Circuit of the Americas will be “old-school” track

F1 video

Posted on

| Written by

They may not have laid the tarmac at America’s newest F1 venue yet – but that didn’t stop Red Bull getting an early lap in on the new track.

David Coulthard drove the team’s show car at the home of the 2012 United States Grand Prix, which is in the early stages of construction, last weekend.

“It’s certainly a circuit the drivers are going to enjoy,” said Coulthard, “there’s a lot of elevation change here.”

Race promoter Tavo Hellmund said he wants the track to have ‘old school’ appeal:

“We’re going to be able to accomplish building the closest thing to a traditional, old school Grand Prix track from the fifties and sixties – with the elevation, with the fast corners, with the technical corners.

“Unfortunately we have a lot of FIA requirements that are safety requirements, but I think that’s the one thing, the one characteristic that all the drivers and all the riders are going to come here and say, ‘man, that’s an old school-type track.”

Here’s video of Coulthard driving around the site, plus an interview with him and Hellmund:

Video: Red Bull explore the Circuit of the Americas

Images: Red Bull explore the Circuit of the Americas

Thanks to Dan Selby for editing the video

F1 video

Browse all F1 videos

Image © Red Bull/Getty images

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

58 comments on “Circuit of the Americas will be “old-school” track”

  1. I appears to be great, at least from the drawings…
    The series of curves after the first one is a sort of Suzuka’s Esses sequence. There is also some heavy braking zones, a multiple apex sequence and great gradients.
    Really looking forward having a look at it.
    Welcome Austin!

    (Does it take that much to draw an interesting lay-out, Hermann???)

    1. I believe COTA is also a Tilke design?

      1. It is.

        Don’t be too harsh on Herman folks! Remember what Tavo said about the FIA regulations?

  2. I meant “It appears to be great…”

  3. FlyingLobster27
    23rd August 2011, 8:21

    Fantastic photos of an extremely unusual sight: an F1 car on gravel!
    The words ‘Pikes Peak’ come to mind, but no: the last gravel sections will be paved by next year (at Pikes Peak, that is, although the comment also applies to Austin…).

    1. I wonder if coulthard is now 3 inches shorter!?

      1. Was wondering the same thing. That looks spine shatteringly bumpy!

  4. And after that Red Bull set off to give Tom Cruise a 24 lap ride. Looks like at least one team is getting into promoting F1 in the US.

    Let them get together with the Bavaria city racing people and get some kind of event up for next year as well. If it works in Rotterdam, now Moscow and even Dublin, it should be a miracle in the US. No trouble to get Indy car guys (Lotus can call on 2-3 alone) as well as some Nascar ppl into that.

    Lets hope this picks up pace and we will be seeing the likes of DC, JB, Aussiegrit, SV and Lewis on TV shows soon to tell how much they are looking forward to it. And certainly Perez can hop in to tell all about how exited he is.

  5. Is it just me or did that F1 car not sound like an F1 car?

    1. He wasn’t going all that fast, and in pretty low gear most likely, what with the gravel :)

      1. The gravel would mean he’s more likely to have been in a high gear (= low revs) to avoid simply spinning the wheels.

        1. eh, right, flipped it around, yeah.

  6. Did anyone else watch the video using headphones and turn up the volume at 0:35 cos DC was talking too soft only to have their ears blown out from the engine straight after???

  7. My wife and I really enjoyed seeing the car at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum on Saturday. There was a pretty good crowd around the car the whole time we were there.

    I spent a lot of time with a local tv reporter, bringing him up to speed on the features of the car. I also got to meet guy that owns land right next to the track and has invited us out to take a tour.

    The Red Bull car is a real hodge podge… 2005 chassis with a 2007 engine and 2009 rear wing and 2010 front wing. But great to be able to see Red Bull doing a little promotion in Austin none the less.

    1. The Red Bull car is a real hodge podge

      Most show-cars are.

  8. We are not that very days far when Bernie will say why not add a piece of dirt track in the middle of a F1 race track.

    1. That would be fun.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        23rd August 2011, 15:19

        You read my mind… but imagine the big marvels ricocheted to the chasing drivers. It would be like Massa’s accident situation in every lap.

    2. taking a que of the Cars2 film where they have just that in the ‘japanese’ race.

      1. In Cars 2 the cars participating are of all kinds, some are rally cars, so it fits. Bernoulli (the F1 car) has problems with traction on the gravel.

        1. maybe a nice idea for a Race Of Champions type of event.

    3. Or a WRC style water hazard!

  9. A Tilke designed track currently under construction is definitely a “new school” track.
    Even if it is a good track, it’s not old school.

