Video lap of the Circuit of the Americas in Codemasters’ F1 2012

2012 United States Grand Prix

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A virtual lap of the Circuit of the Americas is shown in this video of Codemasters’ forthcoming Formula 1 game.

The video shows three laps of the circuit in a development version of F1 2012, giving insight into both the configuration of the track and the current look of the game.

The 5.5km (3.4-mile) Hermann Tilke-designed track is currently under construction in Austin, Texas. It will hold the United States Grand Prix for the first time on November 18th.

F1 2012 is due for release in September. Codemasters also revealed two new images from the game today.

Austin F1 Track Map

2012 F1 season

Browse all 2012 F1 season articles

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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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86 comments on “Video lap of the Circuit of the Americas in Codemasters’ F1 2012”

  1. Love how you can change the brake bias, but barring that I don’t see any differences…

    1. Love how he alters it to the rear then a few corners later loses it as the rear end steps out under braking :)

    2. @pamphlet Yeah, I was thinking that was the major element missing from the past 2 games as far as driving the car is concerned. We can all be like Schumacher now :D

  2. very nice track, the middle bit reminds me of silverstone with the sweeping corners, should be great to see f1 in austin :)

    1. Yeah I thought that, it’s like Maggot’s and Beckett’s.

      For the game though; it looks very nice, but it doesn’t seem to differ from 2011 too much. I’m hoping they can keep adding to the texture and feel of the game every year, as I can’t imagine the game engine is changing too drastically.

      1. From what I have seen here… well .. I must say the track is very boring and it seems very large with lots of high speed parts… :SSS a little sceptic there

        1. @hawkey – i thought the same, can’t help but think that it’ll probably look better come race day though with some proper on-board footage though!

      1. While that’s true, watching this video at virtual speed just confirmed what the map already suggested to me – it feels like Suzuka’s esses, especially with the access roads that will be incorporated into alternate (shorter) tracks. Austin’s T7 is even slightly uphill, just like the corner at Suzuka that concludes the esses, though it is much shorter in length than its Japanese counterpart.

        Obviously T1 invokes the A1-Ring mirrored.
        T10 has a Sao Paulo T5 quality about it.

        1. Actually, Austin’s T6 looks quite a bit like the mirrored Suzuka corner I mentioned, the name is Dunlop of course.

        2. For some reason i dont think the speeds are right on the model here. They just seem way to slow to me. I think it will be much faster then what this is showing. They were projecting the back straight to be around the 200mph mark and on this its showing about 175mph. Im excited to see what the real speeds and lap times will be once its all said and done

          1. could be the driver, in this video he doesn’t hit many apexes…

          2. Yeah, that annoyed me…

          3. as @frood19 writes, not of these laps were done driving well. Missing apexes, shortshifting, not downshifting in time and then be stuck out of the hairpin etc. I think i saw a few laps of it done on iracer (OK, the track model might not have been perfect at the time but still) and that was about 1:24 if I remember correctly.

          4. I just hope he’s not in charge of developing the AI :P

        3. T9 also looked tighter on the game than on Keith’s map – or is it just me?

      2. @keithcollantine – Tilke didn’t actually design the circuit. At all. Tavo Hellmund came up with the basic concept with input from Kevin Schwantz, with one of Tilke’s engineers tasked with taking their notes and rough sketches and turning it into a circuit:

  3. That track actually looks very interesting. can’t wait for the racing to begin

  4. I kind of wish the track was more original, there’s elements of Silverstone, Bahrain and India on this track. The track seems to have a nice flow to it however, and the elevation looks good.

    By the way, the graphics for the game are really poor. Formula One Championship Edition looks better, and that was released in 2006.

    1. This could be due to the fact that according to Codemasters, the PS3 has a more complex coding system in comparison to the Xbox. Therefore, on PS3 exclusive titles, the PS3 can have superior graphics from better coding, but when the game is multi-platform, then the PS3 usually takes a hit in terms of general performance and graphics, which is more than unfortunate, especially since I’m a PS3 user :(

      I hope that the graphics do continue to improve though.

  5. Doesn’t seem to be any new fundamental changes to the dynamics of the game. Though, it’s only in development.

    1. Looks like you can change brake-bias on the fly now.

    2. Except for the ability to change brake-b i a s on the fly now.

      1. Yeah – noticed that too. I have not got the pleasure of a steering wheel – still use a controller, and changing anything requires about 2-3 seconds and a straight bit of road. Can be done but you need to plan where you will change things – like in F1 2010 when you needed to change front wing angles. Looks a good track though, with that Turkey turn 8 lookalike being an acceleration zone all the way around – that will fun on degrading Pirellis in the race…

  6. The track looks pretty, I think the only bit I’m not totally sold on is the ‘stadium section’. I know they say they were trying to make it like Hockenheim’s stadium section, but to me it looks more like Fuji than Hockenheim.

