F1 calendar to expand from 19 to 20 races? NJ again dead? (5th Update) UPDATE #5 Few proposed races have had as troubled a history as the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey. It was originally due to take place this year but the brakes were put on that plan when Pitpass' business editor Christian Sylt revealed that Formula One's boss Bernie Ecclestone had torn up the contract after the organizers missed payment deadlines.
A new agreement was signed in May this year and just when it looked like the race was on track for 2014 it came to light that in fact there is the small matter of the organizers needing to find $100m before it gets the green light. They have already run out of time according to Niki Lauda, one of Ecclestone's closest confidantes.
Speaking to Austrian television station ORF, Lauda recently said that "the New York Grand Prix in New Jersey that was supposed to take place this year, has not taken place because of a lack of money in America.” He added that "as far as I know it has already been taken off the calendar again."
Lauda was being asked about the situation following the news that the Austrian Grand Prix will return to F1's calendar next year. He claims that there is a direct connection between its reinstatement and the demise of New Jersey. "As a result of the good relationship with Mateschitz [Ecclestone] has included this race on the calendar," said Lauda.
Lauda's comments are far from the only recent signs that next year's proposed race in New Jersey has bitten the dust. Last month the World Motor Sport Council announced that in order to preserve the historic date of the Le Mans 24 Hours, no F1 race will take place on the June 14/15 weekend. This ruled out New Jersey having a back-to-back race with Canada as it reportedly hoped to do.
Construction work is going on in New Jersey but it has been pointed out that a great deal of it was due to take place regardless of whether the F1 race goes ahead. The real problem isn't that the organizers lack funding to finish the engineering work but that the plan does not involve any government funding. As Pitpass has explained at length, there are very few precedents of street races being run without state support. Indeed, council funding was even granted to the lowly Formula 3000 Superprix, which was held from 1986 to 1990 on the streets of Birmingham.
Lauda's comments will come as a blow to many teams in F1 which were hoping to get greater exposure to the US market through the race. One commentator recently even went as far as to say that he thinks "there will be three Formula 1 Grands Prix in the United States by 2016. The United States GP in Austin, the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey and the Long Beach Grand Prix in California... There is much negativity about the prospects of New Jersey and Long Beach... I would not listen to the naysayers."
That said, the same individual claimed in 2011 that "there are clearly moves afoot to get Flavio Briatore into Ferrari" and that Toro Rosso had been sold as the Abu Dhabi investment fund "Aabar has acquired a minority shareholding in the team (around 40 percent) and has an option to increase that to gain control (probably around 60 percent)." Then came the news that Red Bull's next development "will be as the title sponsor of the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin." Last year we had the gem that "Lewis Hamilton does not know much about racing history and so cannot learn from the mistakes of others." Nuff said. Bergen, NJ Record
07/25/13 According to AR1.com inside sources, the New Jersey F1 race is still on for 2014.
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has "ruled out increasing the 2014 F1 calendar to more than 20 races," according to the SID.
|SID rumors the NJ race won't happen again next year because of a delay in construction. Read that to probably mean a lack of money to pay contractors to get the work done.|
Ecclestone: "We will have 20 races, not more. And we will race in Austria. Everything else, I don't know yet. Please ask me again after the summer."
On Tuesday, Red Bull announced that Austria "will return to the F1 schedule in '14." Ecclestone said that the contract with the Red Bull Ring runs through '20. The current season consists of 19 races, and next season will include the debuts of the Grand Prix of Russia in Sochi and Grand Prix of America in New Jersey.
Ecclestone "did not reveal what race will be scrapped." However, it is possible that the GP of America, which was scheduled to make its debut this year, "will be postponed again due to delays in the construction of the track." SID
07/24/13 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has played down suggestions the F1 calendar could blow out to an unprecedented 22 races in 2014.
The reports, including in the Italian magazine Autosprint, followed this week's surprise news that Austria will stage a grand prix next year, after a ten-year absence.
There are 19 races on the 2013 schedule, with Russia and New Jersey also scheduled to join next year.
But O Estado de S.Paulo correspondent Livio Oricchio said the prospect of a much longer calendar is "something that greatly concerns" F1 team bosses.
"The issue will surely be discussed at the Hungaroring in the coming days," he added.
That discussion, however, may no longer be necessary, in the wake of F1 chief executive Ecclestone's comments on Wednesday.
He told Austria's Kleine Zeitung newspaper: "We will have 20 races (next year), Austria included.
"Everything else I don't know -- please ask me again after the summer."
Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda said he suspects New Jersey will not take place in 2014.
"It didn't happen this year, because of a lack of money," he told the ORF broadcaster.
"As far as I know, it's already gone from the calendar," added Lauda.07/24/13 (GMM) It is possible Bernie Ecclestone will ask the FIA to ratify a whopping 22-race formula one calendar for the 2014 season.
That is the claim of a Brazilian media report, after F1 chief executive Ecclestone provisionally approved Austria's return to the sport for next year.
With Russia and New Jersey also set to join the 2014 calendar, next year's schedule could blow out from 19 races at present to an unprecedented 22.
The prospect of returning to beautiful Styria was generally welcomed in F1 circles on Tuesday, "but there is (also) something that greatly concerns" the sport's team bosses, according to O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.
"(It is) the size of the next world championship.
"The issue will surely be discussed at the Hungaroring in the coming days," correspondent Livio Oricchio added.
The FIA is expected to release a draft calendar for the 2014 season in the coming weeks.07/23/13 The Kurier reported the return of the Austrian Grand Prix "hints toward an increase in number of races on the F1 calendar." The current F1 season consists of 19 races.
In addition to the Austrian race, "the debuts of the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi and the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey are planned" for '14.
Ecclestone said in the past that "he can image 21 grand prix per year." Kurier