AUSTIN, Texas: Formula one is set to make a return in the U.S after a deal was reached for a new facility in Texas to stage the race from the the 2012 season.
President and CEO of Formula One Management Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed an agreement has been signed with US Grand Prix promoters Full Throttle Productions for the city of Austin to stage the race as part of a 10-year deal, a deal till 2021.
The idea of staging a race in the U.S was discarded after an eight-year run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 2000-2007 with mixed results. The most notable flaw occurred in 2005 when 14 of 20 drivers pulled off the track just before the race started as a protest over concerns about tire safety.
According to AP reports, Ecclestone claimed the deal as a major commitment on the part of the Austin authorities, who have pledged to build the first ever dedicated Formula One facility in the country.
Before its run in Indianapolis, Formula One had been hosted by Long Beach, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix on city street circuits. The race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was run on a road course built inside the oval track.
"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," said Ecclestone according to espn reports.
Speculation has been rife regarding F1's stateside future since the last US Grand Prix was held at Indianapolis in 2007.
In 2007 Ecclestone made the fans angry by staging one of the races in the U.S in Indianapolis which started in controversial manner where just 14 drivers took part out of 20 and just 6 drivers managed to see off the chequered flag. Even though the U.S had been a good crowd-puller, attracting about 125,000 fans each year.
Austin's mayor Lee Leffingwell also welcomed news of the deal, saying: "The city of Austin will be proud to host this magnificent event and I look forward to welcoming the participants and fans of Formula One to our city."
The dates for the race has not yet been decided right now.