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Formula One set for U.S. comeback

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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.

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  • 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
    Paa,

    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......

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