Circuit of The Americas

The Circuit of the Americas' Hairpin nears completion earlier this summer, photo by Larry D moore

Some pessimists thought that neither of the mooted Grand Prix in America would ever actually happen but with the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas now cleared as ready for racing, this year’s November 18th US Grand Prix is almost certain to go ahead.


The same can’t be said of the Grand Prix of America which should be taking place for the first time in 2013 in New Jersey. Included on last weeks provisional calendar for 2013, the 2013 Grand Prix of America looks unlikely to still be there when a more final calendar is released tomorrow( Friday 28th September) .


The Grand Prix of America is,it is understood, already in breach of several of the terms of the contract with Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management company and little progress has been made, with questions still being asked about the financing of the project: the source of which has been kept secret, though presumably Bernie Ecclestone knows.


For anyone who suspects Bernie Ecclestone of game playing with his comments on Tuesday that “The organisers have not complied with the terms and conditions of the contract” they should remember this is a race that Bernie Ecclestone dearly wants to happen: along the New Jersey Shore the Manhattan skyline would be the backdrop for the Port Imperial circuit.


Ecclestone’s comments on  Tuesday though do give a glimmer of hope: he conceded that the right backer could see the race on the calendar for 2013 and confirmed that “they have come a long way with the circuit”, these comments again suggest though that the problems are to do with the financial side of the race and quite possibly to do with the matter of race staging fees.


The Circuit of the Americas problems had been to do with securing funding from the state government (the Port Imperial race is meant to be funded privately): but  as far as the FIA and Charlie Whiting are concerned the Austin Circuit of the Americas is now ready for the US Grand Prix on November 18th, almost a month before the FIA’s deadline for homologation a month before the event.


The Circuit of the Americas  at Austin had construction delayed following contract problems between organisers and Formula One Management but will see its inaugural grand prix, and the first in the US since 2007, this year having caught up on the delays that came when work actually stopped in November last year.


It is of course highly likely that if the American Grand Prix in New Jersey can’t be organised in time to be put on the 2013 calander it will be possible to simply delay it until 2014. Many Formula One bosses as well as Mr Ecclestone himself believe that the United States warrants two Grand Prix each year due to the importance of the US economy and the number of multinationals, including current and potential sponsors, based in the country.