And the US GP goes to … Austin ? (updated)

texas flag

So, F1 will return to the United States, at least that is what the announcement published yesterday on official F1 website reveals:

Formula One World Championship Limited and Formula One Administration Limited (together, the F1 Commercial Rights Holder) and Full Throttle Productions, LP, promoter of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™, announce that a historic agreement has been reached for Austin, Texas to serve as the host city of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ for years 2012 through 2021.

Time to get excited, or is it ?

We have had a fair share of surprising announcements of new venues in the recent past. There was not much (if any) talk in the media about any of the surprising additions to the calendar before Singapore GP and the Valencia F1 race were announced almost at the same time in 2007. A little over a year later both races were on. But there was also that big announcement about Donington Park and British GP and we know how that venture ended up …

Will F1 go to Austin TX in 2012 ?

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Here are links to interesting articles on the USGP in Austin:

Bernie Ecclestone’s “Head Fake!” – Full Throttle (unrelated to the Full Throttle involved in the Austin F1 projects)

US GP promoter considering three Austin locations (Adam Cooper’s Blog)

10 reasons why to love the idea of the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin – by Racing Eagles

Update: According to information from Austin F1 track promoter Tavo Hellmund the site for the track has already been purchased and the track is to be designed by … surprise … Mr. Tilke … Not much information on where the funding will come from has been revealed though, other than the mention of “private investors”.

Tilke designing Austin track, site already purchased (link)

10 Comments Post a Comment
  1. FreidaNo Gravatar says:

    Subject: Austin TX Formula 1 Race
    Date: Wed, 26 May 2010 11:46:16 -0700

    While you talk about of all the wonderful things that makes this city so great these same reasons are also why I think many Austinites, aside from the politicians, will think your move, and a Formula 1 race, is not so great. It is counterintuitive to call Austin the greenest city in the US & then have something like a Formula 1 track built here. As international as Austin is and welcoming to visitors, Formula 1 does not belong here. If it were an international event such as cycling, i.e. along the Tour de France type event, that makes more sense.

    Just where do you plan to build this facility and what enviromental impact will you have in the area & surrounding neighborhoods? How much land, currently ‘countryside’ will be eaten up, plowed under cement to make way for the track?
    No, Formula 1, going by feedback I’m hearing, is NOT welcome in Austin. If Texas has such wonderful large metro areas, move it to Houston or Dallas, cities that have already devastated their metro areas so badly by their sprawl, should have plenty of room to accommodate your elitists’ sport. Austin’s appeal is slowly starting to diminish because of traffic, crime rates rising in particular burglaries and violent crime, and as the eyeball of the nation, and now the world seems to become more focused here. With that comes the blight and loss for just such the things that make it great, a pleasant, still-small community atmosphere, healthy living, an envirmental conscious, and an outward look to the rest of the world. While we welcome what makes the community tight, we don’t that which makes the community blighted.
    We like to Keep Austin Weird and so say ‘NO’ to Formula 1.

    • MarcNo Gravatar says:

      First, thanks for the link to my “Head Fake” post.

      Freida we’re thinking along the same lines. Tavo Hellmund gave in interview with the local paper. (Austin American Statesman)

      In it he claims to be “looking” at three properties for this, ahem… alleged track.

      How in the Hell do you get up and running in 2 years when no land is bought and the ecco-warriors haven’t done any environmental impact studies.

      Then there’s the little matter of his background which is completely devoid of any F1 connections he’s strictly been an oval track stock car/midget racer/promoter.

      As much as I’d like to see the USGP return, regardless of venue, something about this deal smells.

      P.S. Freida, if you look in the comment section of the linked article there are a few NAMBYs showing up, so yeah just as any new race track is purposed in any area of the country/world there’s strong opposition.

      And the fact that this deal “came out of the blue” so to speak hasn’t allowed the normal process of public debate to occur. It will now and it ain’t gonna be pretty I suspect.

  2. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    I have unbelievably busy these past couple months and have not had much opportunity to surf the net for F1 news…but this still comes as a shock. As an American, we had heard rumors of Alabama, Indy, New York City and Las Vegas, but never Austin.

    I personally like Indy with its history and facilities ready to go. Its easy to get to, inexpensive, and for selfish reasons (my brother lives there so we use his home as a the group gathering spot) I was hoping they would work it out. Tony George is no longer in control which should have made Bernie happy.

    Of course, this could be a ploy to squeeze a few more dollars out of someone else…and that is Bernie’s main goal.

  3. MarcNo Gravatar says:

    Squeeze more bucks… who Bernie? Well could be he has a history… and it was just announced Donnington Park has a new lease holder “to help bring the circuit back to life.”

    Make of that what you will, it wouldn’t be the first time Bernie used an easy “mark” and played him against another to gain more cash.

  4. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    He does like to tease us “yanks” as well. I will believe it when I see it on the official schedule with tickets on sale.

    Any word on who is behind the Austin race? Someone must have ponied up some big $.

  5. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    here is bit more. apparently the good news is the land has been purchased already, the bad news – the track will be designed by Tilke …

    Tilke designing Austin track, site already purchased (link)

  6. SkrizankNo Gravatar says:

    Please keep in mind that the Tour De France has a far greater negative impact on the enviornment than any other major sporting event in the world. The key is to look at not the event itself but how the spectators get to the event. All of the cars together in an F1 race pollutes less than a single trans-atlantic jet flight. The tour de france requires a massive petrol circus traveling from location to location for the month of July.

  7. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    and here is list of 10 reason why to love the idea of mixing F1 with Austin :-)

    10 reasons why to love the idea of the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin (link)

  8. […] leitora do F1Wolf postou no blog este texto abaixo, que suscita certa […]

  9. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    There are many better places to hold this event in the States. Austin may be a fantastic town, but it lacks the prowess of any of the other cities that have been mentioned (Indy, New York, and Vegas). This does not make sense and I doubt it will happen.

    I still do not know where the money comes from and I personally will not be buying tickets ahead of time. My fear is that they sell tickets and then go bankrupt without a race and the fans who bought tickets out of luck.

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