US GP’s First Draft
The first plans for the new Formula 1 circuit near Austin have been revealed. The circuit, which will host the United States Grand Prix from 2012 through to 2021, is an anti-clockwise, 5 and half kilometre (3.4 miles) track featuring 20 turns, a maximum elevation change of 41 metres and a back straight stretching to 1.2 kilometres (0.75 miles) in length.
After the sharp, wide, uphill Turn 1, reminiscent of the first corner at Austria’s A1-ring and which organisers hope will offer the opportunity to overtake, a right-hander feeds out in to Turns 3 to 6 – a snaking series of esses similar the Maggots/Becketts complex at Silverstone or Suzuka’s tricky esses.
At the far end of the circuit their is the ubiquitous Tilke hairpin at Turn 11 which leads on the circuits longest straight which gently curves and undulates down to the complex at Turns 12 to 15 which makes a nod towards the Hockenheimring complex following the Parabolika.
Turns 16 to 18 is a long triple-apex corner which resembles Hermann Tilke’s perhaps most celebrated creation – Istanbul Park’s infamous Turn 8. Two left handers will then feed the cars back on to the start-finish straight for the 290 km/h (180 mph) blast back down to Turn 1.
Race promoter, Tavo Hellmund promised fans good views of most of the circuit due to the natural elevation changes with speeds up to 322 km/h (200 mph).
The organisers are saying all the right things, particularly in terms of elevation changes, but reproducing sections of existing circuits doesn’t always work. Usually, the character is as dependent on the turns feeding into them as much as the famous turns themselves. The proof, as they say, will be in the pudding.