New York aiming to host F1 Grand Prix

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The boss of the Monticello Motor Club in upstate New York claims his circuit is in the running to host a United States Grand Prix following positive talks with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

MCC president Ari Strauss claims the discussions with Ecclestone centred on plans for the 4.1-mile Monticello track to host grand prix racing in the US as part of an exclusive 10-year deal.

Strauss added that a "letter of understanding" had already been received from Ecclestone's Formula One Management company, in which the organisation expressed its hope that F1 could be taken to the venue at the foot of the Catskill Mountains.

Hermann Tilke, the German architect behind nearly all of the modern circuits on the F1 calendar, has reportedly given the facility the green light to stage F1 events, albeit with "some expansion and minor track modifications".

The facility boasts the distinction of being the closest motor sport venue to New York City, with Manhattan just 90 minutes away by road, and is also located within 10 minutes of the nearest international airport.

Details of the discussions with Ecclestone were detailed in a letter from Strauss to members of the MCC, which was leaked to American magazine Autoweek.

"A few months ago, [MCC chairman] Bill McMichael and I met with Bernie Ecclestone, president/CEO of Formula One Management (FOM), and discussed the terms for an exclusive 10-year United States Grand Prix to be hosted at MMC," Strauss wrote in the letter.

"Shortly thereafter, Hermann Tilke, the chief engineer and circuit designer for F1, spent time at MMC and confirmed that our track and surrounding properties, with some expansion and minor track modifications, is an excellent location for a grand prix.

"Since receiving a letter of understanding from FOM confirming their hope to bring the US Grand Prix to Monticello, Bill and I have continued to secure the backing and support of local, state, and federal politicians and organisations."

However, Strauss added there were no guarantees a deal would be reached.

"Securing F1 is like winning the Olympics, competition is fierce, and this is not a done deal," he added.

"At this juncture, we are simply honoured that F1 is considering our venue as the future, exclusive home for the US Grand Prix."

F1 has not raced in the US since 2007 after the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which had hosted the event since 2000, failed to reach an agreement with Ecclestone over a new deal.