Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

FIA official visits United States Grand Prix site 02 Nov 2010

(From left to right): Nick Craw, ACCUS president for the US and senate president of the FIA, Tavo Hellmund, chairman of the Formula 1 United States and Peter Wahl, managing partner of Tilke GmbH. (From left to right): Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, ACCUS president & FIA senate
president Nick Craw, FIA delegate Tim Mayer and Travis County Judge Samuel T. Biscoe. Conceptual master plan for the forthcoming Formula One circuit in Austin, Texas, USA Draft layout for the forthcoming Formula One circuit in Austin, Texas, USA

Race organisers for the forthcoming United States Grand Prix have revealed Nick Craw, president of the FIA’s senate, has made an official visit to the track site in Austin, Texas to review plans and the development’s progress. The purpose-built circuit will stage the US event from 2012, when Formula One racing returns to the country for the first time in five years.

Craw, who is also the president of the Automobile Competition Committee for the United States, toured the 900-acre site, met with Formula 1 United States team members as well as local, city and state officials.

"It will be great," he said. "This has some of the most interesting, exciting and different features, drawn from other successful venues around the world. It is a very strong team they’ve assembled here. I think it’s a very good plan and a very solid business model. They’ve set the bar pretty high.”

Craw’s visit to Austin also included meetings with Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Travis County Judge Samuel T. Biscoe, and Peter Wahl, the managing partner of the track’s design company, Tilke GmbH.

“We were pleased to have Mr. Craw and Tim Mayer, alternate FIA delegate, visit the facility site and meet the incredible team assembled to build and operate what we believe will be one of the premiere racetracks on the circuit and a world-class venue,” said Tavo Hellmund, chairman of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. “Our team is committed to building more than a race track, we are thinking far beyond the expected and are developing an environment that will provide an entertainment experience for both participants and spectators alike.”

Wahl added: “The track design has been developed with the drivers and spectators in mind. The drivers want to have high-speed corners; that’s what they like. We want to force them to faults and errors; otherwise, the race is not interesting for the spectator. When we design a racing experience, we must consider both points of view to have a truly successfulevent.”

The surrounding landscape of the 3.4-mile circuit allows for maximum elevation changes and a combination of more than 20 turns. The track’s master plan also features additional visitor attractions including a proposed driving/riding experience and seminar building, motorsports driving club, kart track and welcome centre.

According to recent reports, the FIA will consider a proposal in November to return to the former requirement that new Grand Prix facilities pass inspection at least 90 days before a race. “It probably protects everybody’s interest a little better than running right up against the event,” explained Craw. “If the U.S. Grand Prix didn’t want that rule, I will lobby against it.”

Wahl, meanwhile, stated in an interview last week that he wouldn't be a fan of a 90-day rule. "We always get a time frame that is very short these days," he said. "If the (US) race was held in May or April, that would give only one year for construction.”

Hellmund was equally unconvinced a return to the 90-day rule would be necessary.

“While we would love to have the luxury of having a completed track 90 days in advance of the event date - the schedule, much like the construction schedule for the last five Grand Prix track developments and races added to the schedule, will potentially not afford us this opportunity,” he said. “All of these events have been successful in their own right and it wouldn’t make sense to invoke a 90-day mandate now, that would affect only one track in the world - ours.”

To view the draft 3-D layout in more detail click here.
To view the draft 2-D layout in more detail click here.

For more information, visit www.formula1unitedstates.com.