Tavo Hellmund, the promoter of the United States Grand Prix, has said he feels that Austin is the perfect venue to take F1 back to American shores – and feels that new circuit near the Texas city could become a long-term fixture on the calendar.
A purpose built circuit is being created after a deal was agreed with Bernie Ecclestone to take F1 back to the United States after a five year absence, with the first race due to take place in 2012.
Speaking in an interview on the official F1 website, Hellmund said that Austin was the ideal location for an F1 facility, with a number of advantages that leave him to believe it will become one of the main events on the schedule.
“I considered Austin as the ultimate place and I went to Bernie with this idea,” he said. “Austin has developed immensely over the last 15 years - in every aspect - so for me there was no better place to hold the United States Grand Prix.
“The State of Texas has developed into the 11th biggest global economy and many of the Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters here. And Austin is the capital.
“Think of the ideal location of the city: my fellow countrymen can reach it easily, as well as fans from central and South America. In this respect it's perfectly central. My philosophy is that you will succeed if you are at the right place at the right time - and for a Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, I considered it to be the right time.
“We have a contract for the next ten years, but if you ask me we could race here for the next 40 years!”
Hermann Tilke is currently working on the design of the circuit, which should go before the FIA in September, and Hellmund added that the venue – and the race – would be something that would make American's proud.
“It will be great,” he said. “One of the reasons is that I have fantastic partners in Red McCombs (McCombs Partners) and Bobby Epstein (Prophet Capital Management). Red's legendary ownership experience in the NBA and NFL are huge assets and we have hired various agencies and staff that are the best of the best.
“Their experience ranges from the entertainment/business world to being involved in the election campaigns of Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barak Obama. Their goal and ours is not only to establish the US Grand Prix at home, but also make it a worldwide event. America shall be proud of it. Therefore we will build a track that will stand as a symbol.
“Bernie has given us the platform and you can be sure that we will use it! Prominent Texans will support us in making the US Grand Prix in Texas a national and international affair.”