Formula One Update
As predicted: Austin's Formula One race date may move later in the year
The buzz got loud this week over proposed changes to the 2012 Formula One racing schedule. Formula One releases provisional schedules pretty regularly so changes are not unexpected. The race teams and host cities then have a chance to comment (and lobby) before the F1 governing body formally votes to ratify the schedule.
Reports say F1 titan Bernie Eccelstone wants to move the Austin race to late November, as the penultimate race of the season. Along with that change, the Bahrain race would be moved later to allow for more political stability there.
We hate to gloat, but CultureMap's Jake Dirr predicted this would happen, even getting the new date right. Dirr reported in July that Austin's Circuit of the America's track had a wildly optimistic construction schedule that would be near impossible to meet. Further, Dirr suggested the reason for the early date had everything to do with getting $25 million dollars in state money. That money cannot be paid more than one year before the event is held. Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs planned to make the first payment this week, no payments have been made yet.
There are about 110 reasons to like the change to a November race date — as in degrees fahrenheit. The weather is about 30 degrees cooler in November. The November 18th proposed date also looks to coincide with a Longhorn away date against Kansas State. Further, a race at the end of the season could have chanpionship drama attached to it.
U.S. Grand Prix officials had little comment about the proposals which are again pretty much business as usual for F1. According to the Austin American Statesman, the USGP is continuing to prepare for the original June race date. No doubt they would love a little extra time to get the track ready though.