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DATE News (chronologically)
11/30/11
f1
F1 boss gives Austin circuit organizers till Wednesday to strike deal UPDATE Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has given organizers of next year's U.S. Grand Prix another week to save the Texas race by proving they have the finances in place. Ecclestone had wanted organizers to sign a contract by Wednesday, but extended his deadline to next Wednesday when the World Motor Sport Council will ratify the 2012 calendar.

"The deadline hasn't been met so we are still trying to make it happen," Ecclestone told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Wednesday. "They need to get some money and a pen ... as soon as possible. They know full well. Deadlines are terrible things because people always go to the end of the deadline. But if it isn't all signed before the World Motor Sport Council meeting it can't happen. We can live with it until then. I don't want any more last minute deadlines because it has been going on for months."

11/28/11 Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has given Austin F1 organizers until Wednesday to guarantee a race's long-term finances or lose the race for 2012, according to The Associated Press.

Speaking to reporters in São Paulo, Brazil, on Friday, Ecclestone said he isn't optimistic about the race taking place next year despite circuit organizers' assurances Thursday that they are ready to pay the sanctioning fee.

"They might pay something now, but it's the future we are looking for. We are not looking for (a) short term (solution)," Ecclestone told reporters ahead of this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix. "They haven't gotten enough security. We are looking for security in the long term."

In a statement Thursday, circuit officials said they were ready to pay the fee for Austin's planned 2012 Formula One Grand Prix, but on the track's terms, not those recently offered by Ecclestone.

They also offered to establish an advance payment schedule for races planned beyond 2012.

"We have been ready to send Mr. Ecclestone a sanctioning fee check for some time now," Bobby Epstein, a circuit founding partner, said in the statement. "He hasn't received it yet because the new contract presented to us two weeks ago contained unrealistic and unfeasible demands. We have signed and returned a contract similar to what we anticipated receiving. This race should be a reality, but if we are going to make the 2012 race date, we must receive a countersignature in the coming few days."

Ecclestone had previously said officials had until the end of this week to strike a deal.

The future of the races as well as the Circuit of the Americas in southeastern Travis County has been in limbo in recent months because of a dispute over the rights to host the race and the sanctioning fee, $25 million under the original contract.

Construction was halted on the 3.4-mile circuit last week when negotiations between the track and Ecclestone stalled. About the same time, state Comptroller Susan Combs said the state would not make any advance payments for a Formula One race. The Statesman

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