Grand Prix of America organiser Leo Hindery Jr says he remains optimistic that the event will be able to take its place on the F1 schedule next year, despite the inaugural race in 2013 having been cancelled.
The New Jersey event had been due to run this year before the decision was taken to delay it by twelve months, although Bernie Ecclestone has now suggested the event could 'be another Donington Park'
in reference to the failed plans to move the British Grand Prix
away from Silverstone.
Further speculation has suggested that Ecclestone is working on a Mexican race
to replace New Jersey next year, although Hindery said his team was confident that it could be ready in time for next year.
“Yeah, we are,” he told GPUpdate
. “The only obstacles in front of us now are execution, they're not structural. The course never changed its configuration from the time we first identified it. It's been clearly and frequently vetted by Charlie and his colleagues on behalf of the teams. The support we've gotten early on from [Hermann] Tilke and Peter Wahl has really held things stable. It's not exactly the budget that we anticipated back in 2011, 2012, but it's stayed close enough that we've now been able to get them to again sign the agreement.
“I think if we'd have had this conversation a couple of months ago I would have suggested that we hadn't yet made permanent the paddock and pits. But that's now substantially along and about two thirds of that construction is behind us. The rest of it is a street course and that hasn't changed. The permits and the approvals from the various regulatory authorities are all in hand, so I don't see any impediment other than actual execution. We have 37 vendor contracts for everything from beverage to paving.”
Despite the fact that the New Jersey event is due to run on a street circuit, Hindery added that the layout of the venue was such that work could push ahead on preparing for the race without causing issues to those living nearby.
“What's good about the course is that half of it is along the river and the other half is across the top of what is called the Palisades, which are these glacial formed cliffs,” he said. “There's nobody living in the circumference of the course, and boy has that been a blessing! You contrast it with Singapore and Shanghai. It's made it much easier because nobody has been inconvenienced and nobody will be inconvenienced by the course. Everybody who lives on the exterior could access his or her home as we're racing the cars, let alone during this period when we're doing some construction.
“With a lot of support and frankly more patience than Bernie Ecclestone needed to give us, we had several more months to get it back on-track. We know that with his blessing we now have a 15-year executed sanctioning agreement that will allow us to race some time each June. Were it not for similar support from the Tilke organisation, specifically Peter Wahl and no less from Charlie Whiting, I think I'd be pulling out what little hair I have left!”