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”

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  1. 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

  2. wow, i am stunned. congrats to austin

  3. 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.

  4. 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 !

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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……

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. It could be another Turkey.

    See what I did there?

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

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