How the finished track will appear: Image from Formula Sochi
Many thought the plans to build the Sochi Circuit and the Winter Olympics venue on the same site, and to host the 2014 Winter Olympics and inaugural Russian Grand Prix in the Black Sea port in the same year, were ambitious. The race promoter, Formula Sochi’s', Operations Director Oleg Zabara has given an update however confirming that things are on schedule with work taking place 24 hours a day on the track.
At one point it had been planned that the track surface would only be placed after the Winter Olympics in February, with the Russian Grand Prix planned for Autumn 2014 at the Sochi Olympic Park, with much of the same infrastructure set to be used. Next week though David Coulthard and Sebastian Vettel will sample a section of the track for Infiniti; in an event similar to that held on the streets of Port Imperial that will hold the Grand Prix of America next year.
According to Zabara “Now the construction project goes with two main directions – track surface is first, while buildings are second,…..The first layer of asphalt has been laid on 60 per cent of the 5.8 km lap. We simply can’t do more just now because of Olympic stadiums and pedestrian bridges.”
The really hard work then will presumably begin after the Winter Olympics at Sochi Olympic Park in February when the contractors will have around 7 months to complete the circuit ready for the 2014 Russian Grand Prix, which is likely to take place in September or October, potentially as the last race in Europe before the fly away races. Which race will lose its place on the calender in 2014 remains to be seen but the Hungarian Grand Prix would appear to be the front runner.
Start of the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix , Photo Courtesy of LG EPR
A car bomb set off in Manama’s Financial District on Sunday night, the 13th of April, a week before the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix, and with the opposition February 14 movement claiming responsibility, has of course raised security concerns: but is there really a chance of the race being cancelled in 2013? Or perhaps postponed?
The Bahrain Grand Prix won’t be cancelled due to the rights and wrongs of what happened in 2011, and since, where the Bahrain Police and Government have been accused of Human Rights abuses. The Bahrain Grand Prix was cancelled in 2011 but returned in 2012, many believed it shouldn’t have done so and that F1 shouldn’t have been seen to support the Bahrain Government. The arguments against running the race in 2013 though haven’t strengthened since 2012 so on this count there is no reason to believe the race will be cancelled, and certainly not at this late stage.
The potential for disruption to the Grand Prix though, including attacks, has to be considered still, and monitored up to the morning of the race. In 2012 an incident where a vehicle the Force India team’s personnel were traveling between the circuit and their hotel in was attacked with petrol bombs saw the team sit out Friday practice. This followed assurances in the run up to the Grand Prix, from security and police in Bahrain, that no such incidents would occur.
Has this changed in 2013 then? Are security risks higher following this bombing? Presumably the timing of which a week before the Grand Prix isn’t coincidental, or is security tighter this year with more detailed planning in place?
Bernie Ecclestone doesn’t see a problem in going back this year but the teams have to be willing to attend so all will need assurances. Force India though, understandably the team most likely to be concerned about security threats, have come out saying they have no concerns.
Bob Fernley of Force India is quoted by AutoSport as saying “There are bound to be incidents, but ours was just one of those unfortunately things last year and it just got blown out of all proportion,” and so it appears the race will go ahead baring any incidents between now and then.
The worry is of course that protestors and opposition groups such as the February 14 movement will try to scare away the teams, who have now arrived at the Sakhir circuit, before a wheel is turned.
Surrounded by the city, the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, photo by Marlon Hammes
Rio de Janeiro could host yet another Blue Riband Sport event with the possibility of the Brazilian Grand Prix moving from it’s current home at Interlagos, Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro by 2016, the same year the city will host the Olympics.
The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo, otherwise known as Interlagos, though seen as one of the great circuits of the world, does have some issues. It needs modernising and space even for this is limited, it is likely the pits will be moved in the near future. Also though a motorway alongside the current pit straight means that no extra run-off area can be added leading to safety issues.
Fernando Alonso had a major accident here in 2003 and in other formulas there have been even more serious crashes including two deaths in 2011 in truck racing and stock cars. In Formula One safety is paramount and a loss of downforce in the curve coming into the start finish straight or a coming together here could even in modern F1 potentially lead to a serious injury or even fatality.
