Austin reveals track for 2012 F1 race

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Austin F1 Track Map 3D

The circuit design for the 2012 United States Grand Prix has been revealed.

Designed by Hermann Tilke, the track incorporates sections similar to those at Silverstone, Istanbul and the Hockenheimring. It appears to be an anti-clockwise configuration.

The plans, revealed by the Austin American Statesman, shows a layout which does not seem to have strayed far from the Tilke convention of having designated ‘overtaking’ section with long straights and tight hairpins.

The first sequence of fast bends – modelled on Becketts at Silverstone – looks like an exciting sequence of corners.

Later on in the lap the drivers come across a corner similar in style to the famous Turn 8 at Istanbul – only turning right instead of left.

A large viewing area on the inside of the corner promises views of much of the track.

2012 United States Grand Prix

Austin F1 Track Map
Austin F1 Track Map

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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154 comments on “Austin reveals track for 2012 F1 race”

  1. Wow! That actually looks pretty good!
    I’m not much of a fan of the fuji-esque switchbach section near the end, but the long corner after it looks pretty good. As does the brilliant looking ‘esses’ near the start. Quite a few hairpins for overtaking, but that first sector looks great!
    On paper, this looks like it could be one of tilke’s best designs.

    1. On paper this looks like it’ll make an awesome bottle opener ;)

      Joking aside, I think the track has real potential if the gradients are good across the circuit.

  2. actually it looks pretty good, especially the first sector with some quick turns. I guess the long straight has to be on a Tilke circuit, but it has improved the racing elsewhere, so we can live with that. But why the fiddly bit after that?
    Anyway, I guess we’ll have to wait and see since they said the track is going to have some ups and downs…

    1. That fiddly bit is ment to copy the Hockenheim loop after the straight.

      1. Looks really good actually. Apart from the little slow section before the huge straight. The quick chicanes look great though.

        1. You’re looking at it backwards. Austin is anti-clockwise.

          1. “Austin is anti-clockwise” Now that’s so correct without you or anybody else here knowing why.

            One of Austin’s slogans that you’ll see on bumper stickers is: “Keep Austin Weird”

        2. The slow section is after the huge straight.

    2. I think it looks like a regular Tilke track.. The last part of the first sector or whatever seems pretty fluid and cool but the rest looks like true crap. All that’s missing is some ordinary USA dessert and the craptrack will be complete.. When will they learn not to use Tilke?

    3. as long as they dont rip out every tree in the area and don’t surronud the track with asphalt runoff. It will be fine.

      might have over did the first S style section and the really slow part after the long straight though.

  3. Wow. It barely looks like a Tilke track, sans the long back straight section. Looks a lot more like a natural, typical, American circuit with a twisty but challenging sequence of corners with changing radii.

    Not bad, I’d say.

    1. And it seems undulating too! :D But surely this must be slightly exaggerated:

      1. I would say that elevation plan has some vertical exaggeration, maybe 5 or 10 times.

        Anyway I think the best looking section is turn 8, 9 and 10, as the cars will be climbing up to turn 10 which sort of looks like it has a crest either at or just beyond the apex of the corner, which means from the drivers point of view they won’t be able to see where the track goes. But cause the actual horizontal deflection through corner is maybe only 10 or 15 degres, the limitation of the speed through the corner isn’t going to be function of the amount of available grip or downforce from the cars, but rather the guts of the drivers. I see it as a corner where a driver in a lesser car, who may be braver than another driver in a better car will be able to use his / her judgement to negotiate the corner faster.

        I also like how the track has been fitted to suit the natural topography, which means Tilke have been able to use natural slopes as viewing areas or “naturalstands” as they are referring to them.

        Overall I think it looks good, but I’m kind of disappointed that a few of the corners seem to be duplications of other corners at other circuits, but from what I understand that was a request from the circuit owner. Without those constraints I’m sure Tilke would have been able to make even better use of the natural topography.

      2. Although the elevation is exaggerated, I’ll bet the uphill first corner provides some exciting late breaking on the first lap.

        1. Look at the terrain on google maps southeast of Austin. Its nicely lumpy.

  4. Normally I’m the one dedicated to hating anything touched by Tilke, Even as a flat piece of car park I have to say I really like the design, it actually looks different, Which has to be a good thing…

    I’m looking forward to seeing the Silverstone and Istanbul style corners, even though they have a smiler design, the difference in track before and after them, and the environment around them will make them very different and exciting to see I think.

