Austin F1 track named ‘Circuit of the Americas’

2012 F1 season

Austin F1 Track Map 3D

Austin F1 Track Map 3D

Organisers of the 2012 United States Grand Prix have named their track the ‘Circuit of the Americas’.

Red McCombs, one of the businessmen who has invested in the circuit in Austin, Texas, said: “One of the most inviting aspects of the name is the word ‘Americas’.

“It reflects Austin?s ideal location at the crossroads of North America from north to south, east to west. Also, it speaks to our state as a centre of commerce and cultural exchange in this hemisphere. I look forward to meeting many fans and visitors who will be coming from every country.”

There has been no American driver in Formula 1 since Scott Speed left the sport in 2007. However the presence of Mexican Sergio Perez may help attract foreign fans.

The track will be able to accommodate up to 120,000 spectators and will also host the 2013 round of the Moto GP championship.

A website for the circuit has been launched at

2012 United States Grand Prix

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139 comments on Austin F1 track named ‘Circuit of the Americas’

  1. Doance (@doance) said on 12th April 2011, 22:56

    what an awkward looking track. good job tilke.

    • Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 12th April 2011, 23:57

      The general consensus seems to be rather positive though…

      • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 13th April 2011, 0:20

        Yeah, I like the look of it. It could have been so much better without that double hairpin at the end of the back straight, but apparently they’re looking to turn that part into a stadium section

        • Fixy (@fixy) said on 13th April 2011, 13:00

          Let’s wait and see, but it looks very vary and possibly better than older Tilke tracks.

        • Meh, stadium shmadium, it should just have been a fast left-hander linking turns 12 and 15.

          Either way, the rest of the circuit looks really good.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 13th April 2011, 0:42

        Yep, I think it looks like it could be fantastic. I just hope the surroundings aren’t a mass of concrete.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2011, 1:43

      What, exactly, is awkward about it? Is it the way the circuit has the third-highest elevation on the calendar after Spa and Suzuka? Is it the way Tilke has borrowed from te Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel complex at Silverstone and made it twice a long? Is it the blind drop at the apex of turn ten? Or it is the off-camber downhill replica of Istanbul’s turn eight that will be faster than the original corner that you think is awkward?

      The difference between Austin and a lot of the circuit Tilke has designed (more Shanghai and Abu Dhabi than Sepang and Istanbul) is that the circuit owners and promoters are not faceless governments who want a Grand Prix to raise their national profile – they’re racers who understand that the first function of a racing circuit is that it should promote good racing rather than the country it’s built in.

      • Freddy said on 13th April 2011, 6:44

        Hey! I liked your comment!!! I just hope, pray and would even hire a witch to get into Tilke’s creative mind, to make him design a Circuit WE, as fans, could actually enjoy!!!

        The big Q here is who will attend the race? There are very few American F1 fans when compared to the global audience. And those who are, live mostly up north or in the west coast (I think). Then comes the “Other Americas”: Canada hosts one of the best annual races in F1: Montreal. And Mexico is already working on his own Street Circuit in the city of Charros and Mariachi: Guadalajara.

        PRAY PRAY PRAY Tilke does not come up with another oversold, overpriced ****** circuit.

        • Snobeck said on 13th April 2011, 15:18

          Luckily, I think more people than you know will show up to the race! From outside the US, it often appears as if there aren’t many F1 fans here, but there are (if not F1, fans of other motorsport types aside than NASCAR). Motorsport in general is an important part of our culture and will continue to be so. I know several people planning to attend the race with me, we will be driving down from our home here in Colorado… home of a little known hill climb event, Pikes Peak! Which by the way, PACKS the mountainside with about 35-40,000 fans up to an altitude of 14,100ft (4,300M)… that’s dedication :-D

          • MinusTwo said on 13th April 2011, 17:46

            Totally agreed. The old adage that “there are no American F1 fans” is very innacurate. I am Canadian, and anyone who has been to the race in Montreal knows that the stands are full of Americans.

