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DATE News (chronologically)
10/25/12
f1
Austin Make-or-break for F1 in USA  It was hardly any great surprise when an announcement was made last Friday that the Grand Prix of America would be postponed for a year.

With the United States poised to make its return to the F1 calendar in three weeks' time, this is a crucial period for the sport as it again has another shot at a market it has long found hard to crack.

The United States Grand Prix, to be held in Austin over the weekend of November 16-18, has to be a success, otherwise the other race in New Jersey, with Manhattan as a backdrop, may never run at all.

The majority of Americans have long struggled with F1, its elitism, the vast discrepancies from the front to the back of the grid and the lack of overtaking, in particular in contrast to NASCAR and IndyCar.

In southern America, especially, the motorsport king is NASCAR, with races predominantly on banked ovals, a gladiatorial arena in a number of respects viewable from every angle.

So for F1 to make an impact, the topography of the Circuit of the Americas track that has relied on private money for its construction - rather than government funds as has been the case with many venues of late - has to be spot on.

The American public, in giving F1 another opportunity to prove itself after so many failed attempts, will want to see plenty of action.

If the race fails to capture the imagination, what hope will there be for the street track along the banks of the Hudson River in West New York and Weehawken, despite its long dreamed-about setting?

Promoter Leo Hindery Jnr has conceded to encountering construction problems with the Port Imperial circuit - another privately-funded enterprise - resulting in a delay through to 2014.

In the build-up, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone had previously aired doubts about the race going ahead next June due to contractual and financial issues.

Ecclestone, who turns 82 on Sunday, claims he is "totally committed" to the GPA cause, and with good reason, given his desire to stage an F1 race in New York.

It is understood, however, that behind the scenes GPA's difficulties extend to more than just building works and various permissions as it is understood there are over-riding money concerns.

It is why New Jersey will be looking to Austin to put on a good show because, if that is achieved, then perhaps further investors might aid Hindery Jnr and the GPA.

In more ways than one, a lot is riding on Austin. It is make-or-break time for not just one race back on American soil, but two. Sporting Life

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