Doubts over the viability of the second US-based F1 race due to take place next summer have been dispelled by promoter Leo Hindery, who insists that 'all outstanding contract obligations' will be met in good time.
Although the Grand Prix of America has been given a date on the supposedly final calendar issued by the FIA last week, it remains provisional pending the satisfactory completion of several issues, including safety and facility reviews, that Bernie Ecclestone claims remain unfulfilled. Hindery, however, confirmed that there were areas to be addressed but explained that these included the inspection of pit, media and hospitality facilities which remain under construction, and safety provisions that will be put into place as the circuit takes shape.
The race, which was first mooted a year ago when plans to use streets in the towns of Weehawken and West New York to create a 3.2-mile circuit were unveiled, has been the subject of various doubts cast by Ecclestone, although most have been seen as a typical attempt to hurry things along, particularly where contracts and money are concerned. However, Hindery, on behalf of promoter InterMedia Partners, insists that there is nothing to worry about, despite Ecclestone - who has worked incessantly to bring F1 to the Big Apple - claiming that the race had 'run out of time'.
“We will be racing,” he told the Wall Street Journal
, “We don't have existing, fixed facilities that can be inspected today so, when [Ecclestone] says we're subject to review, we'll be subject to review until the race date, just because of the nature of a street course racing for the first time.
"Those provisions will be met. Every first-year race is problematic until it isn't. We still have a few pieces to put together, but the sport's now behind us and we're thrilled to be on the calendar.”
Hindery has been backed by New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who apparently said to make him the first port of call if problems arose, but maintains that the race is progressing nicely without relying on the sort of financial assistance granted to the Circuit of the Americas facility hosting this year's USGP in Austin.
“We have gotten no subsidies, never will, [and] never will ask for it, [as we] don't believe in it,” he said, “We feel like it's a privilege to be on those streets and roads.”