  10. Great to see the F1 show car run on dirt. Bet no one has tried that before. An old school track is what we want. Glad that Tilke was able to do something like that. Now let’s hope it really lives up to its expectations. Seems like the Indian track will also be somewhat old school, thanks to the undulations.

    1. Now all red bull will need to do is run one on water! They’ve covered snow, ice and now dirt (and of course tarmac…).

      1. BREAKING NEWS: Bernie Ecclestone floats the idea of an Amphibious F1 World Championship! :)

  11. I can’t wait to watch the cut up highlights of the US GP on BBC2 at 11pm next year!

    1. Why will you be watching it 5 hours after it airs on BBC1?

      1. Most likely because before that it will be only shown live on Sky Sport.

  12. Given that the circuit tarmac isn’t even down I don’t think Red Bull will gain from this. I remember last year they were the first to go through the Yeong-Am circuit too. Has anyone gone through the Indian Jaypee circuit already yet?

    1. It didn’t bring them much luck last year (double retirement)!

      1. Having said that though; they probably would’ve gotten a 1-2 had mark not run wide onto a kerb, and Seb not gotten an engine failure

    2. ridiculous comment

    3. RBR wouldn’t be expecting to learn anything from it.

      I recall Karun Chandhok having a bit of a dabble on the new Indian track. I think he was in a Red Bull also if i’m not mistaken.

  13. I’m looking forward to the race. I hope I can get tickets and get it into my head it’s ok to go back to Texas.

    1. “Thats right, your not from Texas, Texas wants you anyway.” – Lyle Lovett

  14. I cant believe FIA allowed Red Bull to run on this track.

    Surely, they will have a BIG advantage next year on this GP…

    1. Yeah, bet they are already talking to Pirelli about studs.

    2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      23rd August 2011, 15:36

      A big advantage after running at 80kph, without considering the lack of downforce and tyre degradation? Yes, that would make Vettel triple champion right away!!

      1. OmaR-Pepper, surely you did realise, that Becken was just joking?

      2. You definitely take things too seriously dude! You know what a joke is?

  15. Elevation changes look bigger than I expected – good!

    1. My sentiments exactly!

      1. The view from the top looks Amazing!

        1. That’s what she said.

          I’m sorry, it was just too easy.

    2. I was expecting it to be subtle. Certainly not the case.

  16. Unfortunately we have a lot of FIA requirements

    Yes, it is unfortunate.

  17. Look, this is America and this is how we get things done. The track layout is smart and well planned. The organization is behind the event and is in place. It is being done in a way that will offer much to every level of fan, from the casual interested person to the Tifosi worldwide, Tifosi of all nations.

    When I first learned of Austin becoming the F1 site I thought that there isn’t anything there but sage brush and excessive heat. Why in the world would you want to go there?? Now with the November date the whole of the situation has become much better than expected.

    In the end COTA will become another jewel in what Formula One means to so many worldwide.

    America is doing it right. The track is well thought out, the ammenties are also good and the location is prime for many in both North and South America to attend. F1 has had a need for an US location. The American response is to show all of you how we get the job done.

    Cold beer, BBQ and American Formula One….what else is there??

    See you in Austin.

    1. “The American response is to show all of you how we get the job done.”

      You’re serious, aren’t you?

    2. While the circuit is looking good and everything is going well so far there is still plenty of time between now and November 2012 for things to go wrong! Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

    3. Your view of Austin is skewed.

      Austin is not in west Texas, its in the springs and lakes of the hill country. Not a single sage brush to be seen. We are the number 2 high tech employer in the world after silicon valley, we have one of the largest universitys in the world and we are the capital of one of the largest US states. We also take pride in our music and it is said that there is more live music in Austin than anywhere else.

      You are right about the Beer and BBQ.. so when you come to see the race make sure you get a cold Shiner and make a trip to Salt Lick.

      1. cheers carldec. I hope I will make the trip over the pond to get there in time.

        Never really thought about Austin before, but from what I have so far heard and seen it looks like you have quite a nice place to be and live over there.

      2. I stand corrected and believe that the venue at Austin will become what Americans have hoped for, as the organizors efforts will make it into a world class facility for fans of Formula One to come to and return to. It is being done right and although I haven’t been to that part of the country I may have had skewed impression about what Texas is from watching the old westerns as a kid.

  18. Why the need to build a new track if what you want is a modern “old school” track with loads of elevation changes ?

    Just use Portimao ! I am well aware that it’s not in the US but I am just gutted there is not a GP there…

  19. Wrc f1 pictures

  20. Just scrolling down through those pictures gives the impression of the RedBull car going on some huge journey!!

  21. RB should have given the off tarmac drive to Kimi

Comments are closed.