US Grand Prix could still go ahead claims promoter
Friday 18 November 2011
United States Grand Prix promoter Tavo Hellmund has admitted the troubled event could still go ahead next year.
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone this week confirmed to the Press Association the race scheduled for exactly a year today faces the axe from next season's calendar.
Ecclestone announced the contract with Hellmund was cancelled as he was found to be in breach after failing to meet several deadlines with regard to payment of the sanctioning fee.
That left the 81-year-old dealing with officials from constructors of the Circuit of The Americas track, who this week halted work as they also have no contract.
Hellmund has admitted his prior good relationship with Ecclestone has now become "strained and tested".
Speaking at a press conference, Hellmund said: "The reason we don't have a contract with F1 is that as a project we have failed many times over to fulfil our financial obligations to F1.
"Right now we should be praising Mr Ecclestone. We were in breach on multiple issues since as late as May.
"He sent numerous requests and letters that we were all aware of, of how to fix it, and we failed to do that.
"More than anything this project needs to meet its financial obligations to F1. It's just that simple.
"There's a solution. If Mr Ecclestone and FOM get their money, there's a grand Prix next November."
However, via a statement it would appear COTA are willing to wait until 2013, although there remains no mention of paying Ecclestone.
COTA president Steve Sexton said: "We have been excited for, and working towards, a 2012 USGP race and now understand that Mr. Ecclestone is interested in moving the Austin race to 2013.
"We know the US market is important to the teams and their sponsors and 2013 certainly allows time for the Circuit of The Americas to be ready."
Should that be the case it could see two races in America debuting in the same year as the inaugural race around a street track in New Jersey is also scheduled for 2013.
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