Bernie Ecclestone says inaugural Grand Prix of America in New Jersey next year is off
Last Updated: 28/10/12 8:34am
The inaugural Grand Prix of America, scheduled to be held in New Jersey in 2013, has been shelved for a year over ongoing construction delays.
Plans were in place for the first race on the Weehawken track to take place next season, with millions of dollars being spent to transform 3.2 miles of city streets on the Hudson River waterfront.
Foundation work was due to begin in early autumn but is yet to get underway and engineering permits are still required before any work can go forward on completing a spectacular track that will have the Manhattan skyline as its backdrop.
There are also concerns remaining over funding the project and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he had reached the end of the road in terms of waiting for organisers to get things sorted out at their end.
"It is not going to happen next year," Ecclestone said.
"If they came up with the contract with us and we were satisfied the question is could they carry out the work in six months? Winter in New York is not good.
"There's not a lot going on with New Jersey. They are still running around trying to get their finances sorted out. I think if suddenly they found the investors they would be okay. They are looking for investors.
"They've run out of time. There's all sorts of things...and they didn't quite think it all through. They've had a wake-up call but the wake-up call came too late."
Mayor of Weehawken Richard Turner admitted the delay was a logical step, saying: "I think it makes more sense to me."
Despite the setback, Grand Prix of America promoter Leo Hindery Jnr is adamant he remains "100 per cent committed" to the project.
"We are going to be racing at Port Imperial, unfortunately just not as soon as we hoped and expected," Hindery Jnr said.
"We promised (New Jersey) Governor (Chris) Christie, the towns (of Weehawken and West New York), the sport and its international fans the best possible experience.
"Unfortunately, we need additional time to ensure that happens.
"But we remain 100 per cent committed to the Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial, and the race could have no better partner and friend than the CEO of Formula One, Bernie Ecclestone.
"We benefit greatly from his experience and counsel, and from his support."
Ecclestone added: "I remain totally committed to the Port Imperial race and its unique location and attributes. We will continue to work closely together to realise our dream in 2014.
"As Leo says, we are still going to be racing at Port Imperial, now, however, in 2014. The reason is they didn't quite know what they were doing.
"They got all the permissions together. Everything was done, that was all fine, but then they missed the boat a little on some financing that was coming in. Everything is set up, but it's now too late to finish on time."