So Interlagos either needs a serious overhaul and new layout, in which the Senna Ss and the pit straight could even be lost if potential plans unveiled in 2012 are followed, or Interlagos may find it loses out to a new circuit and it seems that Rio is willing to build this.
As Brazil’s two main cities there is certainly a rivalry between the two, Sao Paulo on the one hand is an economic powerhouse and the biggest city in the southern hemisphere. Rio is seen as Brazil’s cultural capital though and one of South America’s biggest tourist destinations: with people flocking to Copacabana beach.
The funds therefore could be probably found for a new circuit in Sao Paulo or an overhaul of Interlagos that would meet Bernie Ecclestone’s requirements but he does seem to like the idea of a Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro: where F1 was last seen in 1990 at the Jacarepagua circuit, itself recently demolished. Talking about the potential for a race in Rio Bernie Ecclestone said “The mayor has told me they can get it done,”.
Paris Headquarters of the FIA, photo by Phanuruch Phongsutilak
The calender was shuffled and there seemed to be tracks willing to stage a race so why a European race couldn’t be found to replace the postponed inaugural New Jersey race may never be known.
Maybe time just ran out and a week before practice for the season opener at Melbourne the FIA confirmed the calendar for 2013 with only 19 races.
Broadcasters among others would have wanted to confirm schedules. Also perhaps those who were originally willing to fund races at tracks such as the Red bull Ring in Austria, Portimao in Portugal and Magny Cours and Paul Ricard in France lost patience and feared the late addition of the race would effect ticket sales: as many fans choose which races to attend and buy tickets early in the new year.
The other interesting thing to note from the confirmed calender is that the Nurburgring remains on the calender and has not been switched for the Hockenheimring; tickets are now on sale for the German Grand Prix at the financially troubled circuit so it seems the race will go ahead here.
So the final calender for 2013 confirmed by the FIA is :
March 17th Australia (Melbourne /Albert Park)
March 24th Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur /Sepang)
April 14th China (Shanghai / Shanghai International Circuit)
April 21st Bahrain (Sakhir)
May 12th Spain (Barcelona /Circuit de Catalunya)
May 26th Monaco (Monte Carlo /Circuit de Monaco)
June 9th Canada (Montreal /Circuits Gilles Villeneuve)
June 30th Britain (Silverstone)
July 7th Germany (Nurburgring)*
July 28th Hungary (Budabest /Hungaroring)
August 25th Belgium (Spa /Spa Franchorchamps)
September 8th Italy (Monza)
September 22nd Singapore (Marina Bay)
October 6th Korea (Yeongam) *
October 13th Japan (Suzuka)
October 27th India (New Delhi/ Buddh International Circuit)
November 3rd Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)
November 17th United States (Austin /Circuit of the Americas)
November 24th Brazil (Sao Paulo /Interlagos)
Massa testing at the Algarve International Circuit at Portimao, photo by Víctor J. Tornet
It seems the German Grand Prix will in fact not be at the Nurburgring in 2013 and the vacant European race might be filled by Portugal, though a French Grand Prix is still a possibility.
First to the vacant European race, A French race has long seemed most likely but a Turkish race at Istanbul Park or Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring have also been suggested, now a Portuguese Grand Prix (which would be the first since 1996) is being suggested as a possibility by Bernie Ecclestone.
Portugal’s Algarve region have a shiny, nearly, new circuit at Portimao. The Algarve International Circuit was homologated by the FIA in 2008 and was used for testing in in 2010. The circuit has also hosted events such as A1 GP in 2008 and Superbikes so has facilities for fans. In fact in 2009 then FIA President Max Mosley said he could see no reason why the Circuit couldn’t host F1 if an agreement was made with Formula One Management. Now Bernie has said the Portuguese are showing interest in hosting a race to fill this one off vacant European GP slot, created by the delay to the Port Imperial circuit in New Jersey.
It seems Austria isn’t an option as a replacement though, even though some had suggested Red Bull might finance the race at their Red Bull Ring circuit, formerly the A1 ring and the Osterreichring Bernie Ecclestone has suggested it is unlikely. He doesn’t think it could replace the German Grand Prix either it seems, based on an interview given by Mr Ecclestone last week in Austria.
Since then though Mr Ecclestone has confirmed that negotiations with the Nurburgring for this year’s German Grand Prix have ceased.
