F1 to race in Texas, USA in 2012

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.

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

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  1. polishboy808 said on 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.

    • polishboy808 said on 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)

    • Marc said on 25th May 2010, 19:01

      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.”

      • Tom Watson said on 25th May 2010, 19:06

        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.

        • Marc said on 25th May 2010, 19:13

          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.

          • Boston F1 Fan said on 26th May 2010, 0:07

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

        • polishboy808 said on 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.

        • sato113 said on 25th May 2010, 19:17

          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.

          • gwenouille said on 25th May 2010, 20:05

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

          • sato113 said on 25th May 2010, 23:55

            oh yeah forgot about about alaska!

      • macahan said on 25th May 2010, 19:36

        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..

        • Mike said on 26th May 2010, 1:33

          “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.

      • Mike said on 26th May 2010, 1:35

        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.

      • GWbridge said on 26th May 2010, 3:27

        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.

        • f1 texan said on 26th May 2010, 5:56

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

          • GWBridge said on 26th May 2010, 6:17

            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.

          • Ben Curly said on 26th May 2010, 10:14

            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…

          • GWbridge said on 26th May 2010, 11:32

            Well, I tried not to mention that…

    • Siv said on 25th May 2010, 19:36

      Being in Houston, this is great news!!!

    • DamionShadows said on 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. Michael said on 25th May 2010, 18:58

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

  3. sojcarter said on 25th May 2010, 18:58

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

  4. Zazeems said on 25th May 2010, 18:59

    Please not a Tilke track… PLEEAAASSSSEEEE!!!

    • nik said on 27th May 2010, 18:37

      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. Kevin said on 25th May 2010, 19:00


    But, please, not Tilke :(

  6. Gman said on 25th May 2010, 19:01

    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 said on 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.

    • sato113 said on 25th May 2010, 19:18

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

      • Untitled258 said on 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?

        • newnhamlea1 said on 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’

          • Zahir said on 25th May 2010, 20:12

            In fairness I think that was Alabama…

          • newnhamlea1 said on 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.

          • Wesley said on 25th May 2010, 22:50

            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.

          • Mike said on 26th May 2010, 3:17

            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.

      • Zahir said on 25th May 2010, 20:01

        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.

      • Adam Tate said on 25th May 2010, 20:13

        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.

      • Vintage 68 said on 25th May 2010, 22:59

        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?

        • DamionShadows said on 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.

      • 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

      • Larry said on 26th May 2010, 21:02

        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.

    • mfDB said on 25th May 2010, 22:56

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

  8. Gman said on 25th May 2010, 19:06

    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. slr said on 25th May 2010, 19:07

    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

    • Scribe said on 25th May 2010, 19:35

      well if you going to build all the tracks…

    • macahan said on 25th May 2010, 19:39

      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 said on 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….

    • 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.


    • sam said on 25th May 2010, 20:27

      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.

      • 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 ;-)

        • Doh! reply in wrong message.

        • Glenn said on 26th May 2010, 0:12

          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. ZanteX said on 25th May 2010, 19:11

    >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. bwells said on 25th May 2010, 19:13

    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. steph said on 25th May 2010, 19:16

    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

    • Adam Tate said on 25th May 2010, 20:16

      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.

      • bosyber said on 25th May 2010, 20:55

        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.

    • S. Shine said on 25th May 2010, 23:18

      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!

    • HG said on 26th May 2010, 1:14

      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. Dafizzner said on 25th May 2010, 19:25

    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 said on 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?

    • IllinoisBob said on 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. ElChiva said on 25th May 2010, 19:30


    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 :)

  19. Horacio said on 25th May 2010, 19:30

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

  20. Fred Schechter said on 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!

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