… Or actually, visited for the first time. By my good friend Karun Chandhok, who’s going to do a demo run for Red Bull on the brand new circuit. A little while ago I voiced some worries whether anybody would be able to find the place, as it sits in a remote region of a remote peninsula in a remote part of Asia.
Unfortunately I have no idea how difficult is really is to go there, as I always use my private jet for these things. So Karun and I agreed he’d send out a blow-by-blow report of his trip via Twitter, the new medium that lets the whole world look over your shoulder.
This confirms my worst suspicions. I wonder how many people will to go to this amount of trouble – 26 miserable hours of trains, planes, automobiles, many of these spent lost in translations.
This means that the only thing between racing for empty grandstands and something resembling a real Grand Prix is a massive number of Koreans.
Here’s a nice picture of the future Austin circuit, including elevation differences. Tilke’s using the hilly terrain to re-create some of the famous turns in F1, plus a couple of stretches where overtaking will be relatively easy.
Trust some miserable journos to turn this into a disadvantage. Here’s a piece from Richard Williams over at The Guardian, trying to argue that a) they don’t make circuits like they used to any more and b) if they do, it’s pathetic because they shouldn’t. Calls the Austin track a ‘karaoke circuit.’
Listen, journos, if you got out of the wrong side of the bed because the missus denied you sex once again, don’t take it out on us. We’re trying to make an honest living here. And spare me the drivel about racing on ‘what were originally public roads also follows the hills and valleys sculpted over millennia by wind, water and geology among the pine forests of the Ardennes.’ What are you trying to say? We should convert ancient public roads and pristine hill forests into circuits for the truly pastoral F1 experience? Have you ever heard an F1 engine rip by at 18,000rpm? What do you want, feng shui circuits?
It never ceases to amaze me how morons like that keep their journo jobs. Small wonder newspapers have difficulty surviving in modern times.
On a positive note, it’s great to see that Tilke, on the other hand, does know how to do his job. Do you see that hump on the far left, between turns 11 and 12? Hermann put it especially in there to make overtaking like this possible.
Austin, here we come!