    The only thing I hope now, is that they don’t just concrete the whole place over, and they retain a feel of the area they are racing in… Any word on the elevation?

    Do some of the restraints on new tracks have anything to do with minimum or maximum average lap speed?

    1. It is about 133 feet in total. The highest point should be the first corner.

      1. Awesome then…

        If that fiddly bit is meant to resemble the stadium complex in Hock, it will only work if it’s both thin and bumpy in that section…. hmm… not Tilke’s strong points…

        1. I honestly feel they should get rid of that bit and connect turn 12 to 15

          1. I agree!. I´ll tell the Governor then to do it this way.

        2. I think those switchbacks need to go unless they are integrating some variable banking on each to promote higher speed and possible side by side in those turns. A modern Karossell interest anyone? It is the US after all, there should be some banked turns… Otherwise, cut that section out.

          I think the first sector looks great.

    2. One thing I noticed is although certain corners have been copied from other tracks, they’ll have a different feel because of the track being anticlockwise. For example turn 16,17,18 which I presume is the Instanbul style turn 8 section… Is actually a right hander.

      The only part of the track I don’t really like is turn 13-15.. They’ve added this for technicality, but as others have mentioned it does look like it ruins the whole flow of a highspeed track. But we’ll have to wait and see!

      Overall, I’d give it a thumbs up though. Looking forward to seeing this one for sure.

  5. Resounding Meh, worse things have happened at sea, some of the corners look pretty groovy and high speed but if there arn’t good overtaking spots it’ll be for nought.

    Will say theres a few corners there that’ll space out the cars and be impossible to follow through, the turn 8 looking bend for instance.

    Well it looks pretty Tilke on paper so unless some of these bends are infact truly spectacular we must hope for decent overtaking oppourtunities.

  6. Too bad we can’t get a sense of any elevation changes in this image… I’d love (for instance) if that Turn-8-esque right hander was down a 20° decline. We’ll see.

    1. The article mentions first turn is uphill so there is at least some elevation change, some corners would surely benefit from elevation change…

  7. Not too bad at first sight. I like the esses (Suzuka-style) at the beginning of the lap, but I hope they will not be taken flat-out.
    The “Istanbul-like” turn at the end is good too, but there are too many slow corners before it.

    Nevertheless, this track looks interesting…

  8. Copying a post I made elsewhere…

    It’s quite psychedelic. It’s an interesting shape given that the main straight is actually the back straight, so it’s kind of elongated. I like the nod to Silverstone, although it looks also a bit like the Esses at Suzuka (not a bad thing, though).

    The bit immediately around the paddocks looks a tad blah but actually, if this really is it, it looks a lot better than Abu Dhabi, Korea and India do on paper. It actually looks not bad at all.

    The question being, of course, why has it taken this long for a promoter to grab Tilke by the scruff of the neck and say “give us something interesting”.

  9. That’s not bad, not bad at all. My final approval will obviously be reserved for the day we actually se F1 cars on it…

    The Hockenheim style arena section is unnecessary though, all it seems to do is mess up the flow of the circuit before the “Istanbul” corner.

    1. Seconded. If it weren’t for that part, it’d be a severely fast circuit.

    2. That Hockenheim area could be replaced perhaps with a banked turn,which is very American.
      If this does not work out, they can revert to the original plan later on.

  10. I’m really hoping for a big gradient in the slow section after the back straight, let’s say really uphill, that would mean the Silverstone like curbs in the first part would be slightly downhill, it would be awesome!

    1. There’s a gradient map here

      You’re going to be disappointed as that section is pretty flat

      The back straight is something of a rollercoaster though

  11. It’s OK. I love that sweeping set of corners at the beginning. If there are huge elevation changes like in Suzuka, so much the better!

    I just hope they will leave that stadium section out though. It ruins the flow of the circuit and can make the cars’ setup inclined towards more downforce, which hurts overtaking and makes the rest of the circuit less challenging, set-up wise.

    I’m hoping for some quite extreme elevation chances in this circuit, because this layout is what it needs to make it challenging. The corners for it are there.

    1. This is a knowledgeable comment

  12. Looks like the Red Bull spiritual home.

    1. Only if Red Bull contune building cars that are designed specifically for this kind of circuit. If they lose the World Championship this year, I expect the RB7 – and possibly the RB8, which would race at Austin for the first time – would scale back its dedicate to corners and concentrate a little more on straight-line speed.

