• US Grand Prix

Tilke 'not threatened' by US Grand Prix deadlines

ESPNF1 Staff
October 4, 2010 « Heidfeld confident he will stay in F1 next year | »
Hermann Tilke: 'This is going to be very exciting for the drivers and for the fans' © Sutton Images

Formula One track designer Hermann Tilke has said he is not worried about getting the planned $200 million venue at Austin ready for a US Grand Prix in 2012.

"We are used to working under time pressure," he told the Austin American-Statesman. "That doesn't threaten us."

Perhaps surprisingly, Tilke admitted he had not visited the site for the circuit yet, relying on input from others. "Bernie Ecclestone, [Tavo] Hellmund and the motorcycle racing legend Kevin Schwantz came up with a lot of suggestions. We put the best ideas together."

So far all people know is that the 3.4-mile track will have 20 turns and a variation in height of 133 feet, meaning the course will include dips and crests. "The third dimension comes into the game," Tilke said. "This is going to be very exciting for the drivers and for the fans."

While unquestionably the leading F1 designer, Tilke, however, is not to everyone's taste, and his tracks have been accused of making the sport unexciting. "Some races have a lot of action, others not. That is the same in every sport," he countered. "Racing is very dangerous, and nobody wants dead or injured drivers.

"Fans always want fast curves. But these curves are counterproductive for passing. For sure, you need fast curves. But for passing, the best design is to have a slow curve, a long straightaway and then another slow curve."