The Nurburgring, few F1 fans want to see the circuit lost to the sport, Photo by marc-john
The circuit is in serious financial trouble and may soon need to seek Bankruptcy protection, this opens the potential for it to be sold but the circuit may be off the calender for at least a few years.
Those running the Hockenheimring have said they are willing and ready to host the race this year if they need to. Long term though they may find that hosting the German Grand Prix every year is unviable financially; both the Nurburgring and Hockenheim did seem to find their arrangement to host the race in alternate years as a good solution.
You might have thought then that a new deal where Hockenheim and the Red Bull Ring alternate might have been ideal but it seems not. With increasing pressure on European circuits though and Bernie Ecclestone looking to cut Grand Prix it could be that a circuit such as the Hungaroring might see alternating with Hockenheim as the only way to keep a Grand Prix long term.
With the start of the 2013 season only just over a month away though it seems that the season could well start with an unfinalised calender.
Pre-season testing 2011 at Jerez, photo by Gil Abrantes
While there has been little news on contracts for new races or news of new circuits in the close season, we do have the Formula One Pre-season tests to look forward to: starting in only two weeks time on the 5th of February.
The full pre-season test schedule is
Jerez 5-8th of February
Barcelona (Circuit de Catalunya) 19-22nd of February
Barcelona (Circuit de Catalunya) 28th February-March 3rd
You can read more about the Circuit de Catalunya here , and find out the best places to sit here. For Jerez though we thought you might want to know a little more.
Circuito de Jerez
Last the scene of a Grand Prix, and what a Grand Prix, in 1997 Jerez took the place of of the Portuguese Grand Prix, which was cancelled last minute by the Estoril Circuit. 1997 at Jerez was of course the scene of Schumacher’s unsuccessful lunge at Villenueve, that gave Jacques the title and led to Michael being excluded from the season’s results.
Jerez also hosted F1 Grand Prix from 1986, as a new circuit, to 1990 and again in 1994. Jerez is located quite remotely however meaning that Barcelona seemed a better Grand Prix venue in terms of accessibility, though the Circuito de Jerez draws a good sized crowd for Moto GP.
Teams find it a good place to test though as reasonably warm and dry weather is likely in February and it has a good range of corners including the hairpin and turn 11 chicane, tricky Curva Dry Sac (turn 6) and a long straight. There is also the first corner, a third gear right hand turn with a awkward up hill braking zone and blind apex.
The 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, Photo By Paddy Briggs [Public domain
An Austrian Grand Prix is the latest potential one off race that could be slotted into the 2013 calendar to make up for the cancelled New Jersey Grand Prix of America which should now take place for the first time in 2014.
Initially the French Grand Prix seemed the most likely to fill the gap, which could if successful lead to a permanent place on the calender either at Paul Ricard or Magny Cours. A clash with the Le Mans 24 hours though on the weekend that the Grand Prix America would have taken place made it look like the French Grand Prix would be unviable. Changes to the calender though have now been made possible for a European race to take place in the three week gap before the German Grand Prix which has been moved to the 7th of July.
All that has been confirmed is that this gap will have a European race slotted in, which could include a Turkish Grand Prix, this is a better solution wherever the race is held as if the race had taken place on the weekend after the Canadian Grand Prix, where the New Jersey race was set to take place, then it would have been tough for teams to get from Montreal to Europe in the two days between finishing the Canadian Grand Prix and being set up again to race in Europe.
The gap being made shows Bernie Ecclestone’s determination to make 2013 another 20 race season and he initially backed a French
Istanbul Park Pit Straight Photo Courtesy of Ph-Stop
Grand Prix, which is still a possibility. The Turkish Government though have said it is up to them whether a race happens at Istanbul Park as the funding is not forthcoming but the Turkish Government have since said they wouldn’t fund a race, meaning a 2013 Turkish Grand Prix could still happen if funding is found elsewhere but is less likely. Istanbul Park is a popular circuit with teams and with fans, although seemingly not local fans who failed to fill the stands in the past.
So now the only other circuit that looked like it might have the setup in place to host a race in 2013, the Red Bull Ring, formerly the A1 Ring, has thrown its hat into the err…. ring. The circuit at Spielberg hasn’t hosted F1 since 2003 but Dietrich Materschitz has invested heavily in the circuit to bring it up to modern standards and bringing back an Austrian Grand Prix to the circuit, potentially alternating with another circuit, has been on the cards for a year or two now, the circuit reopened in early 2011, with little progress. Funding for the race could potentially come from Red Bull as well though and with F2 at the circuit in 2012 it has been put through its paces with top quality motorsport.
