get FIA approval. He also has to work with the piece of land that he’s given. Sometimes he’ll get soemthing like Istanbul, with multiple elevation changes. Other times, he’ll get a Shangahi and be forced to work on land reclaimed from a swamp. He has to do the best he can with what he is given, and in that respect, I believe he does an admirable job.

      What’s more, the Austin circuit will be owned and operated by Full Throttle Productions, who also own California’s Thunderhill Raceway. The good news is that Thunderhill has quite a few elevation changes, so they obviously know what is needed to build a decent circuit.

  76. I think we all agree to say that that Tilke has made pretty boring tracks, with maybe 5-6 interesting corners in all of them. For example, Abu Dhabi is an insult to every F1 fan.

    But maybe we can do something about the future track in Austin ? Send a collective email to Tilke or FIA ? Make a petition ? Tell them that the fans want to see fast and challenging corners, not hairpins ? We could at least try to do something.

    1. Prisoer Monkeys
      26th May 2010, 8:44

      Um, you actually need hairpins and tight corners for overtaking. Or at least heavy braking zone. They’ve been a mainstay of circuit design since La Sarthe (two examples: the Mulsanne and Indianpolis) and the Nurburgring (four examples: Aremberg, Adeneaur-Forst, the corner before Karussel and the end of Dottinger-Hohe).

      And internet petitions don’t work. Hermann Tilke has to work wthin the regulations inthe rule book and he doesn’t get to pick the land he builds on.

  77. Prisoer Monkeys
    26th May 2010, 9:14

    That’ll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo!

  78. Back to reality – re: this entire fiasco, please read online the 2 Austin, Tx. newspapers, “statesman” & “Austin Business Journal”. Bernie’s overworked. Take a break Bernie. The strain is showing.

  79. I haven’t read all the 222 comments yet so please forgive me if some of my questions have already been answered.

    Well this is a surprise. Although Ecclestone has been trying to get a Grand Prix in the USA he seemed to want somewhere with a glitzy location such as New York, so I didn’t expect Austin to be announced without even any rumours beforehand.

    Of all the potential countries to host a GP I thought the US would be the least likely to build a purpose built circuit from scratch.

    The new circuits and races in recent years have all received Government backing, but considering the economic situation I wouldn’t have thought this would be case here, especially as the US in general does not seem to care that much for F1 and they don’t need it to promote the country such as Abu Dhabi. If Ecclestone is demanding his usual fees I can’t see how it will be financially viable.

    If this new circuit does not have an oval incorporated into it, will it still be busy enough the rest of the year to make the money back, as please correct me if I am wrong, but even though there are series such as Indycar which do not stick exclusively to ovals I though that NASCAR, which is the biggest draw, did.

    If the race is held after the Canadian GP they have two years to get everything ready, a bit more if it is held later in the year. This seems doesn’t seem that long to me. What is the planning application process like in Texas, because if it was in the UK I would say it defiantly wouldn’t be ready in two years if they haven’t even got planning permission yet, as if they had it would already have been in the news quite a while ago.

    When they announce some more details it may all become clearer. I really hope they get a good circuit and the Grand Prix is a success.

  80. Paulipedia
    26th May 2010, 9:38

    As long as it’s designed with an Eau Rouge, Becketts, Turn 8/130R (maybe both :) ), Circuit de Nevers, Pouhan a long straight and a hairpin I’ll be happy, oh and a Hooters could be fun!

  81. great another hot dry anonymous desert location with no spectators. just what F1 needed, why not just put it on the moon bernie!!! ?

    a slightly reprofiled laguna seca wouldve been my choice. or better still put all 18 races on in Britain we’ve some of the lousiest weather and most enthusiastic fans in the world. a grand prix in the lake district would be spectacular.

    1. I’d say you might need to educate yourself about Austin before you call it a “dry anonymous Desert location”


      Here ya go I’ll help you out a bit.

  82. graham228221
    26th May 2010, 10:37

    I’d love to see F1 and one of the american series race on the same track, preferably on the same weekend.

    It would be the easiest way for Indy/NASCAR to get more exposure in Europe and for F1 to start breaking into the US properly.

    BE might not like it, but I think it would be an entertaining weekend!

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      26th May 2010, 11:43

      Pffft, that’ll never happenen.

