Croatian F1 track plan

F1 track plan for Croatia looks a lot like Austin

F1 tracksPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Croatian F1 track plan
Croatian F1 track plan

Plans for an F1-standard race track in Croatia have a familiar look to them.

The circuit layout bears a strong resemblance to the plans for the Austin race track which will hold the United States Grand Prix from 2012.

A significant difference is that the Croatian track layout appears to run in the opposite direction. Both circuits were designed by Bernie Ecclestone’s preferred circuit architect Hermann Tilke.

Tilke said his design for Austin included a sequence of bends that were modelled on the high-speed Becketts sequence at Silverstone.

The Croatian track project has been shown to the country’s sporting body Hrvatski Auto I Karting Savez. It is supported by Zrinko Gregurek, who sits on the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council.

Private funding would be used to build the track 15km outside of the capital Zagreb, according to reports in the Croatian media.

Thanks to MyCarPortal for the tip!

105 comments on “F1 track plan for Croatia looks a lot like Austin”

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  1. striking resemblance- still looks like a great track though

    1. Doesn’t look like it has as many slow corners as Austin though. Could be a fast track, with a really challenging set of corners along the backside, like Maggots/Becketts or the Suzuka esses. That looks like it’ll have one of the fastest first corners of any F1 race as well. Tilke definitely seems like he’s trying harder lately.

      1. Possibly, on the other hand, maybe he just did someone a favour and did a bit of stretching and bending on the first layout at hand to fit it to the parcel proposed to make a bit of publicity for a “friend”.

        Those corners look pretty sharp bends, instead of smouth curves.

        1. CTRL-C, CTRL-V?

          1. Austin just shopped out the design work…Croatians Eng. cheaper

          2. I couldn’t tell any difference at first, such are the similarities…

          3. Cmd-C, Cmd-V?

  2. Is there a market for F1 in Croatia? Which race in Europe would face the chop in its place? We’ve still yet to squeeze the Russian GP in yet…

      1. Nah, I’ve eaten already. XD

        Although in all seriousness, Hungary isnt too bad a track nowadays. Last couple of races there have been fairly good.

        1. It isn’t bad, but it’s the only one in East Europe.

      2. hungary is actually a pretty neat little track.

    1. Have there even been any rumours about a GP?! I don’t recall any. How odd

      1. I’ve heard some in the past, but as I’ve said in another comment, I didnt think they were substansive. This seems a little more concrete than before, particuarly with a member of the motorsport council being Croat.

      2. If you look hard enough you will probably find rumours for an F1 race in the Antarctic!

        1. Wasnt there something about wanting a Croatian GP when StefanGP was trying to get into F1 last season? Cant remember the details ofcourse :(

          1. Stefan coming from Serbia, that would have been a Serbian GP, I suppose.

        2. well they do run F1 cars on ice quite often. RedBull has a few times, I think Ferrari too :)

        3. The Arctic is more likely. There is no land there, but more money.

    2. The Croatia track might be taking a conservative approach. They might build the track and wait a couple years before submitting a bid for F1. If they have a business model that does not require F1, then it would make sense. So instead of Croatia building a track and then spending extra a few years later to convert it to an F1 standard, they have gone for an F1 standard right from the beginning, so that if they ever desire to host an F1 race, they can do so with minimal effort.

  3. Wait? Two tracks designed by Tilke looking the same? NO WAY! It is actually ridiculous how one man can basically have designed every single track on the f1 calendar!

    1. If you’re reading this Keith, an analysis on the links between Tilke’s engineering company and FOM would be fascinating. There seems to be something rather dodgy about the relationship- or maybe I’m just letting my heart rule my head

      1. Geordie_Porker
        4th March 2011, 18:51

        I agree Ned, that analysis would be..interesting (or bordering on criminal!!).

        Hacving said that, it is pleasing to see Tilke putting in more effort; with the comment about the Silverstone ‘inspiration’ (or copying!) I do wonder whether the success of the Silverstone development effort has made him realise that he has some genuine competition!

      2. Joe Saward hinted at that a while ago. He wrote that the ownership of Tilke is not to be viewed in the public domain. But that it would be very ineresting to know who owns that company…
        Makes me wonder about the cost as well. It is all a lot of money, but is Tilke expensive or not?

        1. Yes he is. Call it “exclusive”

      3. I want to found out about that relationship too. Something obviously fishy. Bernie seems to arm-twisting future track creators on getting Tilke for their tracks.

