F1 to race in Texas, USA in 2012

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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

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

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

Ecclestone said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3 4 5
  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Electrolite
    25th May 2010, 23:00

    Eat your heart out, Hermann…



    1. No street circuit pls :X

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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 ;)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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!!

  19. 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 “

  20. Hope its an oval

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3 4 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.