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Formula One returns to US

 

Formula One racing will return to US soil in 2012, five years after last visiting

The 10-year deal will see a race in the Texas state capital of Austin, Bernie Ecclestone announced this week.

"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," the Briton told the official formula1.com website.

The race was dropped after an eight-year run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 2000-2007 with mixed results.

In 2005, 14 of 20 drivers pulled off the track just before the race started as a protest over concerns about tyre safety.

Austin, the 15th largest city in the United States, will now host the race until 2021.

"We are extremely honoured and proud to reach an agreement with the F1 Commercial Rights Holder," said Tavo Hellmund, the managing partner of Austin-based race promoters Full Throttle Productions, LP.

"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."

The United States last hosted a Formula One race at Indianapolis in 2007, a grand prix won by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

Since that deal ended, Ecclestone has been seeking an alternative venue with teams, car manufacturers and sponsors all keen to return to one of their biggest markets.

Williams F1 chief executive Adam Parr welcomed the announcement.

"Well done, Bernie. He promised he'd find a great race for us in the States and this is excellent news," he said.

Numerous other US circuits have hosted races over the years, including the Texas city of Dallas in 1984 which held it on a temporary street course.

Watkins Glen in New York state was the last purpose-built permanent road course to host the race in 1980. The race at Indianapolis used a part of the famed oval, with a section cutting across the infield.

 

 


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