      And even fi they continue the trend there’s little to prevent the other teams from developing similarly-good cars.

  13. Any news on the change of elevation?

    I’m sure someone will create a CG flyby at some point :)

    1. 133ft. It’s about 40m all up, and gives Austin the third-greatest elevation after Spa and Suzuka.

      1. …and you guys thought Texas was flat.

        I like it and being that it will run anti-clockwise, the first turn wll be an uphill left hander.

        Can’t wait to see the construction started. I guess I’ll drive down from work when they start.

  14. This looks like a fun track on paper, not at all like the stop-start, straight-hairpin style of Valencia. Hopefully there will also be some nice gradient changes & hill climbs which aren’t illustrated in the diagram.

  15. looks pretty good although with all the challenging looking corners, the tilke-esque hairpin-staright-hairpin looks very out of character with the rest of the track.
    If they had changeable weather down in texas, this track could have turned out like spa, as its so elongated, with rain maybe at the top hairpin and nothing in the pits or vice versa.
    the section before the turn eight style corner reminds me very much of the approach to the hotel at abu dhabi, just the other way round and the becketts section looks slightly tighter than silverstone-could be a huge challenge.
    On paper its the best thing tilke’s ever designed if you ask me.

    1. “Rain”

      Don’t think that’s likely to happen during the race any day soon.

      1. That’ll depend on when they schedule it. I’m hoping they DON’T put it next to Montreal, but stick it at the beginning or end of the season with the other fly-aways. Chances of rain would be better, and Summer in Texas could be wicked hot.

  16. It looks like the original design would have had the cars make a single left turn after the long straight to head to the “turn 8” style corner.

    Could it have been safety issues that caused the fiddly bit? Perhaps the cars would have entered the “turn 8” to quickly to recreate the Istanbul track?

    1. Nope – it’s actually a recreation of the stadium section at Hockenheim. Look at the first section moreso than the second and you’ll see what I mean. The second section also seems to be a reverse Hockenheim, those not as pronounced.

      I’m also willing to bet that we’ll see an increase in gradient here because the main striahgt is the highest point on the circuit. If I’m right, the corners will play out like a Rallye Monte Carlo stage.

      1. “Rallye Monte Carlo stage”

        there’s a thought…..

    2. If they could extend the last corner of the ‘stadium’ section out to make it a bit faster that might make ‘turn 8’ a bit nicer…

  17. I’m tired of tracks being designed purely to promote overtaking. This is Formula 1 and circuits should be the most challenging in the world and worthy of the most talented drivers on earth. The tilke formula of tight hairpin followed by long straight followed by tight haripin is not challenging and it destroys the flow of a circuit.

    It also doesn’t even work what produced exciting racing is often circumstances of the race itself. Look at Turkey this year, it was set up not by the track layout but by the fact that the Red Bulls were faster in qualifying and slower in the race than the McLarens. Another cause of great races is cars qualifying out of position such as Suzuka 2005 and Brazil 2009. You can design a track with endless switchback hairpins onto long straights but if there’s no rain and the fastest qualifier has the fastest race pace you won’t have an exciting race.

    This track may actually be quite good especially if that green run off turns out to be grass and there are a lot of elevation changes. But I wish they’d not bothered with the dull tight hairpin onto long straight bit.

    1. hhm my comment looks out of place now, I actually on balance quite like the track. I was origionally responding to Scribe’s comment:

      “if there arn’t good overtaking spots it’ll be for nought.”

    2. I agree 100%………

  18. what has really annoyed me is the slow corners before “turn 8”. that means that turn 8 will be taken under acceleration and not at full speed, therefore half to three quarters of it will most likely be taken flat, before drivers may have to lift. Its also like this at turkey, but it would have been better here, if it was taken at nearly maximum speed.

    The tight hairpin after the straight looks terrible and i believe they should have replaced it with a fast chicane or sweep left, straight into “turn 8”, cutting out the mickey mouse section, just as mike suggested.

    “turn 8” here reminds me of the butchered last corner at the new korea track-On paper it looks a beast, but due to the slow corners before it, it’s taken flat because the cars are not at full speed.

    1. You forget that the really high speed corners are usually taken flat out because there is so much downforce. This version of “turn 8” will challenge the cars and drivers more.

      1. And it will make it a great spectater sport :) Can’t wait.

  19. It says “Draft Track Layout” on the schematic, so presumably the teams will be sent a copy for alterations, just like the India track.