      4. It is a bit fishy Ned.

        From Wiki:

        Tilke has secured contracts to design many high-profile new world circuits from scratch. These include:
        1999 Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
        2004 Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain
        2004 Shanghai International Circuit, China
        2005 Istanbul Park Racing Circuit, Turkey
        2006 Cancun, Mexico (undeveloped)
        2006 Beijing International Streetcircuit, China
        2008 Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore
        2007 Bucharest Ring, Romania
        2008 Swedbank kartodroms, Latvia
        2008 Valencia Street Circuit, Spain
        2008 Jakarta Street Circuit, Indonesia
        2009 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi-United Arab Emirates
        2009 Motorland Aragón, Alcañiz, Spain (MotoGP venue)
        2010 Dublin Street Circuit, Ireland (undeveloped)[1]
        2010 Korean International Circuit, South Korea
        2010 Moscow Raceway, Russia (planned MotoGP Venue)
        2010 Kazakhstan Motor City, Republic of Kazakhstan
        2010 Atlanta Motorsports Park, United States of America (under construction)
        2011 Jaypee Group Circuit, Greater Noida, India (under construction)
        2012 Austin Formula One circuit, United States of America (under construction)

    2. Couldnt agree more that 1 man shouldnt be designing every second track on the callendar. Why, whenever people talk about the inability of modern f1 cars to overtake, don’t more people put one and one together regarding the track designs and realise theres by and large a correlation between the good races and the races at circuits he didnt design… That said it looks like one of Hemroid Tiklies better efforts.

  4. Ahh! Too many tracks!!

    Well I like the look of it. Korea, India and Austin and this all look more promising than Valencia, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi etc. Not that they’d be dropped though :(

    Has this been talked about before? I’d heard not even a rumour about a Croatian GP…

    1. I’ve heard suggestions about there being a race near the captial (Zagreb I think?), but I didnt think they were substansive at the time.

  5. what a joke

    1. yep. in typical tilke fashion, he’s put a high aerodynamically challenging corner BEFORE the long straight where the overtaking zone is. why spread cars out before a straight?

  6. I wouldn’t want 2 tracks the same but running in reverse. Some of the current tracks run in reverse are quite good though and might be worth considering one day.

    1. They’d require new run offs, new kerbs, new signals, new pits… But you can always go backwards in games :P

  7. Great… so now he’s run out of ways to connect hairpins together (aka: a straight, or a straight with a chicane), he’s just gonna re-use designs from elsewhere.

    1. Never change a winning number …
      Oh, wait, he already turns it around and fiddles with it to make it appear different.

      A lot of it does really, really look like parts of track cut-n-paste have been done, maybe they couldn’t afford an original …

      1. Looks like it.

        A Bernie friend needed a nice picture, so Herman asked the guys to mock something up, but not lose to much time on it, as it will only be used to give some business friend a better buy on the property.

        Disclaimer: this post is pure speculation.

  8. marc connell
    4th March 2011, 16:50

    i like the kart track in the middle :D

    1. is that mini bahrain.. ;)

      1. That’s where they should move the Bahrain GP ;)

      2. My thought exactly. Nostalgia for when Bahrain will have to be dropped :-p

    2. I reckon that kart track would be good though. The full size F1 track doesnt work, but I would love a blitz around on that in a kart,

      1. That might be the only part they actually plan to build. The rest getting probably going to be some private houses or something.

  9. Maybe the US GP project leaders will sue Tilke because of their similarites, like Ford tried with Ferrari due to the F150 name.

    1. Yes – this would have to be the F1th Croatia. ;)

      1. LOL Brilliant comment! :D

      2. From today it would be the F1° Croatia

  10. first of all: yeah! first time i read about Croatia on F1fanatic (if you exclude Bernie’s ex wife)! second: there is a potential for a race in Croatia…we are a tourist oriented country so if they put in summer it will be sold out. and i have to remind you that we know how to make an excellent race event. just ask those that have visited fis ski slalom world cup.. but basically i’m just dreaming :)

    1. Yeah, but the tourists visit the coastal areas, not Zagreb, don’t they?

      1. You mean opposite from what you did Ned? :D

        Zagreb is getting a significant boost in number of tourists as many come to Zagreb by plane so they visit the capital while they are there but the main tourist attraction is the coast.

        1. Well, I would not build a Croatian GP track just 15 km outside of Zagreb, but 15 km outside of Split.

          Why should someone make the decision between “race track” and “coast” anyway? Let’s take ’em both! :D

  11. “Croatian F1 track plan: WARNING – may cause drowsiness, do not view before operating heavy machinery”.