The four circuits in question could all provide good races and European F1 fans will be happy to see an extra race on the continent that has been losing races over the last few years with 2013 otherwise set to have the least World Championship F1 races, 7, since 1969 when there were 7 European races but of a total of 11 Grand Prix .
Photo Courtesy of Ph-Stop
There will be more races added to the calendar over the next few years, not just Sochi in Russia and New Jersey in the US but the likes of Thailand, Greece, Argentina and Mexico are planning circuits, there’s also existing circuits looking to get races back though.
A few years ago there were few if any circuits of the right standard to host formula one, which weren’t already hosting it: that standard including not just the track and its safety standards but facilities for spectators, guests and press and infrastructure including most importantly transport links.
Magny Cours left the calendar partly due to poor road links, since improved, the transport links for Paul Ricard have been questioned regarding their suitability recently by the French Government. Other circuits that are closer to F1 standards though but currently don’t host F1 include Jerez, still used for testing but a little dated, Estoril a little dated now and the circuit fell out with F1 with a last minute cancellation in 1997.
Then there’s Portimao, a testing circuit without enough facilities for a major race, the same is true for Valencia (Circuit_Ricardo_Tormo), the permanent circuit rather than the street circuit. There’s Imola which would need some safety improvements to host F1, which may not be practical without redesigning the layout. There’s also the Red Bull Ring, previously the A1 ring and before that, the site at least, of the Österreichring, no races have been held here since 2003 but Dietrich Materschitz has bought it up to standard.
The Red Bull Ring could host races right now and so could Istanbul Park, off the calendar for no reason but lack of spectators and
Pre-season testing 2011, photo by Gil Abrantes
therefore lack of money to compete with better offers Bernie Ecclestone is getting from elsewhere. Magny Cours as mentioned could host F1 now too and may even get a chance in 2013 to fill in for the postponed inaugural American Grand Prix in New Jersey.
Probably the only other current track that could potentially host F1 in the world right now is Indianapolis and we can discount that for at least the rest of Bernie’s lifetime.
What future for these circuits that have the overheads of maintaining an F1 standard circuit but no F1? There will however be more in the near future, especially in Europe where Bernie wants to slash the calendar down to only a handful of European races, with numbers as low as four mentioned.
The Nurburgring could be gone from the calendar very soon as the circuit is in financial trouble and may be unable to maintain a contract going forwards even if it finds a buyer and even on the current basis on which it shares the German Grand Prix with Hockenheim alternating each year. Hockenheim may struggle to finance a race every year, Barcelona and Valencia’s Street Circuit will alternate but neither circuit is completely safe.
Spa Franchorchamps’s medium term future is safe with a new contract signed this year (2012) and Silverstone has a long contact, Monaco isn’t going anywhere and the same can probably be said for Monza. The Hungaroring’s owners should feel a little nervous then, especially with a race in Russia at the Black Sea port of Sochi, ensuring a race in Eastern Europe.
For those who dream of the return of classic tracks like already mentioned Imola as well as Brands Hatch or Zandvoort there seems to be no room for this sadly and Tilke’s grip on designing circuits doesn’t seem to be set to end, with the exception of the new Piraeus Street Circuit on the edge of Athens. Speaking of Greece in fact they may not only be planning this circuit but a F1 standard circuit at Patras is also tabled, though if this does become a reality testing is the only way it is likely to see F1 action.
Ok so that’s the situation now with over supply of F1 circuits so what can be done with them? Well maybe we will see the rise of the super sub circuit?
A few times in the past races have been cancelled and then moved elsewhere, often last miunute: teams, drivers and FOM prefer to keep a round in place and ideally on the same day and time to fit in with pre-planned TV schedules; not to mention ensuring the championship isn’t cut short when a race could be crucial for the championship. In the past though there weren’t any circuits ready to fill in these gaps. If Bahrain had been cancelled this year there was talk of the race going to Turkey the year before Magny Cours was the only circuit mentioned as a replacement and this never looked likely.