    1. has the india track been changed from an original design already or is it in the process? I hope the mickey mouse section is smoothed out here, as it completely destroys the flow of the track ;)

  20. from using the scale, the back straight is about 1.3km long. same length as Shanghai’s back straight. really need to see a cross section elevation map.

    1. in the article it says 0.75 mile straight so about 1.2km

  21. Looks alright at first impressions.

    The start is like Bahrain, but a bit more extreme, with the next section looking like it was inspired by Abu Dhabi’s sweeper combined with Becketts. The next corner into the massive straight and another tight corner will be good for overtaking, but it’s from there the track looks like it will go downhill. The slow corners are reminiscent of that waste of space which was Bahrain’s new section and though that corner looks like Turn 8 it doesn’t look like it will be anywhere near the size and speed of it – far better to have this new Turn 8 start from after the heavy braking zone after the massive straight. The last two corners look normal and a logical way to end the lap, though I wish the penultimate one was a kinked section like Turkey’s “Faux Rouge” because as tight as that last corner is it probably won’t see too much overtaking; it reminds me too much of the last corner in Bahrain, which I’ve always though could be a slightly banked sweeper itself. Having that kinked, fast approach to it would make the corner have more of a “point” to it, I feel.

    But still, the track looks pretty decent. It does remind me of an improved Abu Dhabi with a token squiggly bit, but there’s one thing definitely going for it: it’s anti-clockwise!

  22. Has anybody else noticed an uncanny resemblance to Abu Dhabi here? The northern section in paticular certainly inspires such thoughts; turn six, turn eleven and turn twelve in particular betray the throwback to Yas Marina. But there’s no chicane immediately before the hairpin, which is a major plus. We’ll never know his motives, but it’s almost as if Tilke has included it to show what Abu Dhabi was supposed to look like. It’s the anti-Abu Dhabi.

    I have to admit I was deeply sceptical at the concept of cutting and pasting different bits from different circuits, but I think they’ve pulled it off nicely here. It’s more of an homage than brazen plagiarism, and I think Tavo Hellmund is right in saying that this is a throwback to the old courses where they followed the lay of the land. I do, however, hope that the elevation changes are going to be obvious. And, hopefully, steep. I think that last section – the double Hockenheim – would be mega if it’s all uphill and is the narrowest point on the circuit. Very Rallye Monte Carlo. I really do hope there’s elevation changes across the Suzuka/Silverstone section.

    Is there any word on what the circuit will officially be called? “Austin International Circuit” is bland, generic and just doesn’t really do it justice. I know the land was originally designated as a subdivision to be named as Wandering Creek, so I think something like “Wandering Creek International” sounds pretty good – especially since the Suzuka/Silverstone section really reminds me of a creek as it wanders around the hills and spurs. It could become synonymous with Watkins Glen and Elkhart Lake.

    1. Great minds think alike – within a minute of each other! ;)

      Personally I’m hoping for the America, F*** Yeh Circuit. Or on a more serious note, perhaps the Ralph Dale Earnhardt Circuit. Just not the Austin Mega(or Tilke)drome…

      1. My suggestion is “Cicuit Vert en Arriere” which is loosly translated as Circuit Greenback. Quite fitting when you bear in mind the fact that Bernie is chasing the Dollar hard these days…

      2. I like “The Elroy International Raceway” :-)

  23. Back straight looks like it might be too long for overtaking, but the stadium part could give some good action. The long flowing corners probably will only lend themselves to one line through, so won’t be any wheel to wheel action there but could give a good challenge to the drivers, and favour cars like Red Bull. It looks though like he’s tried to give more of a neutral balance to the track, so there are sections which reward good downforce, strong mechanical grip, and a decent low-drag/high-efficiency aero setup. So rather than favour one particular car type, it looks like several different approaches could work well there, which could again lead to close racing. I reckon even with what looks like a fairly long lap, the qually times will be fairly similar. Could be a bit of a car breaker though, stressing brakes and tyres, as well as engines.

  24. Looks like a nice track. The beckets like corners should be fun to watch the cars go trough. Some testing corners for the cars downforce. After that a nice opportunity to overtak in the hairpin. And after that another one after the long straight.

    I’ve always liked the instanbul corner 8. Just need to love that, so i’m curious to this one. Don’t know if the 2 corners before that wil be fun to watch though.

    And a nice hairpain (Kinda like spa) after the first straight.

  25. Great track !!! I hope it’s also full of gravel traps rather than the stupid run off areas.. The more gravel traps it has the more Texas would be…!