    In all seriousness Croatia seems like a lovely country but we really don’t need any more Grand Prix unless others fall by the wayside. Getting a race back in France should be the priority if another European race has to be added…

    1. I agree 100% Dan. I think Bernie is using this to leverage someone. Remember the reports of Bernie being interested in a track in up state NY, then a few weeks later the Austin deal was signed.

      1. What tracks is he talking to currently? Belgium, Turkey (but thats Bernie promoting it), … ?

  12. Too bad it’s clockwise, i think it would produce a better race if it was counter-clockwise… but clearly the run off areas are not designed for that.

    1. The track isn’t built, the changes would be quick.

      1. A few hours of modelling? Or just paintshop starting from the Austing original?

  13. This is getting ridiculous now.

    1. Maybe it’s part of Bernies divorce settlement… :P

  14. David White
    4th March 2011, 17:22

    Hey, don’t knock it too much, guys, this is just what Central Europe needs. I live in Slovenia, just 2 km from my house to the Croatian border and only 35 minutes to Zagreb, so have a vested interest. Knowing my luck,though, I’ll have shuffled off this mortal coil before the track is finished and in commission!

  15. yeah it looks a lot like Austin, and i really dislike how one man can be the designer of nearly every circuit on the calender. But i generally like the layout of this track, and it seems like he has actually designed a race track without a chicane. That is good news! All the corners actually look like corners, not the typical Tilke recipe og straights hairpins and chicanes, joined together by a few bends to get the track around the marina. But may i ask why we need more tracks? They are spitting them out all the time, at least i hope it will replace something like Bahrain or Valencia and not one of the good tracks.

  16. actualy if u put them next to eachother they dont look tht simalar

    1. Nah, there’s definitely some similarities there. Here’s a quick comparison pic…

      1. Hmm… let’s try that again! :)

        Comparison Pic Here

        1. i kno completely different right jks

        2. The same track, just put in a few different variables to make it fit the parcel. Copy past job.

  17. we’ve seen this before. Tilke’s running out of ideas.

    1. Didn’t he run out of ideas by the time he built Turkey?

  18. I’m from Croatia. The media is saying that there isn0t direct talk about a GP because they are aware that the calendar is over booked, and that more country’s are waiting for a GP. The good thing is that it will be also built by MOTOGP standard’s and off course it will be able to have races of all FIA categories. Also there will be a part for drag races.

    Finally one more track for doing track days.

  19. As a Croat I must say I would be surprised if this track ever gets built.
    There is an interest for Formula 1 in Croatia but apparently it isn’t big enough as national television has decided to drop F1 coverage after 20 years of continuous broadcast.
    Croatia had a great shot of scoring a Grand Prix when Bernie was eager to run a race behind the iron curtain. His ex-wife Slavica is Croatian and there were talks held about modifying already Grobnik track so F1 could run there. Basically, if they built the track Yugoslav Grand Prix would have happened. They didn’t and Hungary grabbed the spot of a “communist” Grand Prix. Grobnik hosted Moto GP races untill the war and now it is still used as a race track.

    Fast forward to present – Bernie has divorced Slavica but he still loves to vacation in Croatia so every once in a while rumors about Formula 1 race in Croatia resurfaces. The director of HAKS (Croatian auto and carting alliance) broke ground on a hilly terrain and spun some fairy tales about a foreign investor who will build a track there and because Bernie loves Croatia so much we will get a F1 race.
    A few questions arise – what idiot will invest into building a track in foreign country when as recent examples show there is no way he will ever profit from such action and how is a race in a country whose broadcasters apparently can’t find a commercial interest to show Formula 1 possible.

    To be frank, when I saw the title I checked the calendar to see is it April 1st already…

    1. Isn’t this just about getting a nice parcel of land for a good price (as the investor builds something bringing jobs, etc.) only to transfer it to a housing development?

      Sounds like a good explanation.
      I fully agree with your view on why someone would want to build a track in Croatia right now.

  20. Somebody needs to come up with a track thats a big wacky, something that would really stand out. It’s as though modern track designs are working within regulations like it has to have so many slow corners and so many fast corners etc but the only way to create another classic like Monza or Spa is to come with something a bit mad.

    Like for example a banked high speed left hander followed by a long staight and at the end of the straight instead of the usual suspect – the hairpin, have a suzuka sector 1 style complex enterered at 180mph followed by a downhill negative camber sharp right hander etc, lets have something a bit different! Go mental with it Tilke, you have the pencil in your hand.

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