        • MagillaGorilla said on 13th April 2011, 17:58

          I tend to believe you don’t live in the states. However, as sports like ALMS and IZOD as well as Nascar, SBK and even Moto GP get increasingly popular more motorsport fans I’ve met watch F1 as well. If you look back at Indy you get tons of fans for F1 and Indy 500, or Brickyard 400 and the Moto GP race there. You had fans at Phoenix (my city) and Detroit back in the 90s. The idea of there not being any F1 fans in the U.S. is a bit overdone. There are plenty of fans just never a well established track devoted or known soley for F1 like this track. Also Snobeck makes a great point. People are willing to travel from Canada and possibly europe to watch this race. Not only that but Americans travel alot to racing events all the time. Hell even the off-roading events where I live pack not just a few hundered people to thousands at times. Racing is a culture that many americans love and watch cause of they great entertainment it brings I’ve met many people that look average and dull on the surface but are diehard race fans of all kinds and American like me.

      • Lee said on 13th April 2011, 7:38

        Couldnt agree more, everything i have read about the new track has been incredibly positive

        • Doance (@doance) said on 13th April 2011, 8:44

          idk something about the pointy left-right zig zags before that hairpin looks weird. the last bit of the track is good though. i guess its a good track. still better than yas marina but anything is better than that track. i hate that plastic track.

      • Sangeen said on 13th April 2011, 9:06

        So essentially,there is nothing new about it

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2011, 11:00

          Actually, the characteristics of the set-up will make the Circuit of the Americas radically different to those that it pays homage to.

          Also, I suspect Tilke slipped the turn eight replica in just in case Istanbul gets axed.

      • Movement (@movement) said on 13th April 2011, 9:57

        Tilke just shows that he has little or no imagination of his own – just borrowing good corners from different tracks…the only corner of his entire F1 portfolio which is any good is turn 8 Istanbul…

        and the elevation change is not spread evenly across the track – its simply a very steep run into turn 1. I agree, that first corner will be very interesting, but the zig zags into turn 11 are not going to be much good…Maggots Becketts chapel series will be good (hopefully, but will they work in the scaled up version?) but turn 7 should be scrapped, just run the track in a nice high speed curve from 6 to 8…

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 13th April 2011, 10:30

        And still felt the need to add that stupid double-hairpin complex. Tilke all over.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2011, 10:56

          Hairpins and slow corners don’t automatically make a circuit bad. It’s a replica of the stadium section at Hockenheim. And the characteristics of the circuit (in terms of setup and downforce) will make it radically different to its parent circuit. And it also climbs uphill, Rallye Monte Carlo-style.

        • Steve Calvert said on 13th April 2011, 13:43

          I think you guys that don’t like the turn complax after the back straight need to really look at that in scale. It doesn’t look that slow to me and with all the stands there it will sure make for good viewing.

          I’d suggest going to their new web site, and see some of the pictures.

      • I’m very very impressed by it. They’ve really gone all out. The facilities there will be top notch. The elevation changes are great. No silly chicanes either which can only be a good thing.

        With a car thats properly set up ,that run down from Turn 1 to Turn 11 will be an absolute stormer.

        Can’t wait to see the race but I also can’t wait to race it on F1 2012.

  2. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 12th April 2011, 22:56

    Wow. Not quite the name I would’ve gone for myself. Sounds awfully cheesy, to be perfectly honest!

    • RandomChimp (@randomchimp) said on 12th April 2011, 23:08

      Red McCombs

      Well if a guy with a name like that invested in it what can you expect?

      • RIISE (@riise) said on 12th April 2011, 23:18

        I always wonder what parents think when they name their children colours.

        As for the name i’m really not a fan, like Mag said really cheesy.

        • RandomChimp (@randomchimp) said on 12th April 2011, 23:25

          ‘Red McComb’ made my mind spring to
          the name of an American character in one episode of Outnumbered called ‘Brick’.

          I guess it could be a nickname, maybe he’s a leftie by multi-millionaire investor standards? ;)

        • Ben Curly said on 13th April 2011, 12:07

          Not only the name is cheesy, but also the justification. Every sentence of it, in fact ;)

          For example: when did Texas became the “cultural exchange centre in this hemisphere”. Why the hell I didn’t get the memo?!

          • dyslexicbunny said on 13th April 2011, 14:23

            Perhaps you just aren’t “Texas cultured” enough to get the memo?

          • stu said on 7th May 2011, 19:20

            I live in Austin and it is nothing like the rest of Texas.