  26. The low speed kinky section towards the end of the lap could either be a boring flow-ruining section, or it could be absolutely brilliant. It all depends on the elevation changes. If it was a steeply sloped section, a-la Laguna Seca or Bathurst, then it could be a classic. If it’s flat though, then it looks like it could be a bit of a deal-breaker. Testing for the cars’ mechanical grip though, so will serve to level the playing field, and possibly bunch up the pack after the higher speed sections where strong downforce and brute horsepower will space the cars out.

  27. I’ll reserve my final judgement until the track is completed and cars go racing on it, but to me this looks typical Tilke.

  28. what is tilke’s reasoning behind, the run from the grid to the first corner being stupidly short eg-south korea, abu dhabi, valencia(if the first bend counts as a corner) and china. This one doesn’t look too bad-slightly on the short side, but ok.

    my second question is why the start finish straight is not the the main straight, if he had shortened the back straight, then he could have made the start/finish straight longer, giving the solution to my first question and he could have done something else at the back staright-add a challenging chicane/corner or just move the top hairpin closer.

    Surely a long start finish straight would promote more overtaking anyway, and a longer run from the grid would give more of a chance of overtaking and changing positions on the first lap.

    1. and more entertainment for the fans in the main grandstand on the start/finish straight if it was lengthened and there was more overtaking on it. Even though hungary is boring, the run to the first corner from the grid is always gd due to the fact the straight is so long.

    2. There is no rule that says the start/finish straight must also be the longest. It’s not the longest at Spa, nor at Shanghai. And there are plenty of other examples around the world: Spa, Le Mans, Adelaide, etc. The only rule on the subject says that the line itself must be no less than 250m from the first corner; this is to give the cars enough time to sort themselves out and reduce the risk fo a massive accident.

      1. i take your point and i’m not saying that it should be the longest but surely it wud be better for fans and entertainment if the start/finish straight was longer, therefore making the run to the first corner longer, theres then more chances of mistakes as drivers have to accelerate for a while before picking a braking point, rather than being on the power for 2-3 seconds then braking, but i understand your point.

    3. Check the scale at the bottom of the map. That straight is about 6-700m long, making it nearly as long as Silverstone’s Hangar straight. This track is a monster – look at the size of the pit complex. It looks tiny on the map, and put the length of the start/finish straight into context.

      1. wow i didn’t think to check this, suppose it just looks short due to the dimensions of the whole track, thnx a lot. apart from the mickey mouse section at the end of the back straight, this was my only gripe, looking good.

  29. Are my comments not being posted anymore :0(

    1. Weird it worked that time….

      What I wanted to say is that I hope the entry/exit at the Hairpin at the top is nice and wide a la the Adelaide Hairpin at Magny Cours and La Source (old layout – before they put in the kerb and astro turf at the exit) so we can have different lines in and out and a great drag race onto and down the back straight :)

  30. I don’t like it…

    i looks like a Barhain at places…

  31. After some races there we will know if it’s as good as Turkey or more like 2010 Bahrain… It looks OK, but as mentioned before, the elevation (how much and where) will make a huge differnce.

    A pity it’s anti clockwise again. We will end up with so much anti clock wise that it won’t be an issue anymore. Not that it was a big issue, but still, when we only had 2 anti-clockwise circuits, you could notice the rookies getting tired at somewhat halfway during the race…

  32. Really is a track of two halfs. Lots of fast challenging corners in the first half, then a slow technical section in the second half.

    Looks good, I like it. Really looking forward to the race.

  33. My understanding is that part of Texas is relatively flat. Any interesting elevation change must be put in artificially.

    With that in mind, I expect it’s a bit too much like current Hockenheim, when what we want should be more like Canada.

    1. The field they’re going to build on has a 120ft or so elevation change from the top to the bottom. The first turn is an uphill left hander to the highest point. We’re not that flat here in Texas except for the plains our west. The track layout is really not that bad and by reading all the comments here, I have to say, Tilke may have done a good job with the design.

      Looking forward to driving out there once construction has started…

  34. Anyone on the distance of the track?

    1. 3.4 miles, 20 turns 133ft elevation change

      1. Hm, that seems about average length, close to the length of Sepang. I’m a little disappointed actually, I was hoping it would be one of the longer tracks. Then again, the limits for new tracks are probably very tight these days.

