New York 2013 F1 track plan

New plans for New York Grand Prix track in 2013

2011 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

New York 2013 F1 track plan
New York 2013 F1 track plan

New plans for an F1 race in New York have been revealed by the Wall Street Journal.

The mayors of Weehawken and West New York, Richard Turner and Felix Roque, have backed the plan for a race on streets alongside the Hudson river which could take place in 2013.

They said: “In these uncertain economic times when every direct and indirect revenue source is vital, our own Formula 1 race could be a very positive boost to our citizens.

“This said, we need to ensure that the financial benefits from the privilege of having these races in our towns are equitably shared and that no tax dollars are used. The investor group has already told us that our towns would be substantially compensated annually.”

The mayors are in discussion with businessman Leo Hindery and a group of potential investors.

Hindery is the founder of private equity fund InterMedia. In 2009 he made an unsuccessful bid to purchase the Chicago Cubs baseball team through the fund.

Hindery also races: he finished first in the GT2 class in the 2005 Le Mans 24 Hours, sharing a Porsche 911 GT3 with Mike Rockenfeller and Mark Lieb.

A provisional circuit diagram was also revealed:

If the race were to take place, it would be the second American round alongside the Austin Grand Prix, which will take place for the first time next year.

Bernie Ecclestone has been trying to arrange an F1 race in New York since the 1970s. A race at a new track planned for the Queens’ district was put on the 1983 calendar but failed to materialise.

In 2010 a plan for a race in Liberty State Park appeared, but failed to gain the support of officials.

Ecclestone outlined his vision for a race in New York as recently as last year, saying he would like a race, “in front of Manhattan in New Jersey, with the skyscrapers in the background.

“Fifteen minutes from the centre of New York to the circuit would be marvellous.”

F1 teams have also expressed a desire to see two races in America. In the F1 Fans’ Forum in June FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh said: “America doesn’t need us, but we need to conquer it.

“Maybe we need to have two races a year and a proper marketing programme.”

He added: “We’ve got to be on the east coast and the west coast. It’s a big enough market and an important enough market to have two races and we should be over there.”

F1 held a round of the world championship at Watkins Glen in New York from 1961 to 1980.

F1 in New York

178 comments on “New plans for New York Grand Prix track in 2013”

  1. I like the look of the proposed layout and a race in NYC would be brilliant, but we’re probably going to have to lose another track to accommodate it if it does happen. As long as it isn’t a good venue that gets the axe, then I’m all for it.

          1. With Russia and Austin coming we will lose more than one race. Whether it will be great tracks but low-paying or bad tracks but high-paying all depends on Ecclestone.

          2. Sadly Fixy is quite right on that. Turkey will be gone, I am not too sure about Malaysia long term, as Singapore is right next door and we still might see Bahrain dropped, and I think Bernie is seriously working towards having only one GP in Spain in a few years so that is looking OK.
            But both German tracks and Spa stay weak as well, so they might still be dropped to make place.

      1. i think hungary will be kicked… there were also some rumors about the catalunya circuit, weren’t it? think because of the second spain gp in valencia…

        and the in melbourne by government financed gp is also critical, i think.

      1. I think Spa is one of the prestigeous tracks on par with the likes of Monza, Monaco. That’d be a disaster if Bernie removed Spa from the calendar. Bernie is quite unpredictable(except for his greediness towards $$$), but I guess he’s not that an idiot who will set long-time fans of F1 worldwide into fury.

      2. unfortunately, i have to agree.

        there are certain tracks that should have heritage status and never fall off the F1 calendar. spa is one of them. bernie though? he follows the coin, so you can virtually guarantee he’d bin a lower paying spa over a higher paying bahrain.

    1. I agree Dan. I don’t really like street races, but I think in a place like America, a Singapore-style Grand Prix would work best. I’d actually love to see this happen, because it would look spectacular and it would be more likely to attract locals. But with Austin already going ahead, I don’t think it’s necessary. If Austin hadn’t been confirmed, I think this probably would have been better.

      And yes, we’ll just get rid of Valencia and all will be fine!

    1. Spa perhaps. Or Silverstone.

      Spa is looking at alternating with a French Grand Prix, so it’s unlikely to be dropped.

      As for Silverstone, it is on a seventeen-year contract. Bernie has never dropped a race in the middle of a contract before, and especially not because he got a better offer from someone else.

    2. Abu Dhabi is the most beautiful track in the world but it is also the least interesting in terms of racing. As motor sports fans we favor track layout over fancy buildings surrounding it.

