• May 25, 2010
After a three-year hiatus, Formula One is coming back to the states in 2012 and the city that's been chosen to host the World Cup of Motorsports? Austin, Texas. Yes, Austin.

According to the release from F1, the race will be held in the city from 2012 to 2021, and since Austin doesn't have a race track, a facility will be purpose-built to host the events. Get all the details in the press release after the jump.

[Source: Formula One | Image: Corbis/Getty]
Show full PR text
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 info@fullthrottleproductionslp.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 106 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Unless it's October - March forget it. The temps will be too high. Remember Dallas?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Austin, Texas? Why? A street race through a mundane city? Why not bring it to a nice race track like Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Having it in Austin means you can say you have a USGP while having access to the Mexican race fans who are much much more interested in F1.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Perhaps because Birmingham is about a billion times more "NASCAR" territory than Austin is?

        Also, not to get all defensive, but Austin isn't as mundane as most of you are trying to make it out to be.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Read the article. They are building a track.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow... I'm not displeased by the Austin choice (as many point out, its a great city), but it was like 29th on my list of likely places to have the US race. I mean, 1) there's no existing venue, 2) it's relatively small metropolitan area (sure, you have Dallas and Houston nearby... so why not put it in Dallas or Houston?! Or New York or Boston or Chicago or LA or San Francisco or...25 other places!) and 3) Austin is not exactly a 'global city' like every other new addition on the F1 calendar. On that last point, I don't mean to diminish Austin's class and charm, but you don't hear of many people from Hong Kong or Paris vacationing there like you might about the other previously mentioned metros. If we're going with 'Charming American City' with no venue and no racing legacy, why not have the race in Minneapolis, Nashville, Salt Lake or Philly? Is it because they think they can attract the Latin American?

      Smells to meet like there's a sweetheart deal in there someplace... I'd love to know what goes through Bernie's oddly misshapen head.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, first point is that land is CHEAP in Texas. Having said that, I've been to Dallas/Houston/NYC/Boston/Chicago/LA/SF/Paris/Minneapolis/Nashville/Philly, not Salt Lake though.

        I could go on and list all of their negatives but that'd take forever. I'll say that Austin easily has the hotel capacity. It also has an easily accessible central area (downtown) for the F1 people to throw their parties with plenty of venues, etc. In the downtown area, there's a high concentration of venues for everyone that can handle the capacity of visitors and everything is walking distance. And flight capacity is fine if you take into account the neighboring cities.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As an Austinite I'm mostly pleased. Not sure though if I'm ready for a property tax increase to pay for incentives for a track though. It could be a hard sell for the majority here not interested in motor sports of any kind(NASCAR isn't even big here).

      East Austin near the airport may work for the space requirements and noise issues, but there will always be NIMBY elements to be overcome.

      Don't forgot that Austin is the biggest city in the US without a professional sports team but now we can have a pro sports event.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Austin...wow. For those on the outside, Austin is the fastest growing city in the nation and the biggest "up and comer" that we have. It's a great city that's ridiculously vibrant, beautiful, and fun. This is pretty cool, and I can see the city and "Austinites" getting more behind this than typical "Texans". Trust me, Austin is an off-beat place and will take this thing as its own and run with it. Just like the SXSW music festival, this will become a major yearly event that will take over the whole city.

      And that picture is ridiculously outdated, the city looks more like this: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/06/AustinSkylineLouNeffPoint-2010-03-29-b.JPG
      • 4 Years Ago
      At least Austin is central, has good weather. People from the east and west can reach it easily & cheaply. People can fly into Austin, Houston, or Dallas, or San Antonio - and get there easy enough. So LOTS of airports.

      My first reaction also was WTF - but if you think of it in logistical terms, makes sense.



      • 4 Years Ago
      Austin is a world class city in an economically/environmentally stable state. Texans have a lot of disposable income and love outdoor events. I imagine the move was more designed to introduce F1 to a new audience. For one, I live in Houston. I've never had any interest in F1 (or nascar for that matter), but I'm already interested in going to this event. Austin is a great city to travel to, and if they could build a regional fan base; how could this not be a hit?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Great.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Perhaps people should research Austin before speaking about it, it is nothing like the rest of Texas is.

      Also, I don't think F1 would bother hosting it in Austin if they didn't think there would be a fan base to attend.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think Austin is a beautiful city, personally. But don't kid yourself. The fanbase that fills a football stadium doesn't automatically cross pollenate an F1 track. Proper marketing might work wonders... I hope.

        What will probably happen is that it would become a draw from around the country since it's a rarity in this part of the world.
        • 4 Years Ago
        We fill a 100k football stadium every other Saturday in the fall. Also, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas are all within a 3-4 hour drive.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Austin's population isn't nearly enough to fulfill F1's money dreams. They'll have to draw from far afield.

        I bet the hipsters end up killing the plans anyway.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Football is a lot bigger in Texas than F1 is.

        And are you sure you fill that stadium with only Austin residents? Ann Arbor fills a 114k seat stadium 8 times a year, and the population of the city is only 114,000. But of course many of those seats are filled by out-of-towners.

        I'm just saying you can go on and on about how Austin is so different from the rest of Texas, but you're going to need those people you say you are so different from in order to get enough attendees at these races. So it turns out the makeup of Texas as a whole does matter.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Austin is nearing 2 million in size, and is close to 3 of the largest cities in the United States and you are arguing that there aren't enough people to support F1? Give me a break and go back to your lesser state.
      • 4 Years Ago
      BTW, 2 years seems quick to build a track like this.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I got news for all you Texas haters out there: I live in a better city than you. That's a fact. I've lived in 14 cities and all 4 US timezones at least twice apiece and Austin is by far the best, regardless of cost of living. So much so that I turned down by dream job in intel just to stay here. Sorry, I just can't stand it when ignorant people bash Texas without knowing a thing about it.

      In any event, like the press release says, ATX is within 3 hrs of 22 million people and is the host to many great events every year like South by Southwest (the equivalent of the music industry's annual convention) and Austin City Limits music festival so it's more than capable and desirable. So it's a great choice. I'm just wondering where the track will be. Maybe where the old airport was?
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Mueller Development (old airport) is all spoken for. Like some other folks said, Hill country is way expensive. The east of town has some nice rolling hills. The closer to downtown the better IMO.
      • 4 Years Ago
      1) Who is paying for it?
      2) Where will it be? I heard some say westlake, but they better not tear up any greenbelt.
      3) I don't know if you remember but the Long Beach track was a disaster and cost the city millions that were never recouped.

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