  35. iv just tried to compare the real turn 8 to this one and to be honest, this is much more open and less tight, and coupled with the fact that turn 8 in turkey is flat except for 2 parts, (which are much tighter than any parts of this depiction), and that its taken under acceleration and not at top speed i reckon this “turn 8” is gonna be flat all the way through. bit of a botch if you ask me.

    1. Isn’t it also mirrored as compared to Turkey? I’m not sure if I’m right, but it seems to me as if all the “copied” parts, except for the one from Silverstone, are mirrored…

  36. I think the thing I like most is the Silverstone sequence – becauswe it adds two extra turns in. The drivers are going to be in for a real workout there. And the fact that this circuit is shorter than others means the drivers will have to do it a few extra time. It’s going to be interesting on worn tyres …

    1. I agree, I like that bit the best. I think the “hockenheim” bits don’t really fit well there, unless they make an arena there like they have, then we would have a bit of the old hockenheim back, I suppose. But your earlier comments about it having to be narrow are spot on. The elevation changes don’t seem great in that bit though, pity.

  37. Well it was going to be Monza or Spa for me next year… I think I’ll have to add Austin to that list of choices after seeing this & I bet the tickets will be reasonably priced – the yanks don’t like getting ripped off ! :)

  38. I like it! I anticipate some mean G’s coming out of the speed trap down that long straight.

  39. Looks promising to me

  40. Looks like he just took Hungaroring, flipped it, and elongated it.

    Will hold off judgment until there actually is a race there. But still…

  41. Agree with the point re retaining the character of the track. Layout looks promising so hopefully it won’t be completely tarmac with huge run-off areas as this gives a car park soulless feel. Keep some gravel traps and walls and really test the drivers

  42. There’s an elevation plan on Adam Cooper’s website.

    It looks like the biggest grad change is the run up to Turn 1.

  43. Here’s the link to our local paper with an interesting rendering of the elevation change.

  44. They should name the circuit ‘Austin-stein’! It looks like they’ve literally just copied and pasted sections from other tracks onto their own layout!

    I can see Turn 1 from Hungaroring, Maggots, Becketts and Chapel from Silverstone, the final turn from Sepang, the stadium section from Hockenheim and Turn 8 from Instanbul.

    That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. It just doesn’t appear to have anything particularly ‘unique’ about it, nothing really new or innovative. That said, it sure looks fun to drive.

  45. Adam Cooper has another picture which shows elevation changes. Turn 1 is really steep but track elevation doesn’t change corners much after first sector.”Turkey-like” corner is a bit affected by it.Just like in Turkey if you can manage to go quicker through it you can carry more speed towards overtake firendly part of the circuit (at least in theory).
    Real judgement will come on race-day of course, Portimao looks stunning but produces awfull racing for example…

  46. There are some interesting ideas in this layout, in my opinion, and one can clearly see that they have taken some inspiration from passages of existing circuits. The first half of the lap seems to have real potential and, to me, seems quite interesting, as there are not that many circuits left on the calendar any more with long, fast, flowing sections as this one appears to be. The multi-apex stuff in the infield after the long straight looks like it could be interesting, as well.

    If they can indeed add some meaningful terrain features to this circuit because of the site they’ve chosen, I think there is quite some potential in this.

  47. The link shows the elevation of the track – looks interesting!

  48. The circuit looks alright, but it should run clockwise to take full advantage of the long straight into the “Mockenheim” hairpin.

  49. Track looks great to me, I would have hoped for at least one banked turn, maybe that multi apex right hander could have 20 degrees of banking!!

    1. Then it wouldn’t be a multi-apex turn.

      Also, anything more than five degress of banking is banned by the FIA unless the organisers and designers request permission for it. It’s unlikely to be give in the case of Austin because of the corners that precede and follow it.

  50. Charles Carroll
    1st September 2010, 14:56

    Well, obviously we’ll have to wait and see, as there have been many plans for tracks in the U.S. that have never come to fruition. The plans are very interesting, however.

    I do like the counter-clockwise flow, but I too would have liked to have seen a banked turn. I understand that it would have required much adjustment to the cars prior to coming there, but if F1 is indeed the pinnacle of motor sport (and I believe it is) then why should they not have to cope with unique challenges?

    A section with two banked corners (basically half an oval) with a road section following would have been very unique and would have represented something truly different in the motor sport world. The increased speed of such a section would reintroduce some danger to the F1 season as well.