Estoril being replaced for the last round by Jerez in 1997 was the last time a swap actually took place, the last minute cancellation of the last round really wouldn’t have been an option with the championship so finally poised.
In future though circuits could keep themselves ready to cash in on other circuits not being able to host a race, and financial problems aren’t uncommon for circuit owners nor are problems completing work on time.
A circuit able to quickly get ready for a race could cash in with reduced fees, if any, and get fans in as a result by not needing to charge as much, though some tracks would have less trouble anyhow with the Hungaroring for example always well attended and with a big market in Scandinavia and central and Eastern Europe who would jump at the chance to go to a race without having to travel as far.
The Sochi Park circuit is due to have its track put down after the Winter Olympics on the same site at the beginning of 2014, there should be time but this could be one opportunity for a super-sub circuit and more immediately Bernie Ecclestone would like to add in a race to replace the cancelled New Jersey race and has said he would be happy to do a deal for a French Grand Prix at Magny Cours or Paul Ricard, which he happens to own.
Circuit of the Americas Turn 1 for the first time photo by Patrick Breen
So, after years of planning and speculation, not just over what the circuit would be like but also whether it would ever be finished or raced upon, we finally got our chance to see what kind of a race the Circuit of The Americas provided. Bernie Ecclestone said the circuit exceeded even his expectations and drivers and team principals such as Christian Horner have also heaped praise on the circuit since the race.
The 2012 US Grand Prix was one of the best of the season, that can’t be denied but whether that is down to the track or not is something that may need further examination before we declare the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) a complete triumph.
So let’s look first at what isn’t down to the circuit that made the race one that is at least bordering on the designation ‘a classic’.
Well Button’s race was one of the most exciting individual performances and this came from a qualifying throttle failure, at least in part, meaning he started twelfth on the grid. From twelfth on the grid Button slipped back at the start due partly to a less grippy starting position than 11th and 13th but it was also due to some bad luck getting blocked going round turn 1; or was it simply that turn 1 has been designed to provide chances for the brave?
The dirty grid positions are not part of the circuits design and won’t be as bad in 2013, as the asphalt will be a year older and less greasy with less residual dust from building work around. However COTA is in the dessert and so like in Bahrain some dust is inevitable.
These factors so far though wouldn’t have been enough alone to create a great race so is it the circuit? Well the biggest influencer has to be between the circuit and the tyres.
Cooler than expected conditions in the Texas dessert meant that the medium tyres couldn’t be switched on fast and the hard tyres seemed to take an eternity. This for a start made qualifying entertaining with cars out on track lap after lap as their tyres got warmer and their times got faster. Some got it just right before the sessions ended, some got it all wrong and this includes Rosberg who was forced to come in and head out on fresh, cold, tyres leaving him perilously close to dropping out in Q1. The Mercedes struggled all weekend though, Ferrari struggled in qualifying but they were better in the race once their tyres reached operating temperature and Massa showed one area where he can outperform Alonso is in getting his tyres up to temperature, which saw him qualify above Alonso and set some blistering times late on in the race with the hard tyres.
In the race of course we were given cars getting up to speed on tyres that were hard to heat with the hard tyres making those that changed on to them early sitting ducks at first and most drivers sitting ducks to Button once he did get his Hard tyres working at the start after a poor first few laps.
Ok so to get such an exciting race then maybe next year we need the ‘wrong’ tyre allocation again, Pirelli have put the show ahead of performance in the past so this isn’t out of the question. Take all of these factors away though and what does the circuit offer?
Well first of all, and this shouldn’t be under-valued, it doesn’t seem to fan out cars like some circuits, this means cars can follow in long trails within a second of one another as was happening during the race; including a train behind Di Resta early on of maybe 8 or 9 cars. This led to some good mid-pack action and meant that cars could leap on opportunities.
At one point in the UK Sky coverage the commentators mentioned the DRS might have been too easy, we would disagree though and suggest the number of DRS overtakes was due to cars being close enough together that the following car could take advantage when the car in front slipped up, which on the dusty circuit they did numerous times, and also when cars were going different speeds, which with people going on to and warming up tyres at different times was happening a lot as well. The fact that many DRS attempts did fail showed that the DRS zone was about right and with Hamilton and Vettel on a similar pace it took a delay, arguably a mistake, for Vettel passing Karthikeyan for Hamilton to be given an opportunity.