            The name of the circuit comes from being situated halfway between Canada and Mexico, and halfway between the East and West coasts of the US. I think it’s a cool name.

            The worst part of the track is the location. It is situated in the middle of nowhere, with no infrastructure and the countryside is littered with trailer parks. That’ll surprise the hell out of the international high rollers that come this way.

    • the sri lankan said on 12th April 2011, 23:15

      says the guy that calls himself magnificent geoffrey

    • Movement (@movement) said on 13th April 2011, 10:04

      What I love most about the name is the reasoning behind it…they wanted to position themselves as the crossroads of the Americas, bridging South and North, East and West…what a ridiculous comment, of course Texas is not going to be that place, not in any way. Cue a race in Mexico in a few years, and a race in New York in a few years…that would spread it out more evenly.

      • Ben Curly said on 13th April 2011, 11:44

        Pretty silly name, especially when you consider that Austin is about 2000 miles from the South America… Unless there are some other “Americas”, which I’m not aware of ;)

      • Cacarella said on 13th April 2011, 13:54

        I think we should consider ourselves fortunate that they didn’t call it ‘Circuit of the World’. It was probably their second choice!

      • Kenny said on 13th April 2011, 16:38

        He said “crossroads of North America”. Which raises the question- why isn’t it called “Circuit of North America”?

  3. Sushi Meerkat (@sushi-meerkat) said on 12th April 2011, 23:04

    Circuit name by committee I see.

    “we want to make ourselves sound central in this part of the world!”

  4. Woody said on 12th April 2011, 23:08

    Being American, it saddens me when I hear that the track has been named before there is a track to be named. It reminds me of the BS USF1 project we had to endure for over a year before we learned there was nothing in the works but hot air. I wish the organizers of the American event all the best but would rather hear about construction progress at this point.

    • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 13th April 2011, 0:25

      I share your cynicism. From the very start it has reminded me of the disastarous Donington project. They talk as though it’s going to be the greatest circuit ever created, yet the reality is they’ve done nothing of any significance yet

      If the circuit does get built- and I really hope it does- then it should be a fantastic facility and stage a fantastic event. But, until the the cars go out for FP1 next summer, I shall remain sceptical

  5. Calum (@calum) said on 12th April 2011, 23:16

    A foreigner will grab the attention of F1 fans in the USA – look at Japan, the sport’s succesful there, even though there has been no highly succesful drivers but their fans all supported Schumacher and they were fanatical!#
    Vettel will keep the USA fans amused!

    • unnnococooc said on 13th April 2011, 3:25

      I’m still enjoying the line about how while there is no USA driver in F1 currently a Mexican Perez would be of great intereest to USA.

      Sure… because if there is one thing (Soutern) US Americans like, then it Mexicans………

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th April 2011, 6:10

        Weel, there should be enough of them around to fill the grandstands … ;-)

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th April 2011, 7:49

        I’m still enjoying the line about how while there is no USA driver in F1 currently a Mexican Perez would be of great intereest to USA.

        That’s not what I wrote.

        • unnnococooc said on 13th April 2011, 9:08

          Sorry,…. on a re read it wasn’t… I was quickly going through it and that’s how it stuck in my head.

          There has been no American driver in Formula 1 since Scott Speed left the sport in 2007. However the presence of Mexican Sergio Perez may help attract foreign fans.

          I kind of just merged the two sentences into one. Speed left for the USA GP, but Perez is there.

          Anyway………… moving on completely…..

      • dyslexicbunny said on 13th April 2011, 14:25

        I heard that Perez was going to be held at customs next year and unable to race. Well if he came in through Arizona.

  6. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 12th April 2011, 23:16

    Elevation changes on the track look great!

    • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 13th April 2011, 0:27

      133ft… could anyone put that into perspective? What sort of elevation changes are there at Spa and Monaco, for example? (Again, I think the different elevation changes on circuits would be an interesting subject for an article)

    • Williams F1! said on 13th April 2011, 1:14

      Completely agreed!

  7. Calum (@calum) said on 12th April 2011, 23:22

    Oh dear: The trackis named “Circuit of the Americas” but I read the headline as “turns named after circuits of America.”

    That wouldn’t be a bad shout though, naming differant parts after famous American raceways.