    1. Isn’t that basically what Indy was minus one of your 2 banked corners? If that track had used Indys turn 2 instead of infield section coming up in the short chute just ahead of turn 2, that would have made for even crazier speeds in the last corner(Indy turn 1) – That could causes issues for those of you don’t remember Indy 06. Of course, Indy cars that don’t even cost a million dollars manage to take those turns at 350km/h+ for 200 laps. Wimpy F1 cars! :)

      If you want banked, it needs to be in that lower speed Mickey Mouse section — again I beg for a new Karussell!

      1. Charles Carroll
        1st September 2010, 19:08

        I would love to see F1 push the very boundaries of “ridiculous” when it comes to top speed, which is why I was hoping for the fastest track of all time.

        Its probably the American in me, but I wanted this track to be fast, dangerous, and incredible!

    2. That’s what I’ve been thinking about, as well. If I’m not mistaken, the track in India (to be raced next year) will have a banked corner, but I don’t know how many degrees of banking that will have. Does anyone know?

      By the way, check this out: (a circuit that is both oval and figure-of-eight). Something like this might well work. I’ve also designed something in which the figure-of-eight loops into an infield section with more corners (which, presumably, looks more like an F1 track) but I can’t upload it now.

  51. Win 2 Tickets to F1 Rocks Weekend in Milan + Free Flights, Free 5* Hotel Accommodation & Spending Money

  52. a_flying_muffin
    1st September 2010, 15:04

    love it
    thank god i live in Dallas

  53. a_flying_muffin
    1st September 2010, 15:07

    love it
    thank god i live in Dallas
    bring on 2012

  54. Here is another image reflecting the gradient changes from autosport.

  55. …now if they can only make it WIDE enough for more then just two cars at each corner, THEN you’d see some interesting passing opportunities. Without having to worry about a guy like Vettel putting you into the weeds.

  56. Okay kind eerie… the smaller version seems to share some sections (albiet mirrored in places) from the track I designed back when Keith asked people to come up with how they think the track should look:

    1. I’m not seeing it. It looks more like Marge Simpson praying than Johnny Bravo.

  57. Love it now that i’ve seen the elevation map. That turn 10 is going to be a nice one – over the crest after that becketts-like section…

  58. Okay, looking at the official images, there are only three minor changes that I’d make:

    1) The long back straight would be an elongated curve, not online the main straight at the Gold Coast. The objective is to move Turn 12 futher west. This will allow the cars to build up more speed on the approach to the Hockenheim section.

    2) Move Turn 15, also to the west so that it is in line with the newly-reprofiled Turn 12. Once again, the obejctive is to stretch out the circuit a little to let the cars build up some more speed.

    3) Change the elevation so that Turn 12 is the lowest point of the circuit and Turn 15 is one of the highest, creating a Rallye Monte Carlo feel up the switchback. This would also make the Reverse Istanbul 16-17-18 combination a downhill bend; in fact, the entire final section would be downhill.

  59. wipes tear,,,
    Just so excited you’re all coming to visit!
    The becketts type section.
    Turn 1 should be amazing.
    The hill in the back should be pretty wild for both chassis breaking, drivers, and tv “As they come over the crest,,”


    1. Fred…. got any rooms :)

  60. Looks even more interesting when you see the elevation change render. On paper probably the most interesting looking circuit he’s produced.

    If I was being hypercritical it still has a few too many corners for my liking, T13, 14 and 15 look a little bit like they’re just there to add some length.

    But definitely looking forward to this race more than the Korean and Indian GPs.

  61. Generally, I’m pretty positive about this. The only bit I really don’t like that is the fiddly section from turns 12 to 16. It looks rather a lot like the horrid bit of track he put at the end of Fuji. It would be better if they could somehow cut through from turn 12 straight into the Turn 8-style corner.

    Hope the race organisers have the sense to give the corners proper names, too…

    1. Hi Keith.

      The Official Formula 1 website has another picture of the layout, which shows the elevation changes.

      Pretty awesome stuff, see what people think.

    2. I like turn 12, but maybe perhaps shorten the run to turn 13 to around 100m and head into turn 15, doing away with turn 14 altogether. Would offer some exciting switchback passing opportunities and possibly some side by side racing into the 3 apex corner.

  62. Is it just me ? but the track looks a bit like the British Isles…therefore I love it !!!! Yeah !!!

    1. Yeah, I thought that, but it also looks a bit like an upright vacuum cleaner to me :)

    2. This is exactly what I thought as well, except I jokily wrote “is this what American’s think England, Scotland and Wales looks like?” and my comment got deleted with no explanation!

