The Grand Prix of America, scheduled to take place on a street circuit on the shores of the River Hudson in New York, looks set to be delayed by a full twelve months after problems with red tape set construction plans back too far.
The race, the second in the USA to be included on next year's F1 calendar, was the one remaining event to carry as asterisk when the World Motor Sport Council ratified the schedule, amid doubts that preparations could be completed on time to meet the June date it has been assigned in order to form a mid-season double-header with Montreal.
While promoter representative Leo Hindery insisted only the other week that everything would be in place to ensure that the race went ahead as planned, two local mayors have all but officially confirmed that they will be seeking to delay its debut until the 2014 season.
According to local website nj.com
, Weehawken mayor Richard Turner has confirmed that the promoters have fallen behind schedule in terms of obtaining the necessary permits for the race to use certain sections of the waterfront, while repairs to other areas of the dramatic multi-elevation course are also taking longer than expected.
The race, formally known as the Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial, would have been the second US-based race to join the calendar in the space of eight months, following on from the USGP's debut at the all-new Circuit of the Americas, which is due to take place in the middle of next month.
Turner said he expected a formal announcement of the postponement to be made later today (Friday), leaving a gap in what was to have been a 20-race schedule for 2013. The European Grand Prix on the streets of Valencia was cut to make room for the second US event, and could be hastily returned to the calendar, while Turkey and France are potential outsiders for the slot, having already been linked to a possible return next year.
Down in Texas, meanwhile, it would appear that the Circuit of the Americas is also facing a race against time in order to ensure that all
its facilities are in working order for the penultimate round of the 2012 world championship.
While work on the circuit itself is more or less complete, and has been approved by F1 race delegate Charlie Whiting in the past month, some of the infrastructure designed to make the race a more pleasurable experience for fans remains under construction.
According to the local Austin American Statesman
newspaper, a key new access road remains to be paved, while concession stands are incomplete and grandstand seats need to be installed. The road project will potentially remain a headache until just days before the gates open to spectators, for whom the two-thirds of a mile extension is meant to ease traffic flow. A graded dirt road was punched through weeks ago, but the asphalt layer is still some way from going down.