      Terms must talk. We will need a 22 GPs championship soon…

    1. In fairness, there’s a *huge* difference between having two races in a country such as Italy (0.3m, pop 60m) compared to one like the United States (9.8m, pop 300m)!

      1. Yeah, Italy is one of the historical homes of motorsport and many Italians are avid fans of the sport.

        In America F1 has comparatively little fans and F1’s history there has been… checkered.

        1. Yeah, but Italy is a market that will not lose any fans as long as there is one race there and the US is a market that the F1 $$ people want to “conquer”. And lets face it, the schedule and tracks used is based on $$, so if they succeed with 2 tracks in the US and get a fan base here it will be a HUGE success….I don’t think it will go down that way personally, but I’m also not going to complain about having 2 races in the US in 2 of my favorite cities.

          Also, Texas thinks that it’s its own country sooooo, technically….

          1. We’re not our own country down here, we’re better than most ;-) though. The COtA track should be a great track, the elevation changes are tremedous overall.

            Heck, we could 2 races here in Texas alone and not run into each other.

    2. Yeah but Bernie wouldn’t be Bernie is he would call the 2nd race – Americas GP – that is how he solved 2 GP’s in Germany or Spain with European GP.

      Anyway would be interesting and the track layout seems to be more race circuit than the Singaport one.

        1. Don’t be silly with the whole no 2 gp’s in one country. The states represent a land mass as large as europe. In Europe you can travel a stone’s throw from anywhere and be at a gp. In Canada it’s a 5 hour flight for me to get to the Montreal GP, ditto a huge chunk of people in the states to get to Austin. It’s about engaging the market that they’re trying to tap into, and a second gp would go a long way towards this.

          1. For me it’s multiple flights adding up to more like 7 hours to get to Montreal as there are no direct flights from Seattle. Austin is about 5 hours, as is NYC. So even with three North American races there still won’t be anything nearly as accessible for me as the 10,000 different grands Prix for European fans to choose from every summer.

          2. Yay! I look forward to having 2 GPs in Australia too. Afterall the land mass is similar to the US, it takes a long time to fly between Perth and Mellboure, or Sydney, or Brisbane, or Adelaide etc. for that matter. Now would it be the Australaisn Grand Prix East and West, or The Australian GP (country) and the Australian GP (continent), or the Australian GP and the Pacifc Grand Prix, or Australiasian GP?

          3. DVC you’re funny…two gps in Australia…they’re about the lose the only one they even have potentially and no one has talked about that, yet in the forum. Let’s look at it though in a less joking matter the European GP will probably dissapear, we all know Turkey is gone, Bahrain might be gone but most likely wont and then you have Australia which may be gone due to the people. So let’s say all those tracks are dropped those four slots give us for 2013 Russia, New York, and a French GP if they don’t team up with who ever else is trying to get in these days. Point is we could have these new tracks and still keep the classics, but as everyone has said…that’s up to Bernie.

          4. New Jersey I mean*

            Also why are they doing this when they could just put money into Watkins Glen and try to make a deal with the Track owner, not only do we get a second race here in the U.S. but a classic as well!!! Just saying…

      1. To be honest I think New York is an illustrious city enough in itself to just be called the New York Grand Prix. The casual viewer flicking through the TV Time would certainly tune into that. Plus it sounds awesome.

        Then the Austin one would be the United States Grand Prix.

      1. How do you make a decent track layout on a grid system? Having recently walked a fair bit of New York without going through parks its going to be dead straights and right angle corners.

        1. Good question. But this track is not in New York City. It’s not even in New York State. It’s in New Jersey, a fact glossed over by the proponents, and recklessly suggested by the “West New York” place name. Yes, it’s close by, but there is a big difference between having an urban street race in a major metropolis, and having it across the river, in a different state, in a suburb. This will not be Singapore.

          There are good places to do a track in Manhattan. Yes, it could span the park, use the 86th street tunnel from east side to west, use Columbus Circle and the broad Avenues going south to Times Square. All kinds of fabulous options. There are very broad and plenty of non 90 degree intersections to play with. You could have an incredibly fast (and long) course using the West Side Highway or the FDR on the east side, rather than a normal type of short and choppy street course. It could have been awesome. But we will have to enjoy the Grand Prix of Weehawken or West New York instead.

        1. If the race was actually in New York you wouldn’t be able to see New York in the back ground on the TV the way you’ll be able to where it is planned to be. That’s what Ecclestone wants: A New York View Grand Prix, not a New York Grand Prix.