    2. Would be great, no questions.

  83. Keith I know you did it a while back, but this site has gathered a lot of momentum since then. Perhaps have a design a Austin Texas circuit? No prizes, merely pride and recognition at stake.

  84. Tilke needs the blueprints to Road America, ASAP!

  85. your quite right Glennda, the Americans are so educated about the rest of the world that i feel duty bound to educate myself about Austicks. To be fair, its not just Texass that is an anonymous dustbowl not fit for an f1 track, almost anywhere in the US of HA couldve been picked

    1. Hey I’m not claiming to be educated about the rest of the world, but I surely will try to educate myself before making a statement about something I dont know about. Apparently you have another agenda, so I will leave you to yourself, you doing an excellent job discrediting yourself on your own.

  86. thanks Glenn. no problem.

  87. Paul McCaffrey
    26th May 2010, 17:24

    I just found out and am glad to hear that the USGP will be in Austin. Totally a shock.

  88. Steven Hoover
    27th May 2010, 1:18

    I live in Austin Texas and this is huge news. Within 4 hours of Austin live 22 million people so I don’t think having people come to the race will be a problem. Texas has the world’s eleventh biggest economy and we’re just a state. Austin has lots of money and a vibe unlike anywhere else. If it happens, I think it will be very successful.

  89. I like to see Jerry Jones involved as is Mark Cuban and promote the Cypher Group as their 13th entry!!!!!!

  90. Before everyone goes gaga over this step back and ask the question. Where is the money to come from to build this facility?
    It will cost upwards of $500,000,000 when all the track related facilities and infrastructure and land acquisition is factored in. It will take promotors at least 10 yr to cover their costs and get a ROI.
    As usual Bernie has been dazzled by people of great ambition but little else. He messed up with Donington while Silverstone has built something from something.
    The lesson here was to do something about Indy or do something with an existing facility to bring it up to a standard that the FIA could approve.
    My bet is this will die an early death and we will never see a race there.

  91. SF Bay Area F1 Fan
    27th May 2010, 20:17

    What a shame! Austin, TX, a poser wannabe City, hosting something as global and glamorous as an F1 race. Bernie’s showing his age…

    By the way, PJA, please note that NASCAR does run on a regular, non-oval circuit at Sears Point Raceway (aka Infineon Raceway) in Sonoma, CA, and not surprisingly, JP Montoya usually does well at that track.

    If a new circuit must be built, why not build it in a non-hickster metropolis like San Francisco, LA, New York, or even Florida? I live in San Francisco, and know that the steep varied terrain here, combined with unpredictable weather, would give us exciting races. Add the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco’s hills and cable cars, the wine country, and wealth from Silicon Valley and THE highest average education level in the country (Berkeley and Stanford are both here), and you will get the next ‘it’ F1 event.

    By the way, not all of us drive Priuses in San Francisco. No, we respect people’s choices. My neighbor has a Prius and a guppy-looking Lexus hybrid. I park my Audi R8 V10 and my Ford F-350 diesel (with dual rear axle) right next to his cars, and we both respect each others’ choices.

    Finally, why not just take Laguna Seca and upgrade it? It is one of the most exciting tracks in the world, just an hour south of Silicon Valley and San Francisco, and has the famous corkscrew turn. (For y’all Texas hicks, a corkscrew is what y’all use to open this thing called a wine bottle; wine does not go well with crawfish and chewing tobacco, so y’all just keep on moving).

    1. f1 new neighbor
      17th April 2011, 4:59

      To bad California is too broke to make that happen anymore…by the way – Texas has surpassed the silicon valley in tech head quarters, and there are more than hicks in Texas, and especially in Austin. Ever been to Austin? Way more to offer than the Bay Area, but no point in thinking about it now – the 400 million dollar project is already underway. See you in Texas in 2012!

  92. http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/21905.html

    Read the last quote. Just what is the Bernmeister smokin’? 100m in 7 secs? uh… no… we can say definitively that you are incapable.

    It is hard to envision how such early threats are an appropriate incentive to get it right. Penalty clauses are probably useless against an organization that will fade into the night if it fails, only to reassemble somewhere else. All these threats do is create an unnecessary spectacle and give the sport even less leverage against the dominant motorsports.

    and as witnessed with the USF1 debacle… early threats chase away sponsors, which create a vicious cycle.

    come on Bernie… you can do better!

  93. wherever is the track if they put Herman Tilke to make it will be a beautiful place with a horrible track.

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