    1. *pretty good, not just “pretty”. Haha

    2. Personally I feel that “stadium section” is a bit superfluous and should rather have been let out. But it does give a nice extra place for Grandstands.

  7. Parts of the track have nice flow and even though I knew they will make a start-finish straight go uphill I didn’t expect such a steep hill. However, I don’t think “turn 8” style corner will have the same effect as it had in Turkey as there are slow pieces of track before and after it.

    1. They are saying all the track designers that it will be a faster turn then Turkey has. This model is wrong for the speeds

  8. Looks like a mix of various tracks put into one. Silverstone, Istanbul… some bits that remind me of Fuji (after the long back straight). I got to say I rather like it… hope it works fine in real life!

    As for the game itself, I cannot belive they make the car sound like that… previous games also had rubbish engine noises but it’s been 3 years already and it still sounds ridiculously bad. Specially the downshifts.

  9. Michael Brown (@)
    5th June 2012, 20:59

    Looks like the car is a lot more responsive on high speed corners.

  10. To be honest, I probably won’t buy F1 2012. The bugs in F1 2011 were bad, but more alarming was Codemasters’ almost flat denial there was an issue. Sure, they patched some thing, as pretty much every game does these days, but the big ones which everyone notices go unfixed. Unless I receive absolute assurances that they’ve been squashed, I’ll be keeping my money in my pocket.

    1. Not to mention that when they released the last patch they introduced a tyre wear bug, and then refused to fix it saying they were now working on F1 2012

      1. @briggerz which tyre wear bug are you referring to again?

        1. The two issues I’m aware of concern (at least) the practice sessions. The first is that once you used your first set of tyres, the next time you drive out, regardless of what you specify in the tyre selection dialogue, the game auotmatically sends you out with the next best set of tyres available, i.e. you’re going out on a fresh set even if you don’t want to. (The workaround is that you have to use the Drive out > Flying lap option, which doesn’t allow you to warm up the tyres or scout out the track conditions.)

          The second one is that if you’ve used a set of tyres and don’t select another before the session ends, the degradation values of the set you used are copied to the next set, i.e. you might end up with a tyre you never actually drove being just as worn as the one you actually used. (Again, there’s a workaround – you have to manually select another set before the practice session ends, which then effectively prevents you from going out just before the end of the session to set the quickest possible time.)

          That these kinds of problems are dismissed in a “deal with it” kind of way, just because you can provide workarounds, sadly, is nothing I would call disappointing in this context, because for that, I’d have to have had higher expectations.

          What’s more severe, even, is the savegame corruption issues that apparently do still occur, while, really, such a core functionality of any software, the ability to correctly resume a state at a later point in time, must work correctly under all possible circumstances. It’s a funny redundancy to write a script file to “autosave” the autosave files. Now, if I imagined myself as a professional software developer, I would consider that a major embarrassment.

    2. You are right but what can we do? I like this new Codemasters series but especially now because of E3 anytime I start watching other racing games, I get the feeling that despite this being an yearly franchise the game could be so much better in any sense, even the new Test Drive Ferrari racing Legends looks incredible alot of old F1 cars and old tracks and old Monte Carlo old Silverstone, so I guess codemasters to step up needs new compettion oon this area.

      1. The problem is, they do not have enough time and resources to go and do everything they want, secondly, they are simply not allowed to do a huge number of game enhancing things…

        I mean, the amount of stuff they could do were they given the go ahead would be massive.

  11. The elevation changes aren’t as dramatic as I had expected given all the talk about it from Tavo & co. Has the DRS zone been confirmed yet? I assume it will be situated on the pit straight…

    1. I don’t think it’s been confirmed yet, but I’m guessing the longest straight after the hairpin.

      1. @calum – as long as it doesn’t make overtaking incredibly easy I’m quite happy wherever it goes!

  12. The game is obviously still on development, yet we can understand that it is really similar to F1 2011 same type of overall look, until now the HUD is a bit different Bold letters which is irrelevant and maybe not definitive, what i liked to see is that the models seem a bit more complex i like the work done on the suspension and brake ducts, what i really loved is to see that you can change the brake bias again and that the tyres look phenomenal.