          1. You would if it was in Central Park. A race in the streets of Central Park with pits on 5th Ave would rival Monaco! This was proposed in the 60’s but was shot down by the Upper East Side residence because of noise and crowds.

      2. I live on the circuit in West New York and drive parts of the track regularly (those that are accessible) and I can tell you first hand that the elevation changes are impressive. If you zoom into the map you’ll notice that that red line doesn’t follow the layout of the streets. For example on the south side, the red line is drawn directly to Kennedy Blvd. East, which is impossible. The elevation is too steep for a new road. Cars must travel on Pershing Road, which sweeps up a a cliff and has a slight left followed by a 90% right. I also expect there be more turns near ferry blvd (east part of the track) as that’s mostly open space. There is even room for a 270 degree turn at the south east corner as the road west is a ramp, which means there is room underneath it.

        Also, in terms of location, it’s really perfect. The area is accessible by bus (NJ Trasnit), car (from north via George Washington Bridge or south – Lincoln and Holland Tunnels), light rail (which travels to Hoboken), and ferry (from NYC across the Hudson). The backdrop from cameras located around the track will look incredible. Tour busses frequent Weehawken for the views of Manhattan. They are breathtaking and better IMO than their counterparts from across the East River. It should make for great TV.

        Currently a Hotel is on it’s way up near the East Part of the track and I suspect temporary grandstands to be built as well. Overall, it could be great, and I’m not even a fan of F1.

    1. That’s because it’s probably the only layout possible in New York. Otherwise it’d be only 90 degrees turns.

      It’s horrid anyway. I don’t really think we need 2 races in the States. F1 needs the USA, but USA doesn’t need F1. Having 1 races is more than enough.

  2. It’s just a more twisty version of Phoenix. I think it looks awesome, as far as street circuits go this would be much more of an improvement than say Valencia. Get it on the calendar.

    1. Although I’ve hade a look on Google Maps, zoomed right in. There’s essentially a cliff between the railway and the corner at the bottom of the track to the left of the railway where the right-turn (assuming clockwise direction) onto JFK Blvd is.

      There’s no way the circuit will get up there, I’m guessing the circuit will follow the road between it and the railway, up the hill, and join half way along JFK Blvd.

      1. Good spot, ajokay! Even if it went up the other road, where’s the runoff area in the cliff?

        I suppose this is only a rough idea at the moment, and (if the race ever happens) all these things will be ironed out.

        Would be quite interesting, I’d like to see it (live on the BBC, mind).

      2. See what you mean, there’s a set of stairs. The drawn layout clearly goes over that Pershing rd, ending with a sort of natural chicane (also assuming clockwise).

        I could see them construction some sort of great stands in that area though (depending on how much the trees can be pruned, I suppose).

        There are actually quite a few bits that are taken as straights by F1 cars, that whole J.F. Kennedy Blvd. has some bends, but none curved enough to make it a corner, so that’s about 900m with a 90 degrees left hander at the end.

        Then there’s a nice curve on he A.M. Devino Way, 500m straight and then the hairpin, leading onto the Port Imperial Blvd. which, again, is effectively a straight of some 900m, again ending in a 90 degree bend, and then a twisty bit until that railway crossing.

        Actually, I could also see it going anti-clockwise, then those 90degrees corners lead onto a traight, one ending at the hairpin, then a straight bit, a curve, and a flick onto the other straight. Might that be better?

      3. It looks like the proposed circuit is going up ‘County Road 682′. Again assuming clockwise, otherwise where’s the run off coming down that hill into a left 90 corner crossing the railway?

        If they moved this further south, it would extend the circuit but include a lot more residential area. Maybe that’s what they are trying to avoid.

        On the other end of the circuit there’s the safety issue of run-off for the hairpin. This all depends on the entry speed into that hairpin as it could end up being a big passing zone.

        Other than these issues, it looks great. There seems plenty of space to build a nice pit complex by the Hudson and there are great views of New York City.

        Now how much money does Bernie want?

      4. That’s a dubious map. If you look at the layout in the original WSJ article you can tell that the circuit does in fact utilize the existing bridge over the railway and then Pershing Rd up to JFK Blvd. I’m very curious which direction the circuit is planned to run, as that would definitely have an impact on overtaking opportunities.

