F1 to race in Texas, USA in 2012

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Keke Rosberg won F1's only previous race in Texas in 1984
Keke Rosberg won F1's only previous race in Texas in 1984

Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed Formula 1 will return to the United States of America in 2012.

But, despite much speculation about a race being held in or near New York, the destination for F1’s next US Grand Prix is Austin in Texas.

According to Formula1.com a ten-year deal will see F1 race in Austin from 2012 to 2021.

Ecclestone said:

For the first time in the history of Formula One in the United States, a world-class facility will be purpose-built to host the event.
Bernie Ecclestone

The race is being organised by Full Throttle Promotions. Managing partner Tavo Hellmund said:

We realise that over the last 30 years there have been one or two missing pieces from the previous editions of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.

We have a tremendous opportunity at hand to do it right – to feature Austin as the backdrop and produce the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix as one of the great sporting events in the world.
Tavo Hellmund

The promotion company say further details on the race will be announced shortly. At the moment there is no information on exactly where the track will be or who it will be designed by, though it would a surprise if anyone other than Hermann Tilke got the job.

F1 raced on a temporary street circuit in Dallas, Texas, in 1984, but never returned to the venue. The United States Grand Prix was last held at the Indianpolis road course from 2000 to 2007.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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255 comments on “F1 to race in Texas, USA in 2012”

  1. polishboy808
    25th May 2010, 18:57

    Woah! Is this a joke? So so SOOOOO Random to choose Texas, what track, PLEASE MORE INFORMATION! Dallas is just a 1 and a half hour plane flight away from me so this would be fantastic! Well only if the track is good of course.

    1. polishboy808
      25th May 2010, 19:00

      BTW nice job Keith on being the first one on the web to post about this! (Not counting F1.com of course)

    2. The track will be purpose built, but I haven’t been able to find out where.

      I agree. It seems so random after all the talk about NYC and “the right people.”

      1. According to Wikipedia which is of course 100% reliable, Texas is the 2nd largest US state by population and size, so maybe not totally random.

        1. I’m not knocking TX. It just felt like Bernie was pushing so hard for the NYC skyline in the background.

          Personally I wanted the SF Bay Area to host an F1 race: like Sears Point (upgraded) or perhaps a temporary track on Alameda Island (retired Navy base), but TX isn’t too far. I’d be happy to go to a race in Austin.

          1. Boston F1 Fan
            26th May 2010, 0:07

            – San Francisco? Where SUVs are banned from the city center and everyone drives a Prius? Not a chance.

        2. polishboy808
          25th May 2010, 19:14

          No, not random that they chose Texas, but random that they chose another State other then NJ after all that talk.

        3. i thought it was the biggest in size.
          ‘it would a surprise’ missing ‘be’ there keith!
          can’t wait to see the layout. hopefully it’ll be fast.

          1. From the top of my head, I’d say Alaska is the biggest in size… So Texas 2nd would make sense.

          2. oh yeah forgot about about alaska!

      2. wow that was a bit of a surprise. I don’t see I heard or seen anywhere ever indicated Texas. I heard mentioning of course of NY, California, Florida, Indiana as possible destinations but don’t think a single one mentioned Texas.
        Now what about the track? Street track? Purpose built? Is there any existing track there maybe already? All other mentionings always had a circuit layout/area/track proposal with it. Then here comes this one blam out of the clear blue hey we will race here 2012 through 2021. MORE INFO.. LOL. 10 hours by car or 1.5hr flight (plus 2.5 hour car).. Hmmm. Consider that a fixed yearly visit for me between 2012 and 2021… Yihaa..

        1. “purpose-built to host the event.”

          So yeah if it’s built by Tilke which I expect, It’s another Tilkedrome.
          Still, I think some of his newer tracks aren’t too bad. I just wish they would relax the rules he has to work by.

      3. I agree Marc, It feels like I’m one of those characters in a cartoon and another character has grabbed and pulled me with their walking stick. yoink!

