Austin reveals track for 2012 F1 race

Austin F1 Track Map 3D

The circuit design for the 2012 United States Grand Prix has been revealed.

Designed by Hermann Tilke, the track incorporates sections similar to those at Silverstone, Istanbul and the Hockenheimring. It appears to be an anti-clockwise configuration.

The plans, revealed by the Austin American Statesman, shows a layout which does not seem to have strayed far from the Tilke convention of having designated ‘overtaking’ section with long straights and tight hairpins.

The first sequence of fast bends – modelled on Becketts at Silverstone – looks like an exciting sequence of corners.

Later on in the lap the drivers come across a corner similar in style to the famous Turn 8 at Istanbul – only turning right instead of left.

A large viewing area on the inside of the corner promises views of much of the track.

2012 United States Grand Prix

Austin F1 Track Map

Austin F1 Track Map

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154 comments on Austin reveals track for 2012 F1 race

  1. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 1st September 2010, 11:39

    Looks alright at first impressions.

    The start is like Bahrain, but a bit more extreme, with the next section looking like it was inspired by Abu Dhabi’s sweeper combined with Becketts. The next corner into the massive straight and another tight corner will be good for overtaking, but it’s from there the track looks like it will go downhill. The slow corners are reminiscent of that waste of space which was Bahrain’s new section and though that corner looks like Turn 8 it doesn’t look like it will be anywhere near the size and speed of it – far better to have this new Turn 8 start from after the heavy braking zone after the massive straight. The last two corners look normal and a logical way to end the lap, though I wish the penultimate one was a kinked section like Turkey’s “Faux Rouge” because as tight as that last corner is it probably won’t see too much overtaking; it reminds me too much of the last corner in Bahrain, which I’ve always though could be a slightly banked sweeper itself. Having that kinked, fast approach to it would make the corner have more of a “point” to it, I feel.

    But still, the track looks pretty decent. It does remind me of an improved Abu Dhabi with a token squiggly bit, but there’s one thing definitely going for it: it’s anti-clockwise!

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st September 2010, 11:40

    Has anybody else noticed an uncanny resemblance to Abu Dhabi here? The northern section in paticular certainly inspires such thoughts; turn six, turn eleven and turn twelve in particular betray the throwback to Yas Marina. But there’s no chicane immediately before the hairpin, which is a major plus. We’ll never know his motives, but it’s almost as if Tilke has included it to show what Abu Dhabi was supposed to look like. It’s the anti-Abu Dhabi.

    I have to admit I was deeply sceptical at the concept of cutting and pasting different bits from different circuits, but I think they’ve pulled it off nicely here. It’s more of an homage than brazen plagiarism, and I think Tavo Hellmund is right in saying that this is a throwback to the old courses where they followed the lay of the land. I do, however, hope that the elevation changes are going to be obvious. And, hopefully, steep. I think that last section – the double Hockenheim – would be mega if it’s all uphill and is the narrowest point on the circuit. Very Rallye Monte Carlo. I really do hope there’s elevation changes across the Suzuka/Silverstone section.

    Is there any word on what the circuit will officially be called? “Austin International Circuit” is bland, generic and just doesn’t really do it justice. I know the land was originally designated as a subdivision to be named as Wandering Creek, so I think something like “Wandering Creek International” sounds pretty good – especially since the Suzuka/Silverstone section really reminds me of a creek as it wanders around the hills and spurs. It could become synonymous with Watkins Glen and Elkhart Lake.

  3. Back straight looks like it might be too long for overtaking, but the stadium part could give some good action. The long flowing corners probably will only lend themselves to one line through, so won’t be any wheel to wheel action there but could give a good challenge to the drivers, and favour cars like Red Bull. It looks though like he’s tried to give more of a neutral balance to the track, so there are sections which reward good downforce, strong mechanical grip, and a decent low-drag/high-efficiency aero setup. So rather than favour one particular car type, it looks like several different approaches could work well there, which could again lead to close racing. I reckon even with what looks like a fairly long lap, the qually times will be fairly similar. Could be a bit of a car breaker though, stressing brakes and tyres, as well as engines.

  4. Looks like a nice track. The beckets like corners should be fun to watch the cars go trough. Some testing corners for the cars downforce. After that a nice opportunity to overtak in the hairpin. And after that another one after the long straight.

    I’ve always liked the instanbul corner 8. Just need to love that, so i’m curious to this one. Don’t know if the 2 corners before that wil be fun to watch though.

    And a nice hairpain (Kinda like spa) after the first straight.

  5. Eddie Irvine said on 1st September 2010, 11:58

    Great track !!! I hope it’s also full of gravel traps rather than the stupid run off areas.. The more gravel traps it has the more Texas would be…!

  6. The low speed kinky section towards the end of the lap could either be a boring flow-ruining section, or it could be absolutely brilliant. It all depends on the elevation changes. If it was a steeply sloped section, a-la Laguna Seca or Bathurst, then it could be a classic. If it’s flat though, then it looks like it could be a bit of a deal-breaker. Testing for the cars’ mechanical grip though, so will serve to level the playing field, and possibly bunch up the pack after the higher speed sections where strong downforce and brute horsepower will space the cars out.

  7. I’ll reserve my final judgement until the track is completed and cars go racing on it, but to me this looks typical Tilke.

  8. NAZ3012 said on 1st September 2010, 12:07

    what is tilke’s reasoning behind, the run from the grid to the first corner being stupidly short eg-south korea, abu dhabi, valencia(if the first bend counts as a corner) and china. This one doesn’t look too bad-slightly on the short side, but ok.

    my second question is why the start finish straight is not the the main straight, if he had shortened the back straight, then he could have made the start/finish straight longer, giving the solution to my first question and he could have done something else at the back staright-add a challenging chicane/corner or just move the top hairpin closer.