        1. I just had a look at the pictures taken of NY from there, and it should do the job for PR reasons with the skyline.
          As for Layout, it looks like they tried to go around the hill/park area to get less problems with the locals (but those beavers?). Personally I think a anti-clockwise migth make more sense, having the straight in Port imperial Blvrd as pitlane for access and ending in a hairpin and then going up hill over Antony M.Devino towards JFK Boulevard

  3. That looks like a pretty good track! Though technically it’s West New York ;-) Hope that’s what it’ll be named, “West New York” will be a big enough draw for the event without having to pretend it’s actually in New York!

  4. If they manage to tap into the US market they won’t need the UK viewers. Perhaps that’s why Bernie approved the Sky deal.
    Have just come back from a trip to that part of NJ, and the view there is stunning. Public transport would need to improve though – it’s infrequent and badly signed.

    1. F1atics,

      @your complaint on Public Transit.
      “If I can make it there, Ill make it Anywhere…” Its more of a challenge than an encouragment.


  5. I feel for New Jersey, New York’s uglier, forgotten sister. becasue this circuit is clearly in New Jersey, but no-one’s gonna be allowed to know that. It’ll be “New York this” and “New York that”.

    The layout looks good though, has flashes of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve about it.

    1. Yeah it’s totally in New Jersey, not only are they different cities, but different states. It should really be the New Jersey Grand Prix. Tricky part would working out who pays for it. Why would the people of New Jersey want to pay for it, when it’s really going to benefit New York, and why would New York want to pay for it, when it’s actually located in New Jersey.

      Having said that it does look like a good layout through, and if this picture is anything to go by they are already putting the barriers in place. Haha.

      Maybe Bernie is putting some plans in place to have the state borders redrawn to squeeze this into New York, or maybe he is planning to turn his daughters new house it a hotel, and build a race track ’round that; certainly enough room.

      1. The other good thing with this location is it looks like there is light rail running right through the guts of the circuit, and close to ferries from Manhattan.

        1. I didn’t think that was light rail, but looked it up and you’re right. It runs down to a mall that is right across the Holland Tunnel from where I always stay in NYC. Sounds like getting there should be a breeze.

      2. You have to realize. NYC has been usurping this part of NJ for decades. NY Giants and NY Jets NFL stadium is in NJ.

        NYC claims ownership of Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty while current and old maps clearly show these on the NJ side of the river.

        People who live in NJ, but work in NYC must pay income tax to NY as well as NJ.

  6. I can only echo the opinions of those above. It does look good and the idea of a New York GP is very attractive – however, if it means losing one of the established, well loved circuits, I would not be at all as enthralled. I’d happily lose one of Barcelona or Valencia (preferably Valencia!) and Bahrain, but I can’t see that happening.

    The calender can’t be extended more than it already is, yet new tracks are always exciting… it’s a bit of a dilemma!

      1. I did see that a while ago – I would be perfectly happy with that should it be confirmed.

        I don’t begrudge Spain a race – but two (especially two such dull ones) is slightly beyond what they should have!

  7. This is stupid, there is a fantastic vibe at the canadian gp thanks to candians, americans and this would undermine it. The canadians love F1 and the americans (generally) have been indifferent.

    1. F1 and the americans (generally) have been indifferent.

      Be wary of generalisation with a country as large as the USA.

      Americans are the second largest group of users on F1 Fanatic and I know there are many passionate F1 fans in America. Just look at the public support the Austin race had at their recent council meeting on funding for the race, for example.

        1. I can speak for the Hamilton-Stewart turnout myself, as I was there in-person. Even on a cold, rainy Tuesday afternoon, there was a still a bigger crowd in the stands than what you would find at some of the newer, less-established GPs. of course having Tony Stewart there was a big part of that, but I was surprised by how many people had McLaren gear on and were cheering for Lewis when he walked around the pitlane.

          Plus, don’t forget that lots and lots of those fans in the stands in Montreal are Americans. A friend of mine from here in Northeast Pennsylvania has been a marshall at the Canadian GP for several years.

          Lastly, the appeal of a GP is worldwide, so there will be plenty of Europeans, etc.. in attendance. With so many direct flights to New York, it would be most easy to reach from all across Europe and South America.

          1. From what I saw it was a great crowd. I think having a bit more regular GPs can help viewership in the US enormously, as it will also mean a few more races in acceptable time zones and having larger scale coverage (Oh, and having that on Fox might mean all avid fans will have to grab a grandstand seat not to be annoyed from the coverage :-) )

            As its a pretty small proportion of the population now, it should be manageble to get to above a million regular followers in the US.

      1. How about a Brit who lives in the US.

        I love this track – it pretty much goes right past my house!

        They would need to do some serious work on the potholes though. Jersey City has some of the crappiest roads in the state.

