4 December 2013
New Jersey F1 race ‘postponed’ to 2015 not abandoned
Bernie Ecclestone suggests that a second American round could still make an appearance on the F1 calendar, but not until 2015.
F1 appears prepared to give organisers of the proposed Grand Prix of America a third chance to make it happen, after Bernie Ecclestone said that he hoped it would become reality in time for the 2015 season.
The race, which would give Ecclestone a much-desired race in the New York region, had initially been slated to form part of this year's schedule, but a mix of red tape and financial issues derailed the bid to form a double-header with the annual trip to Montreal.
The event appeared to be making headway, with individual infrastructure projects taking shape, ahead of a rearranged 2014 debut, but recent weeks have been filled with suggestions that, once again, the street circuit traversing the Weehawken district would not be ready to host the F1 circus. This time, the rumour mill suggested that the race was dead and buried, but Ecclestone has hinted that is prepared to give organisers another chance to get things right.
"We are not satisfied it's going to happen in time," he admitted to the Wall Street Journal, "What we're aiming for is 2015."
Ecclestone apparently confirmed that there were 'lots and lots and lots of reasons' why the New Jersey event would not take place next season and, with the FIA due to ratify the 2014 schedule this week, the race – which would join the now-established USGP in Austin as a second American round – appears set to join India and the proposed return to Mexico in dropping off the provisional calendar issued a month ago.
With two Mexican drivers in the 2013 line-up, a return to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez had been slated for next season, but a detailed investigation of works required to bring the former F1 venue back up to modern safety standards is understood to have revealed the need for a longer timescale. India, meanwhile, has asked to take a year out after it was told that its date would slide to the start of the season, leaving just six months for preparation instead of the usual twelve.
It also remains unclear as to whether the Korean Grand Prix will remain on the tour. The event, whose circuit location remains unpopular with many in the paddock, had been tipped for the axe when Ecclestone revealed an initial 22-race schedule, and may not survive the cull with Russia and Austria set to join the schedule.
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