        I suspect it was more about who would do what Bernie wants, than what would be nice for the teams, fans and drivers.

      4. In case anyone doesn’t know, Austin is progressive and full of good music, good food and art. It has absolutely nothing in common with the rest of Texas. There will be some Texans at the race, but if the stands are full, they will be full of people who have flown in, booked 4-star hotels, and will spare no expense to have a great time. The New York location, by contrast is in the center of a huge population of dedicated race fans who would have filled the stands and slept at home. Bernie is catering to the disgustingly rich elite he always caters to. Same old, same old. The talk about racing in upstate NY was clearly just a ploy to pressure someone to sign on the dotted line.

        1. im a texan, and i know a lot of people that will go to this. we arent a bunch of hill billies down here

          1. I didn’t say or mean to imply that Texans are a bunch of hillbillies. I have friends and relatives in Texas. I’m saying that Texans are down-to-earth people who enjoy NASCAR (as I do) because you can meet the drivers at the local Chevy dealership or get an autograph at the race track. I only know a few Texans, but they don’t strike me as people who give a hoot about drivers and teams that don’t give a hoot about the fans. But maybe I’m wrong and there’s a strong elitist population that will pay a few hundred bucks for the cheap seats to watch cars run through a single corner sixty or seventy times in a row. I’d rather watch it on TV if you can’t get into the pits or feel like you are part of the action. In the sixties and seventies, F1 was still accessible to the fans at U.S. races. It isn’t anymore because the drivers run for themselves and Bernie. The fans are just ciphers on a sheet of paper. That’s why F1 doesn’t work in the USA anymore. No humanity.

          2. You are probably right, however some recent Texas legislations speak strongly for the hillbilly hypothesis. Especially the changes in curriculum introduced by Texas State Board of Education…

          3. Well, I tried not to mention that…

    3. Being in Houston, this is great news!!!

    4. DamionShadows
      25th May 2010, 23:10

      I’m with you 100%! I just hope it doesn’t turn out like USF1! And I don’t really care if the track isn’t good, I just want to be able to watch an F1 race without flying to another country.

  2. Custom built track, lets hope Tilke isn’t designing it :S

    1. Doesn’t really matter if Tilke is designing it, I’ve seen the movies, there is already tumbleweed in Texas ;)

    2. Depends what kind of mood Tilke’s in, we could get a Sepang or an Istanbul park, an i’ll fight for those tracks.

      Depends also on what kind of land it’s built on it’s always possible elavation might be at hand.

      An it depends whether he takes his Sepang or Abu Dhabi overtaking hat with him.

      Still Texas is a racing state, so the track will be used an hopefully grippy. Hope the Texans like it though, Nascar crowd for the meh.

      1. I’m a Texan, born and raised and I’m thrilled! I jumped up in the air when I first saw the news. Finally something other than just watching Indycar at Texas Motor Speedway. Austin is cosmopolitan as it gets and I think F1 will be a great fit for the city. Not all Texans are Nascar loving hicks :)

        1. I live in upstate NY, just a couple hours from Monticello. My disappointment is your happiness. Congratulations!! Austin is a great city; enjoy the race.

          1. If this gets confirmed, I’m penning the date down in my calendar! It will be a good excuse to go back to Texas to visit friends and family and watch the race of course! Kill 3 birds with one stone!

            So..we’ll be watching F1 and drinkin’ beeeer!!

          2. Thankyou M! I will enjoy it, I hope you can make it down for it someday and enjoy some of our hospitality. :)

      1. Not enough hairpins.

        1. that will be fixed at the same time they build in more chicanes, most likely. Or maybe Texans won’t let them!

          1. Not enough acres of tarmac run off, more like.

        2. You can say that agin, a say you can say that agin.

          1. Sideshow bob
            26th May 2010, 2:47

            I don’t see any exciting high-speed turns there. I think two key ingredients for an exciting track are hair-raising high-speed turns and elevation changes.

            I certainly can’t say that I have any confidence in this new GP becoming a success.

