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US Grand Prix: How Embarrassed Are We Going to Be?

Back when USF1 was still a thing that existed in the world, I was of two minds about it.  One of those minds was all, “An F1 team from my country — how exciting is that?! Maybe someday soon I’ll have someone around here to talk about F1 with, because absolutely everyone will become a fan of this new, plucky little racing team!  Hooray!”  The other mind was more like, “Oh, they’re totally going to embarrass themselves, aren’t they?  And then Jeremy Clarkson will make so much fun of  them.”

Of course, it all ended up being even worse than I had imagined.  See, the “embarrassing themselves” part?  Yeah, I thought that was going to happen during the races. You know — the races that USF1 never ended up even being in, because they couldn’t even get a car built in the first place?

Now, of course, there is a new hope for turning Americans into F1 fans: the US Grand Prix is returning in 2012!  They’re building a brand new circuit in Austin, Texas!  Can’t wait!  I’m so there!

But…that second mind I mentioned above?  That mind has been doing its usual doom-and-gloom thing ever since I first heard the news.  And it’s already feeling justified, after hearing that planners (suddenly?) realized  they’re going to have to manage the massive amounts of additional traffic created by fans leaving the circuit after the race, which will actually require extra lanes being added to area highways.  It’s estimated that $15 million in road improvements will be necessary, and there is absolutely no way it will be completed in time for the first race.

All this is bound to go over well with Austin residents, who I’m sure will end up having nothing but warm and loving feelings toward the circuit and F1 in general after all the construction and traffic gridlock they will have endured by then.  And, of course, there’s the question of who’s going to pay for it all. . .

I’m still trying to listen to my more optimistic mind — I still can’t wait to go to a US Grand Prix! — but sometimes it’s hard to hear over the din created by that other one.

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