    I would call the longest straight ‘Bonneville’ as a nod to the home of World Speed attempts, afterall cars will be hitting 200mph (subject to 2013 regs).

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 12th April 2011, 23:28

      That’s a pretty cool idea.

      Also, thank God the corners will actually have names and won’t be called ‘Turn X, Turn Y and Turn Z’. I hate that.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 13th April 2011, 0:12

        But unfortunately it sounds like the corners will all be named exclusively after famous Texans. I was hoping there’d be some nods to F1’s great Americans of the past like Andretti, Phil Hill, and Dan Gurney. Heck, they could name the hill at turn one after Phil Hill. :-)

      • greg76 (@greg76) said on 13th April 2011, 11:10

        Corners usually have names from the surroundings or local racing history. So I guess you either call them Turn 1, etc… or Dune corner or Al Mutawaa corner, not enough material to name 20 hairpins though.

    • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 13th April 2011, 0:31

      Hey, if they’re looking to embrace Americas theme and the people of the entire continent, why not name each corner after countries in North and South America?

      Or, for the novelty factor, just use the names of Carribean islands? ‘Cuba Corner’ has a nice ring to it.

  8. Mr.McCombs put up alot of money to get this idea going, and all you people can do is bitch about his nickname, and the name of the track?

  9. Victor said on 12th April 2011, 23:46

    Gee, don’t we have circuits in the “America’s”? Typical american arrogance unfortunately. (said by an american, or as Wright attempted to promote, Usonian)

  10. Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 12th April 2011, 23:51

    I’m American, hell I’m Texan and I love it.
    I think it has a great name.

  11. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 12th April 2011, 23:54

    I don’t mind the name. It’s a little daft but I expect no less from the Americans!

  12. Thanks for all the support Europe.

    • SirCoolbeans (@sircoolbeans) said on 13th April 2011, 11:11

      Most people are just discussing the name, a name thought up by a business group and not the country of the USA. I wouldn’t take it personally.

      Anyway, I quite like the name. :D

      • Snobeck said on 13th April 2011, 19:39

        In some cases, but there is also quite a bit of ignorance regarding Americans floating around. People aren’t just attacking the name, but crossing the line into outright jabs against a nation (something I’m used to nowadays, unfortunately). Every country has it’s sterotypes, so people, please leave your generalizations about my countrymen at the door… you’re just as arrogant and ignorant as the supposed American you’re attempting to describe.

  13. In New York City, we have a street that’s named “The Avenue of the Americas” (although everyone calls it “6th Avenue). I’m pretty sure it was given that name in an attempt to honor countries throughout the Americas, as opposed to presuming that it’s somehow representative of the Americas or the very best street in the Americas or some such thing. I’m guessing the people who named this circuit had something similar in mind.

    Not that I think the people complaining about the US and the name of this circuit will actually care. Just thought I’d mention it!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th April 2011, 6:15

      Ha, good one Robyn! I think its a fine name. They will certainly be looking for Mexican interests into the GP as well.

      And its a lot better than just calling it The Austing Texas international circuit or something.

  14. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 13th April 2011, 0:15

    It’s not what I would’ve picked, but there are certainly far worse options out there. I’m just relieved it didn’t get named after a corporate donor. It could’ve been the “Pepsi Max Super Duper Awesome Extreme Ring.”

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 13th April 2011, 3:59

      Amen to that Peter! I was afraid of the same kind of thing. I am so sick of stadiums being named after corporations. I’m glad to see my home state bucking the trend with Cowboys Stadium, and now Circuit of the Americas!

    • dyslexicbunny said on 13th April 2011, 14:36

      I am interested and would like to subscribe to your building naming newsletter.

      I actually like “Pepsi Max Super Duper Awesome Extreme Ring”. Acronym sounds like a monthly poke the angry bear ritual – PMSDAER.

      My only problem with it is that Brazil and Canada have a circuit. They are in the Americas. They are both exciting circuits too. CotA isn’t a terrible short version but I think the American elitism could have been held back a bit. Not that it’s ever stopped us before…

  15. Stephen Jones (@aus_steve) said on 13th April 2011, 0:27

    isn’t there already Road America?

    eh, i kinda like it.. the logo design is kinda cool as well

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 13th April 2011, 10:37

      If there hadn’t been a Road America and they had named the Austin circuit that, there’d still be criticism yet I’ve never heard one about the naming of RA!