  13. The run into the first corner is crazy!
    The track seem to have a really good flow with loads of medium and high speed sweepers.
    I think its going to be excellent!

  14. A Tilke Track, i remind the last new tracks like Korea, Cingapure, Abu Dhabi and even Valencia.
    The elevations are good, like Malaysia and Turkey, and whe have a invertion of the famous Turkey multiple turn on the 3 sector.
    Nothing of the magic of the new silverstone….of course.
    But with a proper driving it will be fun.

  15. The turns 1-2-3 combo is really sweet, but 7, 8 and 9 look far tighter than they do on that track map. It also seems that 13 and 15 are tighter than the real Hockenheim stadium section. T19 looks fun with that camber though.

    Looks interesting, but could’ve been much better if Tilke would loosen it up a little.

    1. It is way tighter its my only complaint about the track. They changed it from the original design. It kills the high speed run into turn 11 which kinda sucks

    2. The turns 1-2-3 combo is really sweet, but 7, 8 and 9 look far tighter than they do on that track map.

      Turns 7, 8 and 9 – 9 in particular – have been changed since the first circuit map was released.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys Yeah, I just read that in the article you linked to above. They were altered to keep the speed down before T10 (which is obviously like T4 at the Hungaroring, not original as they say in the article). A real shame. Like I said, this track could’ve been so much better without the input of Tilke or one of his droids.

        Also surprised Schwantz didn’t want a replica of the Melbourne hairpin at Donington, he was epic there.

        1. A real shame. Like I said, this track could’ve been so much better without the input of Tilke or one of his droids.

          If you’d read the article as you’d said you’d had, you would have seen that Tilke had nothing to do with it. Hellmund came up with the original concept. Schwantz tweaked it. Tilke’s firm was simply charged with making their ideas fit the FIA regulations on circuit design. They might have influenced the exact placement of certain corners, but they didn’t have any creative control.

          I like it the way it is now, actually. The corners in the first sector get progressively tighter and trickier, and the last two help move it beyond a simple Silverstone clone.

          Also surprised Schwantz didn’t want a replica of the Melbourne hairpin at Donington, he was epic there.

          He obviously understood that the circuit was for car racing first and foremost.

          1. The turn was later altered after Tilke received feedback from former F1 driver Alexander Wurz, who had ran the track through a McLaren simulator.

            According to Hellmund and Schwantz, it was Hogrebe who came up with those corners to set up Turn 10, which isn’t modeled on any famous turn but promises to be one of the most exciting at the track.

            This shows that Tilke GmbH did more than just putting Hellmund and Schwantz’s ideas into AutoCAD. They altered and/or designed some turns, including the ones I like least, hence me saying it could’ve been better without Tilke.

          2. It’s pretty obvious that Hogrebe suggested the corners because they were at an impass – Hellmund and Schwantz didn’t know what to put there, but they needed something to fit the FIA regulations on circuit design, so they turned to Tilke.

            Personally, I think you’re just taking any oppotunity to attack Tilke because you don’t like his other circuits.

          3. Well, maybe they should’ve turned to someone else :D

            Look, I’m obviously not really a fan of Tilke’s, but I don’t hold a grudge against him or anything. I put Istanbul in my Top 40 of Greatest Tracks of All-Time, which is not a small feat. It’s a shame he doesn’t stick to the design philosophy he had for Istanbul. He didn’t bulldoze the entire area and he didn’t add any more corners than strictly necessary. I’m not saying he should only make carbon copies of that track, please no, but you can still vary a lot within that same philosophy. Sepang, Aragon and Austin are all good as well, apart from certain corners that slow things down too much for my liking. It feels like he’s always a notch below the adventurousness allowed within the limits of the regulations and he has a tendency to not leave a nice, simple design untouched, which makes the difference between a great design and a mere good one.

            The Bilster Berg circuit, designed by Walter Röhrl, also shows that he has it in him to leave adventurous plans for what they are, he just needs to do it for F1 tracks too.

          4. If Tilke is guilty of anything, it’s that he’s attempted to break circuit design down into a mathematical equation – this part plus that part equals overtaking. I don’t think you can really blame him for that; “there’s no overtaking” was a common complaint among for years. So he’s really just trying to give the people what they wanted, but the trade-off is that some of the circuits lose their magic.

            That said, I think diversity in the calendar is important. We need short circuits and we need long circuits. We need fast circuits and we need slow circuits. We need circuits that emphasise driver skill, and circuits that emphasise technical strength. And I think Tilke has done a fairly good job of creating a nice range of circuits, even if some are a little boring. It would be a problem if we had 20 Valencias or 20 Abu Dhabis on the calendar. But we don’t.