    Surely a long start finish straight would promote more overtaking anyway, and a longer run from the grid would give more of a chance of overtaking and changing positions on the first lap.

    • NAZ3012 said on 1st September 2010, 12:12

      and more entertainment for the fans in the main grandstand on the start/finish straight if it was lengthened and there was more overtaking on it. Even though hungary is boring, the run to the first corner from the grid is always gd due to the fact the straight is so long.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st September 2010, 12:14

      There is no rule that says the start/finish straight must also be the longest. It’s not the longest at Spa, nor at Shanghai. And there are plenty of other examples around the world: Spa, Le Mans, Adelaide, etc. The only rule on the subject says that the line itself must be no less than 250m from the first corner; this is to give the cars enough time to sort themselves out and reduce the risk fo a massive accident.

      • NAZ3012 said on 1st September 2010, 12:20

        i take your point and i’m not saying that it should be the longest but surely it wud be better for fans and entertainment if the start/finish straight was longer, therefore making the run to the first corner longer, theres then more chances of mistakes as drivers have to accelerate for a while before picking a braking point, rather than being on the power for 2-3 seconds then braking, but i understand your point.

    • Check the scale at the bottom of the map. That straight is about 6-700m long, making it nearly as long as Silverstone’s Hangar straight. This track is a monster – look at the size of the pit complex. It looks tiny on the map, and put the length of the start/finish straight into context.

      • NAZ3012 said on 1st September 2010, 12:34

        wow i didn’t think to check this, suppose it just looks short due to the dimensions of the whole track, thnx a lot. apart from the mickey mouse section at the end of the back straight, this was my only gripe, looking good.

  9. Are my comments not being posted anymore :0(

    • Weird it worked that time….

      What I wanted to say is that I hope the entry/exit at the Hairpin at the top is nice and wide a la the Adelaide Hairpin at Magny Cours and La Source (old layout – before they put in the kerb and astro turf at the exit) so we can have different lines in and out and a great drag race onto and down the back straight :)

  10. Fer no 65 said on 1st September 2010, 12:33

    I don’t like it…

    i looks like a Barhain at places…

  11. verstappen said on 1st September 2010, 12:34

    After some races there we will know if it’s as good as Turkey or more like 2010 Bahrain… It looks OK, but as mentioned before, the elevation (how much and where) will make a huge differnce.

    A pity it’s anti clockwise again. We will end up with so much anti clock wise that it won’t be an issue anymore. Not that it was a big issue, but still, when we only had 2 anti-clockwise circuits, you could notice the rookies getting tired at somewhat halfway during the race…

  12. Really is a track of two halfs. Lots of fast challenging corners in the first half, then a slow technical section in the second half.

    Looks good, I like it. Really looking forward to the race.

  13. My understanding is that part of Texas is relatively flat. Any interesting elevation change must be put in artificially.

    With that in mind, I expect it’s a bit too much like current Hockenheim, when what we want should be more like Canada.

    • Steve C said on 1st September 2010, 13:06

      The field they’re going to build on has a 120ft or so elevation change from the top to the bottom. The first turn is an uphill left hander to the highest point. We’re not that flat here in Texas except for the plains our west. The track layout is really not that bad and by reading all the comments here, I have to say, Tilke may have done a good job with the design.

      Looking forward to driving out there once construction has started…

  14. Anyone on the distance of the track?

    • Steve C said on 1st September 2010, 13:55

      3.4 miles, 20 turns 133ft elevation change

      • J.A. Brown said on 5th September 2010, 17:10

        Hm, that seems about average length, close to the length of Sepang. I’m a little disappointed actually, I was hoping it would be one of the longer tracks. Then again, the limits for new tracks are probably very tight these days.

  15. NAZ3012 said on 1st September 2010, 12:47

    iv just tried to compare the real turn 8 to this one and to be honest, this is much more open and less tight, and coupled with the fact that turn 8 in turkey is flat except for 2 parts, (which are much tighter than any parts of this depiction), and that its taken under acceleration and not at top speed i reckon this “turn 8″ is gonna be flat all the way through. bit of a botch if you ask me.

    • J.A. Brown said on 5th September 2010, 17:11

      Isn’t it also mirrored as compared to Turkey? I’m not sure if I’m right, but it seems to me as if all the “copied” parts, except for the one from Silverstone, are mirrored…

  16. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st September 2010, 12:52

    I think the thing I like most is the Silverstone sequence – becauswe it adds two extra turns in. The drivers are going to be in for a real workout there. And the fact that this circuit is shorter than others means the drivers will have to do it a few extra time. It’s going to be interesting on worn tyres …

    • bosyber said on 1st September 2010, 14:49

      I agree, I like that bit the best. I think the “hockenheim” bits don’t really fit well there, unless they make an arena there like they have, then we would have a bit of the old hockenheim back, I suppose. But your earlier comments about it having to be narrow are spot on. The elevation changes don’t seem great in that bit though, pity.

  17. Well it was going to be Monza or Spa for me next year… I think I’ll have to add Austin to that list of choices after seeing this & I bet the tickets will be reasonably priced – the yanks don’t like getting ripped off ! :)

  18. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 1st September 2010, 13:24

    I like it! I anticipate some mean G’s coming out of the speed trap down that long straight.

  19. tobinen said on 1st September 2010, 13:30

    Looks promising to me

  20. explosiva said on 1st September 2010, 13:35

    Looks like he just took Hungaroring, flipped it, and elongated it.

    Will hold off judgment until there actually is a race there. But still…

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