  16. David-A (@david-a) said on 13th April 2011, 0:28

    Austin Circuit would have been simpler and better.

    After all, “Suzuka Circuit” or “Silverstone Circuit” don’t do them any harm.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2011, 1:38

      “Austin Circuit” would have been bland and uninspiring and meaningless. Do you know why Silverstone is called Silverstone? It’s because it’s built on the site of RAF Silverstone, a World War II airstrip that fell into disuse once the war was over. “Austin Circuit”, on the other hand, would simply continue the trend of boring names like “Bahrain Circuit” and “Shanghai Circuit” and “Valencia Circuit”, and given the layout and the potential it has, it deserves more than that.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th April 2011, 3:25

        “Circuit of the Americas” on the other hand, is a rather cheesy and long winded way of saying “America Circuit”, like calling it “Circuit of Shanghai” or “Circuit of Bahrain”.

        It’s just my opinion that I’d rather take the simple route to naming. At least the track itself looks good.

  17. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2011, 1:12

    I like it. I don’t think it’s pretenious or presumptuous. I admit, I was hoping for something like “Wandering Creek” or a name with the word “Ring” in it (because we have far too few new Rings these days), but it could easily have been much worse. There was the suggestion that it may have been known the “Red Bull Raceway at Austin” because the circuit’s Twitter feed posted a message on the Red Bull feed (personally, as far as evidence goes, this struck me as quite specious), but I like the name “Circuit of the Americas”. It feels right.

    • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 13th April 2011, 9:21

      Actually, I like it as well.

      I’m not really understanding all the criticism it getting.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2011, 11:07

        Most of the criticism stems from the fact that it’s American and the last American Formula 1 project – namely USF1 – failed horrendously. Let’s say the Nurburging Nordschleife had never been invented until Tilke came along and designed it on the outskirts of Austin. I guarantee you people would still criticise it for being American and being designed by Tilke.

  18. TheBrav3 said on 13th April 2011, 1:35

    Boooooooorrrrrinnnngggggg :P daytona charlotte laguna seca those are real race track names!

  19. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 13th April 2011, 1:40

    one being “the united states of” and the other being “texas”.

    just kidding. i look forward to my trip to planet texas in 2012 :)

  20. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 13th April 2011, 1:55

    Some of my friends back in USA said this track will be one of the best of Tilke, they said it is built with great care. Hope it provides good racing & we will see F1 returns a place where it was never successful.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2011, 2:08

      I wouldn’t say Formula 1 was never successful in America. It’s more a case of the sport never having been managed properly.

      • Scalextric said on 13th April 2011, 2:24

        A large part of this is because races are on TV when most of of my fellow residents are awake. Race times are optimized for Europe. Or optimised, if you insist. Then in prime time here there’s plenty of other sport to keep advetizers and viewers happy. But the shoddy management and lack of a US legacy in F1 doesn’t help one bit. Nevertheless, Ferrari and Mercedes sell more here than most other places.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2011, 3:17

          I was thinking less about television times and more along the lines of some of the confusing decisions the Powers That Be have made. Indy 2005 is the obvious choice, but there are other baffling moments – like the Phoenix and Las Vegas circuits, two of the worst circuits Formula 1 has ever visited.

          • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 13th April 2011, 4:41

            Ya’ll have hit on one of F1’s biggest challenges in the US. TV times, though I prefer to see the races live, and will gladly stay up till 3 am to watch (like I did for Sepang last weekend) most Americans will not. We are a country that is sadly based far too much on convenience and will just ignore things that aren’t put right in front of us.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2011, 6:08

            Somehow, I don’t think they’re going to host the USGP at three in the morning to best suit European audiences.

          • dyslexicbunny said on 13th April 2011, 15:03

            Seriously? I doubt that’s the problem. I DVR them and watch them in the morning since I don’t have the interest in tanking my body clock all season. It makes Monday and Tuesday mornings hell. If you’re concerned about spoilers, don’t look at the internet. But there’s very little TV I watch live anymore.

            Besides, the only races that are a problem are East Asia and Australia. I can usually get up a bit early for Europe. But the DVR is a great backup.

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