  63. will indycar or nascar use this track? this track is just the best bits of his other tracks!!!!

    1. Would be fascinating to see Indycar racing on there in 2012 to see how their new car compares with F1 cars for speed. Would be a long lap for them, though.

      1. They could use one of the alternative layouts though. Although that might ruin the flow a bit though because they miss out half of the esses section and get thrown into the switchback section almost straight away.
        Still worth the indycar organisers thinking about…

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  65. Looks too long. Longer than Spa even I think. Which means we will get less laps.

    And turn 7 an almost-90 degree bend is ruining the flow of the corners 3,4,5,6,8,9,10, Tilke should ease that turn out.

    Otherwise, a good circuit :)

    1. 3.4 miles vs. Spa’s 4.3 miles. Pretty average length really. It does look like its long straight might be a hair longer than Shanghai though which would make it the longest straight in F1.

      1. The back straight is about the same length as the one at Abu Dhabi. It’s 300m shorter than the main straight at Fuji.

    2. Spa is 7.004 km which translates to 4.38 miles. This is 3.4 miles. I agree on 7. I also expect to see a chicane added on the back straight which will be a bummer.

      1. I should have added that 7 depends on the radius. If it is possible to run that close to flat out it would be a wonderous corner. Maybe rather than straighten it out, better to lengthen the chord of the circle and make it a shallower radius.

        1. Turn 7 follows 5 and 6, of which 5 has a lesser radius and 6 has a larger one, so a fair bet that the cars are accelerating or through turn 6 atleast.

          Turn 7 is quite a kink if the car is coming at say 240-250 kmph.

          I would prefer straightening it out as then, there is a very good chance that the cars won’t be braking AT ALL (like Becketts but longer) from turn 2 to turn 11 !!! Now how awesome will be that!!

          and yes, sorry about the length mistake, I thought 20 turns, must be really long!!

  66. At the risk of repeating what others have said I am disappointed that this will be an anti clockwise track.
    This will make the pit straigth and uphill straight and knock speed off that might be impressive. Going the other way there is some opportunities for some interesting events under braking.
    The back straight I predict will get a chicane dumped into it mid way which is a shame. The old long straights of the old Spa and Hockenheim tracks were fun and forced a decision re top end gearing vs, grunt off the corners. As we saw at Spa, when you are on the rev limiter there is not much you can do. I like that choice being forced on the engineers.

  67. LOVE IT!

    This circuit is fantastic apart from turns 12, 13, 14 and 15. Cut out those, and its perfection :)

  68. It’s a bit amusing how many people here have posted links to the same picture of the elevation changes. I’ll add another link for the same files… the official website has pdfs of both that can be downloaded:

  69. i expected a lot of the “naturalstand”. does anyone know what the seating capacity is?

  70. Looks quite good. Certainly a few revisions would help, but it could be a great circuit. Can’t wait to drive down from Colorado in 2012!

  71. the start straight is like going backwards from eau rouge up to the hairpin :]

  72. On first glance it looks nice, but they are all constant radius turns again.

    When is Tilke going to go to WHSmith and buy a set of french curves I wonder?

  73. 2nd attempt:
    – like the corners till T11
    – hairpin-looong straight-hairpin like Hockenheim, Yeongam, Abu Dhabi, Delhi which is starting to get boring
    – Istanbul-style after 250 m of acceleration is a missed opportunity
    – abscence of corners like Tamburello, 130R, Blanchimont, Copse/Stowe/Club (old versions of course)
    I had hopes that the circuit would remind me of old Österreichring or Silverstone.
    But at least it´s got flowing sections.
    By the way, I would like to ask Hermann why the desert circuits are just stop and go.

  74. The 3D render looks like a map out of Stunt Car Racer. Like the variation in elevation though.

  75. I’m looking forward to the race in 20102!

  76. Is anyone else thinking hints of Bathurst? take away the twisty bit and this track has real potetial.

  77. The track looks promising and I would have two versions of it :
    1 – with the Hockenheim slow part as it is
    2 – with an interesting turn eliminating that section, and making the track more fast and flowing.

    So, you could have two tracks in one.

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  79. This is a very nice layout, except for the fiddly bit right after the long straight.

    I just hope they dont’ create a carpark, then define the track with white lines and curbs:P

  80. They should call it the Satellite Dish.

  81. That is very intriguing writing!

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