Bernie Ecclestone appears to have back-tracked on previous attempts to dismiss New Jersey as a viable F1 venue, claiming that he expects to see it on the 2015 F1 calendar.
As recently as August, the F1 supremo was suggesting that his patience with the proposed street race was running thin, even going as far as comparing preparations to bring grand prix racing to the 'Big Apple' to Donington Park's ill-fated attempt to wrest the British GP from Silverstone [ see separate story
]. However, having seen the FIA confirm that the second American round dropped from the final 2014 schedule, Ecclestone was adamant that the project was not yet dead in the water.
"There is great demand for a race in New Jersey and I have no doubt we'll be racing at Port Imperial in 2015," he said in a joint statement issued with event organisers, "New races can take many years to get started, but there is significant momentum and we are close to realising a New York City F1 race."
The Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial had been slated for a double-header with Canada in 2014 – and potentially a triple-header with Monaco thrown in for good measure on some iterations of the provisional calendar - but executive chairman and promoter Leo Hindery Jr admitted that there had been further challenges in completing the financial structure for the event and said that his team was now working on restructured financial arrangements for a 2015 race.
"Our entire management team and our supporters in New Jersey, New York and throughout the F1 community obviously want to see the inaugural Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial take place as soon as possible," he said, "Bringing a world-class race to the world's largest media market is a huge undertaking that has required balancing construction of our road course, without tapping any public money, with the Sport's own timing demands.
"I want to thank Formula One Management, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, mayors Richard Turner and Felix Roque, Roseland Property Company and the other local property owners involved for their patience while we've worked to get this right so that we can finally go racing in 2015."
Former Long Beach GP boss Chris Pook, appointed as special assistant to Hindery earlier this year, noted the complexity of creating the first F1 event in the New Jersey/New York area.
"This is a very complicated circuit and incredibly important to the overall F1 program in North America," he said, "To get it right in New York will greatly increase awareness of F1 and motor racing across the continent. I remain very confident about this event."