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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 :)

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

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

  5. 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!

  6. AusTX said on 25th May 2010, 19:36

    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.

    • US Williams Fan said on 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!

  7. Jose Arellano said on 25th May 2010, 19:36


  8. Robert McKay said on 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.

  9. Ned Flanders said on 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

    • Gman said on 25th May 2010, 20:11

      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 :)

      • BasCB said on 25th May 2010, 22:11

        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?

  10. Horacio said on 25th May 2010, 20:04

    “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…

  11. 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.

  12. D Winn said on 25th May 2010, 20:06

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

  13. Icthyes said on 25th May 2010, 20:09

    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!

    • Adam Tate said on 25th May 2010, 20:21

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

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th May 2010, 20:36

      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.

      • Bartholomew said on 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 )

      • Wificats said on 25th May 2010, 23:32

        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.

    • Pengo (Blake Merriam) said on 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!

      • Scribe said on 25th May 2010, 22:02

        @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.

  14. 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.

    • Scribe said on 25th May 2010, 22:08

      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.

  15. 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.

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