      2. Keith, zecks won’t hurt most of our feelings – we know we’re (in)different. Most of beleieve that once the track here in Austin gets finished and people from around the world come and enjoy Texas (and the race of course) they eill want to come back. I’m not so sure about having two races in the states but like you’ve said, we’re big.

      3. Keith,
        Thanks for standing up for us on this side.

        To further the point, Americans, truly do have a TINY percentage of population as F1 fans, especially when compared to our European bretheren. However, the total percentage of AutoRacing fans is ENORMOUS.

        Millions and Millions turn out for Nascar and IndyCar, and ALMS every year.

        My sense is that F1 has done a stupendously horrible job at tapping these fans. I know many folks with long histories of following US racing, that barely even know F1 exists… Most think its a European branch of Indy Car with a fancy name. (Sorry, we Americans think we invented everything)

        As far as Canada is concerned…
        Most people in the lower 48 will mock anything that comes out of Canada as the entire country is but a speck on the cultural or entertainment map. The race is at nearly 400 miles from any major US population center – (Birmingham to Paris) too far for all but the die-hards.

        An F1 Race in Austin is a direct stab, straight into the heart of Nascar territory, and I think its a good start. The F1 Demon machines will stur the Southerns once they get past the meddeling of FIA stewardship.

        If Berni could pull in the North East crowd with the Opulance, and Glamore of F1, he would successfully pull in the entire country.

        1. Most people in the lower 48 will mock anything that comes out of Canada as the entire country is but a speck on the cultural or entertainment map.

          And in trying to defend your countrymen, you alienate another country…

          Typical American.

          It should have read…
          Most people in the lower 48 will mock anything that comes out of Canada as the entire country is but a speck on what Americans think is the cultural or entertainment map.

          1. Apologies Cacarella, No offense intended. I was commenting on how many Americans might view Canada, certinally not my own views. And in an off hand way, pointing out the typical close-mindedness I observe in my countrymen.

      4. Hey i know this dont mean much but Americans will show up to a F1 race. If we look back a few years ago at the 2000 USGP that race drew a attendance figure of 250,000 people thats alot more then alot of races draw. The big reason for the attendance drop at indy was after the whole tire problem happened and the people in the usa felt robbed and said they will not ever come back. So yea people will come to F1 races in the usa as long as its done right

    2. Seems to me that almost every country that is holding a Grand Prix is giving the appearance of being “indifferent” to F1 and proof in the pudding is by looking at the empty grand stands. If your nation loves F1 as you seem to think it does then why aren’t the grand stands full?

      Maybe a 100,000 or so attend an event but behind that are multiple millions of fans who follow the sport like it is religion.

      If the Grand Prix of the Americas gets it right then there may be some hope that all of you doubters will give us a break.

      American Race Fans are just like you and with hope our Formula One race will do it right and will become one of the more exciting venues to watch and witness.

    1. When was the last time a pre-exisitng track was host to a new Grand Prix though?

      Fuji did on 2007, but the track was very different to the original layout. You could argue that the Nurburgring was used for a new race (European/Luxembourg) in the late 90’s. Aida was already 2 years old by the time it hosted the 1994 Pacific Grand Prix.

      Lets face it, the shame that is it, if there’s going to be a new or returing grand prix, it’s going to be on a brand new or very heavily revised circuit.

      Which kinda sucks.

    2. Ive been to Watkins Glenn recently. The track is a basket-case when compared to the new super-safe, super-glamour, destination/venues. Plus, its in the armpit of NY, impossible to get too, really nothing there but Syracuse…. Trust me, there is nothing in Syracuse that you would want

      1. Well that’s really a shame considering that the glen is one of the best tracks in this country and I would absolutely love to see an f1 race at the glen or at road america.

  8. Please spare us from yet another street circuit; most of the ones that already exist are terrible and do not suit F1 cars.

    The last thing F1 needs is another Valencia, Singapore or Aabu Dhabi and there are loads of brilliant race tracks in the United States that would be great venues for a GP.

  9. The track looks great. Although the western fiddly straigh bit would probably need some artificial corners (i.e. chicanes) to limit speeds along that road to an acceptable level.

    Plus, the south-western most corner is absolutely not going to work. Judging from Google Earth, there would need to be a drop that would dwarf Laguna Seca’s Corkscrew. There’s even a major staircase there for pedestrians!

    (If the image doesn’t work, try

    No worries, though, because there’s an alternative route just beside it: see the white road going to the bridge on the south side of the track.

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