• 2012 season

Concerns over timing of US Grand Prix

ESPNF1 Staff
June 6, 2011 « Bahrain still up in the air despite FIA's decision | »
There are fears over temperatures, and so spectator welfare, in Austin for a June grand prix © Getty Images

Within hours of the announcement of the 2012 Formula One calendar, questions were being raised about the advisability of staging the US Grand Prix at the newly-built circuit at Austin in the heat of mid June.

The local American Statesman newspaper has pointed out that in 2009, for example, the temperature in Austin on June 17 was a sweltering 100° (38°C).

"This is the proposed date," Nick Craw, president of the FIA senate, said, adding: "The date won't be final until the September or December meeting. A fall date is, therefore, possible, which would possibly offer cooler weather."

Craw said the later race date would have to be proposed by US GP promoter Tavo Hellmund as well as Bernie Ecclestone, which seems unlikely. For logistical reasons, the event needs to be paired on consecutive weekends with F1's only other North American venue in Canada.

The newspaper said local hoteliers were happy as they had been getting requests from F1 fans trying to guess the race weekend. "We're lucky it was announced [early evening] European time, so we had at least some time to get some communication out to hotels and let them know what is going on," a spokesman said. "We're basically right now thinking that we're going to need just about every room in town."

The Circuit of the Americas said in a statement that excavation work continues at the site, with construction "on schedule".