Formula 1 Comes to Austin in 2012

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In a controversial 5-2 vote last week, the Austin, TX city council agreed to move ahead with a construction project that will bring Formula 1 racing back to the states. Formula 1 hasn’t been seen stateside since 2007, and many American Formula 1 fans still remember the embarrassing 2005 United States Grand Prix debacle at Indianapolis.

You can find out more details about Austin’s plans on the official Formula 1 Austin website, or read a solid write-up of the council decision by Marty Toohey over at the Austin American-Statesman. A new track — dubbed the Circuit of the Americas — is being purpose-built for the race outside of Austin, and was designed by famed Formula 1 track designer Hermann Tilke.

The history of Formula 1 in the United States has been a tumultuous one, from the ill-fated (and aforementioned) 2005 US Grand Prix to ongoing criticism of current Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. Autoweek’s Dutch Mandel authored an open letter to the people of Austin last week, warning them about Ecclestone’s business practices. Here’s a small excerpt of what Mandel had to say:

Know that nothing happens without Bernie’s approval and his piece of the take. Nothing. If you want a “green space,” he’ll get his green, too. The local “Rattlesnake Burgers” sold trackside for $10 a pop? Mr. E probably takes $3 apiece.

What are your thoughts on Formula 1 coming to Austin in 2012? Add a comment to this blog post or start up a discussion on Twitter.

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