          5. @prisoner-monkeys

            I think Tilke has done a fairly good job of creating a nice range of circuits

            I couldn’t disagree more. Modern circuit design is depressingly uniform – similar lengths circuits, all predominantly slow corners with a few token fast bends.

            The only deviations from the formula occur when Tilke hasn’t got sufficient space to impose his usual configuration – e.g. Singapore.

            Tilke may not be entirely to blame – the FIA’s rules are very restrictive.

            But while I agree that we need variety in the calendar, I think that is exactly what Tilke-era tracks are most lacking.

          6. I think that is exactly what Tilke-era tracks are most lacking.

            Compare Sepang to Korea to the Circuit of the Americas, and I think there’s quite a bit of range there, even if they’re all similar lengths.

          7. There is some variation, but not as much as there should be. If you’re gonna make 1/2 to 3/4 of the entire calendar, there’s no point in having all those types of corners in every track over and over again.

  16. I find it funny how people would rather say bad things then anything good. Whats the one thing alot of us fans complain about on new tracks? “Its just a straight and then a 90 deg bend into a slow turn” “We want fast corners that push a car to its limit” and so on and so on. The biggest complaint has always been there are to many slow corners and 90 deg hair pins or a chicane. Well now we have a track that has fast sweeping corners and no chicane and now people say that they don’t like it because there are to many fast parts. Why is it no one is happy? lol jw Oh and i think the track looks really good but we will have to wait and see. I dont like Turns 8 and 9 that much i think it slows the cars up more then they need to be.

    1. I just read through all comments and I couldn’t find anyone complaining about the fast parts, quite the contrary.

      1. hey sorry i was reading and writing on to forums at once. It was the other place i was posting on that everyone was complaining about that. I have always thought its funny how people find a way to complain about something no matter what happens. Just to clarify so i don’t seem to stupid. Am i forgiven?

        1. Just a couple of days ago we had @keithcollantine struggling to understand why people always have to complain (that was about F1 becoming a “lottery”), so you are in good company getting annoyed by that kind of behaviour @racerdude7730!

          But thanks for adding this comment so we better understand your previous one :-)

  17. I most certainly won’t buy the F1 2012. Ever-present bugs on my PC and ridiculous framerate and tearing on PS3 (not mentioning simply ugly graphics) put me off permanently. Even in this short video I can see framerate drops and tearing. New tracks, updated cars and teams are not enough to buy new racing game. It’s getting pretty much like EA sports or Konami football games which differ little to none with every year itterations.

  18. The gears on downshift sound horrible & incorrect. Anyone esle agree or just my ears?

    1. Yes exactly what I thought actually, sounds like the sound has changed since 2011…. and not for the better!

      1. It sounds like rFactor

    2. I think a lot of that was the awful driving (maybe because of playing too much with that brake bias?) in the video Nick.

    3. Yes i thought it sounded like a MotoGP bike downshifting, very odd.

    4. Yeah. Going forward the sound was okay, though it didn’t sound like a McLaren. The real car has a much more hollow sound from onboard. But the downshifts were horrible, and generally every time he wasn’t on the throttle the engine sounded more like a leaf blower then anything else.

  19. I think the track looks good seems to have a bit of everything. I hope they keep a similar handling model to 2011 as you could really push without constantly worrying about twitchy handling.

    1. Totally agree. The sound should be the easy bit. Track looks good, game sadly just like the other poor predecessors.

  20. F1 2011 is basically a good game but bugs were unacceptable.It’s through that CM never got the sound of the engine quite right,but the 2011 was improvement compared to 2010,2010 was simply awful.I’m not quite sure what to make of the 2012 sound,engine and upshifts are reasonable,but that downshift is awful.It’s mostly has to do with Steven Hood’s crappy driving,he’s not timing his downshifts right,sounds like engine braking to me,or so i hope.For the handling and AI will see in september,happy to see they included the brake bias change onboard.

  21. Now i know this F1 2012 Mclaren sound reminded me of something i’ve heard before.I went and found it,and here it is!

    1. yeah you are totatly right

  22. I think this track looks more interesting on paper than in the game & I fear there will be only one opportunity for overtakes which is into T12. I think they should have had an alternative layout which bypassed T8 & T9 with a connecting smoother radius from T7 to T10 which i think would have aided overtaking into T11.

