Almost a year before it is scheduled to join the F1 world championship schedule the planned new race at Austin, Texas, looks like earning itself a rare distinction, namely that of being wiped off the calendar even before the first such event takes place.
Last week the people behind the Circuit of The Americas, where the race was due to be held, took the decision to suspend further construction of the project “until a contract assuring the F1 United States Grand Prix will be held (there) is complete".
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They added: “The race contract between Formula 1 and the Circuit of The Americas has not been conveyed to the Circuit of The Americas per a previously agreed upon timetable.
“We have spent tremendous resources preparing for the Formula One and MotoGP races, but the failure to deliver race contracts gives us great concern,” said Bobby Epstein, founding partner of Circuit of The Americas.
“We believe the United States is vital for the future of Formula One and its teams and sponsors. Given the purpose-built design, creating a unique fan experience and iconic challenge for drivers, we hope that Texas will not be left behind. More than 100,000 fans have expressed an interest in purchasing tickets for Formula One alone.”??“It is in the best interest of all parties to reach a timely resolution,” said Red McCombs, chairman of McCombs Enterprises and founding partner of Circuit of The Americas. “Local businesses, fans and the State of Texas are counting on us.”
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The F1 fraternity was first alerted to potential problems with the Austin race at last weekend’s Abu Dhabi GP when Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 commercial rights holder, advised the competing teams that there might be difficulties ahead for Austin race.
“There are two parties,” said Bernie. “One has got the track and is building it, the other has the contract for the race. But they forgot to speak to each other. We are trying to sort it out, but it is a bit of an uphill struggle.”