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. It looks like the original design would have had the cars make a single left turn after the long straight to head to the “turn 8″ style corner.

    Could it have been safety issues that caused the fiddly bit? Perhaps the cars would have entered the “turn 8″ to quickly to recreate the Istanbul track?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st September 2010, 12:44

      Nope – it’s actually a recreation of the stadium section at Hockenheim. Look at the first section moreso than the second and you’ll see what I mean. The second section also seems to be a reverse Hockenheim, those not as pronounced.

      I’m also willing to bet that we’ll see an increase in gradient here because the main striahgt is the highest point on the circuit. If I’m right, the corners will play out like a Rallye Monte Carlo stage.

    • plushpile (@plushpile) said on 1st September 2010, 12:48

      If they could extend the last corner of the ‘stadium’ section out to make it a bit faster that might make ‘turn 8′ a bit nicer…

  2. Ads21 (@ads21) said on 1st September 2010, 11:16

    I’m tired of tracks being designed purely to promote overtaking. This is Formula 1 and circuits should be the most challenging in the world and worthy of the most talented drivers on earth. The tilke formula of tight hairpin followed by long straight followed by tight haripin is not challenging and it destroys the flow of a circuit.

    It also doesn’t even work what produced exciting racing is often circumstances of the race itself. Look at Turkey this year, it was set up not by the track layout but by the fact that the Red Bulls were faster in qualifying and slower in the race than the McLarens. Another cause of great races is cars qualifying out of position such as Suzuka 2005 and Brazil 2009. You can design a track with endless switchback hairpins onto long straights but if there’s no rain and the fastest qualifier has the fastest race pace you won’t have an exciting race.

    This track may actually be quite good especially if that green run off turns out to be grass and there are a lot of elevation changes. But I wish they’d not bothered with the dull tight hairpin onto long straight bit.

  3. NAZ3012 said on 1st September 2010, 11:31

    what has really annoyed me is the slow corners before “turn 8″. that means that turn 8 will be taken under acceleration and not at full speed, therefore half to three quarters of it will most likely be taken flat, before drivers may have to lift. Its also like this at turkey, but it would have been better here, if it was taken at nearly maximum speed.

    The tight hairpin after the straight looks terrible and i believe they should have replaced it with a fast chicane or sweep left, straight into “turn 8″, cutting out the mickey mouse section, just as mike suggested.

    “turn 8″ here reminds me of the butchered last corner at the new korea track-On paper it looks a beast, but due to the slow corners before it, it’s taken flat because the cars are not at full speed.

    • InternetF1 said on 1st September 2010, 20:00

      You forget that the really high speed corners are usually taken flat out because there is so much downforce. This version of “turn 8″ will challenge the cars and drivers more.

  4. It says “Draft Track Layout” on the schematic, so presumably the teams will be sent a copy for alterations, just like the India track.

    • NAZ3012 said on 1st September 2010, 11:36

      has the india track been changed from an original design already or is it in the process? I hope the mickey mouse section is smoothed out here, as it completely destroys the flow of the track ;)

  5. sato113 (@sato113) said on 1st September 2010, 11:32

    from using the scale, the back straight is about 1.3km long. same length as Shanghai’s back straight. really need to see a cross section elevation map.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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…!

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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 :)

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

    I don’t like it…

    i looks like a Barhain at places…

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