Forget about all that talk about New York becoming a possible host of the future Formula One U.S. Grand Prix because it won’t be coming there anymore. Oh, Formula One is coming back to America alright, but it won’t be in New York, or anywhere close to it. Instead, Formula One announced that beginning in 2012, the US Grand Prix will return to the calendar and will be held in Austin, Texas.
According to Formula One, Austin will host the US GP from 2012 to 2021, making it a pretty strong fixture in the F1 calendar in the coming years. Of course, the decision was made knowing that Austin doesn’t exactly have a ready race track so we can at least expect that a track - or even an entire facility - will be built just in time for the 2012 season. That, or they’re probably thinking of doing it on the streets, Melbourne style.
Press Release after the jump
Formula One returns to the United States
Austin, Texas, from the east. The Austin skyline by night, Texas. Austin hill country, Texas. The Austin skyline by day, Texas.
Formula One World Championship Limited and Formula One Administration Limited (together, the F1 Commercial Rights Holder) and Full Throttle Productions, LP, promoter of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™, announce that a historic agreement has been reached for Austin, Texas to serve as the host city of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ for years 2012 through 2021.
"We are extremely honoured and proud to reach an agreement with the F1 Commercial Rights Holder. We have been diligently working together for several years to bring this great event to Austin, the State of Texas and back to the United States. All parties involved have a great amount of trust and confidence in each other and are committed to establishing the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ in Austin, Texas as a prestigious global event," stated Tavo Hellmund, Managing Partner of Full Throttle Productions, LP.
Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of the Formula One Group stated: "For the first time in the history of Formula One in the United States, a world-class facility will be purpose-built to host the event. It was thirty years ago that the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ was last held on a purpose-built permanent road course circuit in Watkins Glen, NY (1961-1980), which enjoyed great success. Since then, Formula One has been hosted by Long Beach, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix all on temporary street circuits. Indianapolis joined the ranks of host cities in 2000 when they added a road course inside the famed oval. Lewis Hamilton won the last Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ in 2007, signalling the end to eight years at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This however, will be the first time a facility is constructed from the ground up specifically for Formula One in the US."
Mr. Hellmund added: "This is a case of the right timing in the right place. As many Americans know, Austin has earned a reputation as one of the ’it’ cities in the United States. Austin features that rare combination of ideal geographic location and beauty. Its fine dining, world-renowned hospitality and excellent transportation infrastructure make Austin ideally suited to host and manage an event of this magnitude. Few cities if any in America could rival the connectivity of all the key elements needed for hosting a Formula 1 event as well as Austin. Now, many people around the world will have the opportunity to experience a world-class event, facility and city."
"We are pleased Texas has the opportunity to be involved with Formula 1 and that an event of this magnitude is coming to Austin," said Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. "It has been a pleasure working with Full Throttle Productions, LP and Mr. Hellmund on this project. Their tradition of producing successful major events coupled with a thirty year relationship with Mr. Ecclestone has us looking forward to this worldwide event and the benefits it will bring, including local job creation, increased tourism and a significant economic impact added to our state economy. The visibility and prestige of this event will spotlight our state on an international stage."
Texas Governor Rick Perry conveyed his enthusiasm for the project, explaining "Texas’ relatively strong economy continues to draw both national and international attention and I commend Comptroller Combs for her work in bringing this exciting event to the Lone Star State."
City of Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell continued the positive sentiments, adding "The City of Austin will be proud to host this magnificent event and I look forward to welcoming the participants and fans of Formula One to our City."
Full Throttle Productions, LP acknowledges with great appreciation the efforts of all parties involved including Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of the Formula One Group, and the local and state officials of Texas.
"It has been a shared vision and monumental task to reach this agreement. We realize that over the last 30 years there have been one or two missing pieces from the previous editions of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™. We have a tremendous opportunity at hand to do it right - to feature Austin as the backdrop and produce the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ as one of the great sporting events in the world," stated Hellmund.
In addition to the State of Texas being the 11th strongest economy in the world, it has more Fortune 500 company headquarters than any other state. Key features of Austin include:
State capital nicknamed ’Silicon Hills’ for being one of the most important regions in the US for the Technology Industry;
USA’s 15th largest city and is located 145 miles from Houston (4th largest US city), 70 miles from San Antonio (7th largest US city), and 180 miles from Dallas (8th largest US city), population in this triangle is over 22 million;
perfectly located geographically for North, South and Central American visitors;
over 130 daily departing international flights within 180 miles;
over 250,000 hotel rooms within 180 miles;
desirable year-round climate, with an average annual temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 Celsius);
geographically located in the Texas Hill Country, easily the most beautiful city in the State, and considered one of the most in the US;
hotels/downtown/Formula 1 circuit/airport located within close proximity of each other, which is nearly impossible for any other large city in the US;
world class night life entertainment along renowned ’Sixth Street’; and
large film industry presence - many movies filmed in the area.
Austin’s National Recognition
Known as "The Live Music Capital of the World"
Voted "Greenest City in America" (MSN)
Voted "Least Stressful Large Metro" in the United States (Forbes)
Voted Top Two "Best Cities" in the United States (Money Magazine)
Voted Top Three "Hippest Cities" in the United States (Forbes)
Voted Top Five "Safest Cities" in the United States (Forbes)
Voted Top Ten "Sports & Fitness Cities" in the USA (Sports Business Journal)
Full Throttle Productions, LP is an Austin, Texas, special event and sports production company that provides event conception, event project management, day of event oversight, staffing and volunteer services, venue planning and logistics support.
More information on the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ will be forthcoming shortly. In the meantime, all queries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filed under: Motorsports