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Ecclestone hails F1's return to US

Formula One has sealed its return to the lucrative United States market after a deal was reached for a new purpose-built facility in Texas to stage grands prix from the start of the 2012 season.

Formula One rights holder Bernie Ecclestone yesterday confirmed an agreement had been signed with Full Throttle Productions for the city of Austin to stage the race as part of a 10-year deal.

Ecclestone hailed it 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. "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," he said. "It was 30 years ago that the United States Grand Prix was last held on a purpose-built, permanent road course circuit in Watkins Glen, which enjoyed great success."