        3. Hahahhahahahahhaahahhahahahahahaha!!!!
          Oh my God, that was a deadly sacrasm :)

          I had the same exact thought…

        4. agin agin and agin …. more hairpins, what a prat that Bernie is, same for the CVC banksters that filled his personal bank balance on the back of our support for F1 and now find themselves unable to fund their bid.

          1. You do realise that’s a motocross track and he posted it as a joke, right?

          2. definitely comment of the day.

            you want ‘elevation changes’, that track sure does have them :)

      2. A high speed track. From the look of that, Kimi Raikonnen might enjoy coming back to F1!

        I did expect Bernie to have some announcement soon, now that the publicity and pressure on the venue to sign were there.

        Keeps suprising, but lets hope it catches on.

      3. Pengo (Blake Merriam)
        25th May 2010, 20:46

        OMG don’t scare us like that. Thats a bloody motocross track!

      4. Good find had a look at the street view the landscape very flat which is a bit of a shame.The corners all look very smooth no sharp turnins but it could change alot before it gets finished

        1. ah crap i’vw been made look silly it is an off road track :(

      5. That’s actually a motocross track, btw

      6. On a more serious note, from the information i got (Adam Coopers blog), the race promotor is also involved in Thunder Hill Raceway, which is on a 38 acres site.

        So the track might be built next to it right here: http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF8&q=austin+race+track&fb=1&gl=us&hq=race+track&hnear=Austin,+TX&ei=QBn8S53NKMWclgew0LXYDw&ved=0CCMQtgMwAA&ll=30.161974,-97.600179&spn=0.004768,0.009645&t=h&z=17

          1. As an American, I have to say, that’s hilarious.

            I have one question – will the drivers be allowed to set their pistols on the instrument panel?

        1. The area around Thunder Hill would make a good location – there’s a of undeveloped scrub land just close to the track, and it’s close to the main freeway that connects San Antonio – Austin – Dallas.

          The current track is a tight paved small oval, – http://www.thunderhillraceway.com

          I’ve spent many a Saturday evening there watching some good fun racing.

      7. That’s a motocross track already in existence. Not the F1 track they’re calling “purpose-built”..

      8. That’s Austin del Valle. It’s a motocross facility. Dirt bikes. Doubt if an F1 track would go there.

      9. Ah but it looks nice now, but take away all elevation, build in 602 acres of grandstand, convert half of that to advertisements, build a huge media complex and for an added extra add in a small pit area to keep the teams satisfied, add tarmac off track, and put police men, I mean sheriffs at every turn fining the cars if they do something.

        Actually, This could be the best Tilke track yet!

        1. If Tilke design this track then he should try to take Turkey there so that we have a good track in a place where F1 is growing.

  3. Woah this came out of the blue, lets wait for the details first before coming to any conclusions

  4. Please not a Tilke track… PLEEAAASSSSEEEE!!!

    1. Sounds like Tilke will be given free reign, and if that is the case expect a good track (esp with the terrain around there).

      true motorsport fans building a track and no requirements such as ‘oh, it has to pass in and around a hotel’

  5. inb4messageabouttilkedesigningit

    But, please, not Tilke :(

    1. Too late, people have already talked about that ;)

  6. Fantastic news that I have been waiting nearly three years to hear!!! While Texas is not an easy drive for me, I am thrilled to see the race return to the USA.

  7. Untitled258
    25th May 2010, 19:03

    But, i dont want to visit texas to watch a race, ive always had a plan to go to new york, look around the galleries and museums, then move onto a new york based race!

    Oh well, its certainly better then no race at all in america. A lot of NASCAR fans in texas too i believe, maybe they will get involved and go to the races.

    Though TBh i think a country the size of america really does need two races.

    1. the problem is, as texas is NASCAR counrty I thought they hated european f1!?

      1. Untitled258
        25th May 2010, 19:27

        True, that might be the case. Lets hope they are a bit more open minded about it though. Theres a lot of motersport fans there already maybe there is potential to convert them?