    As for the game, it is nice to see an on board brake bias option however it would have been nice to incrementally move bias like you do in rFactor instead of having only 3 options. Its better than nothing though. Not that i race on this view but it also be nice if they used the real life F1 tacho overlays & correct TV points for replays etc… I think there should be more emphasis on the driver in the pit stops as well so drivers can incur a penalty for speeding or loose time for missing there pit box…

  23. The graphics look amazing. The physics, with the driver able to throttle-brake-throttle-brake in mid-corner and the car staying completely balanced, well that just looks silly.

  24. The track suffers the same problems most Tilke tracks do…it just goes on for far too long. If the lap was 20 seconds shorter it’d be perfect…but it just seems to go on forever, and not in a charming way. The lap starts really well but bu the time you hit the second twisty bit (by the “vending area” on the map) you loose interest.

    1. For me it also feels like they put a tad too much into the track. For me the worst of it is having that stadium section, then another supposedly fast (lets see about that) Turkey turn 8 clone and then another short straight before we finally get to the end of the lap (not likely to give much overtaking on start finish is it?) really stretches the attention span.

      But lets wait and see, at least its not straights and chicanes connected by 90 degrees turns.

  25. Turn 3 – 11 is going to be very challenging and fun for the drivers

  26. Did anyone notice how incredibly realistic the tyre smoke is from the lock up at turn 1 on the first lap? it looks real.

  27. This is a Tilke circuit!? This is by far the best Tilke track there is, this Circuit of the Americas has quickly become one of my favourite circuits ever!

  28. Awful track.

  29. The circuit looks good. I think the borrowed ideas from other tracks works really well actually. The long right-hander modelled on Turn 8 looks a little tamer (not complaining, I’m terrible at the corner!) but the quick left-rights modelled on Silverstone look fun and very unlike Tilke. Great elevation change as well.

  30. The DRS activation point is not in the place I imagine it will be. The problem with DRS before a slow corner, is that you could get the advantage and then overtake them into the corner and still be able to use DRS. So maybe the DRS activation point should be after the hairpin and the zone should be alot shorter, because also the zone being longer will increase the chance of an overtake long before the corner at the end of the zone. I know this problem shouldn’t apply with KERS, but after Abu Dhabi 2010, I think we know all slow corners leading on to a long straight, slipstreaming and passing is alot harder because the guy ahead will have got onto the throttle half a second ahead.

  31. Interesting to see this “combine interesting corners from various tracks” idea being revisited. It’s obviously on a whole different scale than Magny-Cours was for 1991.

    The first thing I immediately liked was the uphill run into Turn 1. It rarely happens with race tracks, and when it does, it works nicely against expectations — the Red Bull facility at Spielberg is one example, but you can see it even more drastically with Infineon Raceway (Sears Point) in the United States, or Cadwell Park in the UK. The onboard lap of the simulation shows the challenge of having a corner like that at the beginnign of the lap, as you’re coming at it with top speed going uphill, knowing you can brake later than if t was flat, the temptation is great to outbreak yourself and miss the apex.

    From what this looks like, the sequence of fast corners should deliver what is expected from it, as well. It was important that they worked gradient changes into it. It will be a good opportunity to show off the amounts of downforce the cars produce. And as a driver, you’ll need to know spot on where you are in the sequence, because every apex is different, and the decision to tighten up the last bit of the complex before it goes downhill means you can’t just blast through this at full speed, but have to set yourself up to be just on the line as you reach the end.

    I think the “stadium complex” is quite apparently a compromise on the circuit’s layout with the primary intention of having a spot where you can put lots of spectators as close to the track as possible, which with modern F1 design and safety demands means a slow corner sequence. That, inevitably, has the propensity to look interesting in TV pictures and photos (and from the grandstands), but leave the drivers a bit flat on excitement.

    Elevating the tempo right after that once more fits in well, though. In that combination, the straight and the stadium complex can provide some breathing room for the drivers…

    Also, as awe-inspiring it might be to just have fast corners, the issue of being able to overtake with cars the way F1 produces them these days had to be addressed some way. No matter what is being said, there’s no guarantee people will choose to utilise the “DRS” type solution for the next twenty or thirty years, which, in my opinion, would be a realistic timeframe for using a circuit built now.

  32. track really looks nice and fun to drive, got some overtaking spots, should be a nice GP
    and about the game: downshifting sound like moped… tyres squeak like road ones…

  33. nice track, poor driver. 3 laps and he can´t improve times. Without tyres in one lap?

  34. The only redeeming features of the Codemasters F1 games are the contemporary circuit layouts and indeed new circuits. Everything else is utter garbage.

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