F1 – Thoughts on the Austin Track Map

One more step has been taken toward having a Formula 1 grand prix race in Austin, Texas. The proposed Tilke-designed track map including elevations has been released.

My first thought is that this can’t be a Tilke track. There’s no chicane in front of the hairpins. (tongue firmly planted in cheek) 3.6 miles in 20 turns with 133 feet of elevation change, hairpins, high-speed sweepers, medium-speed technical sections, the circuit really does seem to have everything you need in a quality grand prix track. It is interesting to me that they chose to run the circuit counter-clockwise. It does make T1 that hugely uphill hairpin which could make for some very interesting starts, but the rest of the circuit looks like it might be more interesting if ran in the traditional clockwise direction.

There are several potential spots for overtaking in this layout, which is refreshing. Of course, T1 is a prime opportunity, and being up-hill with an over-crest turn will make mistakes more likely. Both T11 and T12 could be good overtaking spots as well, with T12 looking more promising, and the T16-T17-T18 triple apex righthand sweeper is reminiscent of the Turkey GP circuit. It won’t make for good passing, but it will make for some great in-car camera shots!

So in the end, I like this track as we see it in the plan shown above. I’d rather see it run clockwise, especially for the T11 hairpin, but even in the counter-clockwise direction the circuit has the potential to be very racy.

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2 Thoughts to “F1 – Thoughts on the Austin Track Map

  1. Of course, the fact that the T16-T18 part is reminiscent to the triple-apex lefthander in Turkey is not a coincidence since that’s exactly what that part of the circuit tries to recreate. Just like the T3 – T7 segment tries to recreate the Maggots-Beckets-Chapel part of Silverstone.

    Personally I’m not overly sold on the layout but then again I wouldn’t call it hopeless either. What it is is another Tilkedrome, but at least it’s one of Tilke’s better creations alongside Istanbul. The only real criticism I have is the mickey mouse bit between T12 and T15, which I can’t really see the point of apart from adding length to the circuit.

  2. T12 – 15 was meant to model the stadium section at Neuterheim…. errrr… Hockenheim. I really used to like that track…

    T1 could be a very interesting surprise. The uphill hairpin may make for some very interesting racing action.

    It’s not Spa, but thankfully this looks far from a typical Tilke failure. Several comments from the track owner have indicated that they felt like they had to go with Tilke because of his firms experience designing tracks to the FIA and FOM’s standards… almost like it was a necessary evil. But they were firm with Tilke in what they wanted to see in the track layout.

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