The snake section though was an issue for cars passing traffic, some would argue that an experienced driver would have been careful to plan where they approached a car, Vettel would disagree but he also seemed to have unreasonable demands on Karthikeyan to make himself disappear in this section. Is this factor a good or a bad thing? It creates excitement though some fans would rather see the best man win rather than see these unexpected events thrown into the mix, but with bullet proof reliability there is already perhaps less unpredictability in F1 than ever before.
Another point worth making is that the cars looked beautiful through the snake/ Ss section, the change of direction at speed showing what marvels they are. This is even more important when you consider this is a showcase for F1 to the American public who may be more familiar with racing on oval tracks.
In other sections of the track however the width is there to pass safely, if not easily, and up and down the field we saw some great close racing with only a few moves that could have been given penalties and none that did, a rarity for a race in 2012.
250,000 spectators visited COTA over the 3 days, maybe not capacity but not bad considering the worries some potential attendees had over lack of accommodation in the area and the race potentially being cancelled if the circuit wasn’t finished, which may have seen some people stay away.
So what will Americans think themselves? There was some great racing but maybe not the crashes that are more common in many American motor sports series; the first corner seemed to be made for a pileup and despite the space cars inevitably went for the racing line as they turned in and many had to dive off the track, it looked like a matter of moments before someone spun and a pileup occurred. Surely next year the start can’t go off without any incident?
Then again maybe the fans who come to motor racing events see crashes and smashes will never be converted to F1 where retaining walls are a couple of hundred metres back from the track and have a ultra modern tec-pro barrier or thick row of tyres, rather than a solid wall and catch fencing. Maybe it is motorsport fans in America who love close racing and super human ability to overtake around a tricky track without crashing who will be converted to F1, and these do exist in the US as well, in which case the Circuit of the Americas is an ideal circuit.
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The Paul Ricard circuit, photo by Baptiste Vialatte
So the New York Grand Prix of America, to be held at Port Imperial has missed the boat with finances and won’t take place in 2013 despite having been put on the provisional calendar as part of a double header with the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. It seems though that the French Grand Prix, despite a decision being needed on where it would be held and no finance in place for either option could still be on the 2013 calendar: its advantage being two candidate circuits, Magny Cours and Paul RIcard, that are ready to go.
The return of the French Grand Prix has been a long running saga and it had looked dead in the water for 2013 at least when the new government under President Francois Hollande ordered a review into the race that the previous government had all but signed a contract for: to take place at at the Paul Ricard circuit close to Marsailles.
The loss of the Grand Prix of America from the calendar though offers an interesting opportunity as it seems that the French Grand Prix may be able to sign a one year deal to fill in next year. This would allow the government of whichever region the race takes place in to minimise their risk, a one off race that was poorly attended would have less potential for loss than a five or more year deal that then loses money each year.
If the French race was successful of course then a new deal could be agreed and another race may be forced to make way or agree a deal to alternate with the French race, though which race this would be is now less obvious since the Belgian Grand Prix signed a new deal to host the their race every year, Spa Frnachorchamps had been considering a race share with the French Grand Prix earlier this year.
The German Grand Prix is a candidate though if the Nurburgring fails to sort out its finances and cannot continue alternating with the Hockenheimring who have said they can host a race every year but may prefer a race every other year if the deal is right.
Whatever happens regarding negotiations for a 2013 French Grand Prix though will probably happen fast or not at all: time is ticking and though the two options of Magny Cours (in central France close to Clermont Ferrand) and Paul Ricard are both up to Formula One standards already there is more to putting on a Grand Prix than this and promoters would want to begin selling tickets as soon as possible, probably by the end of 2012, to ensure enough were sold to cover costs. Of course with a gap in the calendar, and right in the middle of the European season, Bernie may be willing to reduce the cost, especially for a race at the Paul Ricard circuit that he happens to own.
Bernie certainly seems keen on one of the French circuits filling the gap, though he is also in no doubts that the Grand Prix of America will take place at Port Imperial in 2014. Mr Ecclestone this week was quoted as saying of a 2013 French Grand Prix:
“Which circuit they are going to use is one thing… Who is going to pay for it, that’s the bottom line. If they are ready, we can slot it in the calendar.”