Formula One set for U.S. comeback

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Formula One auto racing plans to return to the U.S. in 2012 after a five-year absence with an event at a track in Austin, Texas. The last Formula One race in the U.S. was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2007.

The London-based series owned by CVC Capital Partners Ltd. said on its website late yesterday that it reached a 10-year accord with sports event promoter Full Throttle Productions LP in Austin to organize the race.

Financial terms, the planned costs of the yet-to-be-built racetrack and its exact location weren’t disclosed. Bahrain has invested as much as $300 million to build a circuit to host Formula One since 2004.

It will be the first time a U.S. venue is built “from the ground up” for Formula One, series CEO Bernie Ecclestone told the website.

Mercedes team Chief Executive Nick Fry and others have since called for a return to the U.S. to help carmakers competing in the series to promote their brands.

All 12 Formula One teams are based in Europe. Charlotte, N.C.-based USF1, scheduled to become the first U.S.- based team since the 1970s, failed to raise financial backing to start the season in March.

The announcement ends speculation over whether Formula One would return to Indianapolis. IBJ reported earlier this year that New York, Indianapolis and other cities were among the possible sites targeted by Ecclestone.


  • Austin?!
    I think this is a red herring.

    The F1 in Phoenix was a boiling hot calamity (and the race in the parking lot at Caesar's was a never-again). Austin would be no better.
  • Steve Austin!
    The Six Million Dollar Man!

    Look, Austin is a happening place....don't feel jilted Indy denizens. If a privateer wants to cough up $300 million for a F1 race go for it....Tony did. And, all you got for it was the IRL.
  • Austin: the Monaco of Texas?
    Direct air doesn't matter if you use private jets.

    If Bernie wouldn't stay in Indy, one might logically expect him to stay in one of his preferred "high roller" locations (LA, NYC, Las Vegas, or even Dallas or Houston) and fly into Austin on his jet daily for the F-1 events. One might expect his fellow wealthy European sophisticates to do the same.
  • F1

    Austin may be cosmopolitan in your definition and many others, but it hardly fits the description that Uncle Bern left the last time he ran his mouth about the type of locale he thought was significant enough. He was talking New York, LA, Frisco, Miami. Austin ain't in the same league.

    As for someone or someone's sinking 300 mil into an Uncle Bern F1 sinkhole, I'll believe it when I see it.

    And, I won't go.......
  • Giddyup Bernie
    I'll believe this when they open the track for F1 practice. Check the web site of the promoter - there's nothing there but an email address...kinda like a mail drop with no office. Sure smells fishy online.

    Austin is a very cool city (state capitol, home to Univ of Texas) - but you can't get there direct via air and it's gawd awful hot in the Summer (remember the melting asphalt at the Texas Speedway?). Bernie's bowing to pressure from manufacturers to return to the US and those big hat/big money Texans appear to be the only group willing to put up the GNP of a small country to construct a "purpose built" F1 race track that will suit the Little Bernieator and put another gazillion dollars into his Swiss bank account.

    Good luck Austin, even though Bernie sez you're good for 10 years, that's contingent on no other country offering him more bucks, euros, bhats or riyals to come to their venue instead.

    But F1 in Austin? Doesn't compute on many levels but I'll probably go all the same.
  • Austin
    Austin is a very cosmopolitan city. Indianapolis should look to Austin as a leader in developing an arts and music scene.
    • good luck
      Austin must be crazy to trust Ecclestone. He will bleed them dry and shop it somewhere else later. How do they plan to use the track the other 51 weeks?
    • good luck
      Austin must be crazy to trust Ecclestone. He will bleed them dry and shop it somewhere else later. How do they plan to use the track the other 51 weeks?
    • F1
      Bernie noted that Indianapolis wasn't cosmopolitan enough to host the series in the future. Austin, TX??? I simply don't understand the logic of Sir Bernie.

      Apparently, someone in Texas has a lot of oney to throw down the chucky hole......

    Post a comment to this story

    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

    2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

    3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

    4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

    5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.