New track, new life
Formula One is racing back into the U.S. — and it's headed for Texas.
The first F1 race on American soil since 2007 will take place in Austin in 2012. That marks that start of nine-year agreement for Austin to host the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix on a new track that is specifically built for the high-speed F1 cars.
A Formula One-specific track has never been built in the U.S. before and there's the hope that the move will spur American interest in open-wheel racing. A wildly popular sport in Europe, Formula One has long been overshadowed by NASCAR in America. F1 cars duel in some of the fastest racing in the world, with speeds routinely reaching 210-220 mph.
In a few years, those blurs will be whipping around an Austin track.
"This is a case of the right timing in the right place," Tavo Hellmund, managing partner of F1's promoter, said. "As many Americans know, Austin has earned a reputation as one of the ‘it’ cities in the United States. Austin features that rare combination of ideal geographic location and beauty. Its fine dining, world-renowned hospitality and excellent transportation infrastructure make Austin ideally suited to host and manage an event of this magnitude."
The U.S. Grand Prix was previously held at the storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 2000-07. Hellmund promised that the new Austin track will be something that's comparable to Indy and will not resemble the hastily-thrown-together street courses that had marked F1 events in other parts of the U.S. in previous years.