Doubts over New Jersey F1 race; Austin on track
Updated: 2012-09-27 08:00
By Reuters in New York (China Daily)
Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone has raised doubts over whether the inaugural Grand Prix of America, to be held in New Jersey next year, will go ahead.
British newspaper The Guardian quoted Ecclestone on Tuesday as saying organizers "have not complied with the terms and conditions of the contract which is now gone anyway. They don't have a contract".
Work has begun on the race site and demonstration runs have been held with world champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany test driving the course in June.
The race is planned to be run on existing streets in Port Imperial, Weehawken and the town of West New York, along the Hudson River with the New York City skyline as the backdrop.
The race has been given provisional status on the calendar for the 2013 season which will be discussed at the World Motor Sports Council on Friday.
"We are pretty close to the final deadline," Ecclestone told the Guardian, "We have got a world council meeting coming up. I think if someone got behind them it could happen in 2013 because they have come a long way with the circuit".
A spokeswoman for the race planners, the Grand Prix of America, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
Meanwhile, this year's race in the States, the new US Grand Prix at the "Circuit of the Americas" track in Austin has been given the all-clear by the Formula One's governing body, ahead of November's race.
Charlie Whiting, head of racing, safety and technical matters for the FIA, approved the circuit for "Grade 1" status after a recent visit, organizers of the Nov 16-18 race said in a statement.
"Everything that I've seen so far has been absolutely first class, and the progress that's been made since the last time that I was here is amazing," Whiting said.
"The guys have done an awesome job - it really is quite fantastic. It's built to the highest quality, exactly as we expected, and I've got absolutely no complaints whatsoever."
The last F1 race in the US was held at Indianapolis in 2007 and was won by British McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton.
Watkins Glen International held the United States Grand Prix from 1961 to 1980, while F1 races have also been held at Long Beach in California, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix and Indianapolis.
The French Autosport Federation (FFSA) will check whether the two candidates for a Formula One French Grand Prix in 2013 will carry on with their bids after the Sports Ministry said on Tuesday no state subsidy would be provided.
Magny Cours and Le Castellet both had included a state subvention or state guarantee in their files.
The French GP had been held in Magny Cours from 1991 to 2008, when it disappeared from the F1 calendar.
(China Daily 09/27/2012 page23)