Formula One to fly the stars and stripes once more

Posted on May 25, 2010


Formula One is to go on a new USA adventure after Bernie Ecclestone has reached a deal to take the sport to Austin, Texas, from 2012.

There is to be a purpose-built circuit in the state with a deal running until 2021.

Bernie 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. It was thirty years ago that the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ was last held on a purpose-built permanent road course circuit in Watkins Glen, NY (1961-1980), which enjoyed great success.

“Since then, Formula One has been hosted by Long Beach, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix all on temporary street circuits. Indianapolis joined the ranks of host cities in 2000 when they added a road course inside the famed oval. Lewis Hamilton won the last Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ in 2007, signalling the end to eight years at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This however, will be the first time a facility is constructed from the ground up specifically for Formula One in the US.”

In principle this sounds like great news. It should help protect Montreal on the calendar, a circuit which will hopefully make a triumphant return this year. The teams have already said they are basically subsidising the Canada race by flying out there for a single north American race and having two will be a big boost.

What’s really important is for the Austin Grand Prix to have a decent circuit. Too many of the new venues in recent years have been hopelessly dull, with the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix demonstrating why this is such a grim prospect.

Whether there will be a US-based Formula One team remains to be seen. USF1 was a poor failure and the team was never likely to be ready at any stage. Whether a better outfit can emerge will be fascinating.

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