After a five-year absence, the United States is set to gain two Formula One races within the next two years: one in Austin, Texas, and another in New Jersey. But recent comments vocalized by F1's ever-outspoken commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone have cast doubt on the former.

Speaking at this past weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Ecclestone has been quoted as saying that progress on building the Circuit of the Americas that's set to host the United States Grand Prix next year is lagging behind schedule. According to the ESPN report, Ecclestone says the relevant parties behind the project on the ground have "forgotten to talk to each other."

Does that mean the race won't happen? Hardly. Setbacks, of course, happen all the time with construction projects like this one, and similar concerns have been expressed over new venues such as the Indian Grand Prix, the Korean Grand Prix and the aforementioned Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that have been successively added to the calendar over the past three years.

The American race, however, isn't the only one who's future is in doubt. Financial concerns stand to cancel the Turkish Grand Prix next season, and after political unrest caused the removal of the Bahrain Grand Prix from this year's calendar, there's no telling what continuing tumult in the Middle East could mean for the prospect of F1 racing there.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      rtkewley
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bernie is nothing if not predictable. If he's running down a circuit or race in the press, you can bet it's about money - specifically, him getting more of it...
      Turbo 4
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bring it to Barber Motorsports Park Bernie! It may not have the glitz and glamour we know you love but the numbers don't lie. Just look at the turn out for the Indy race. Hell, the Indy practice turned out more spectators than any other race (excluding the 500) for consecutive years leading up to its own race. Wouldn't you know, the turn out was great once again. Build a few more stands and we'll fill 'em up, i promise. We love our racing down here in Alabama and this track is top notch FIA approved already. It makes too much sense.
        GasMan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Turbo 4
        It is not about the fans or the success of the event (filling stands). It is about finding a promoter who can either stroke a huge check or get a local government to kick in the cash. The race at Indy drew large crowds until the Michelin debacle but was never a commercial success because of the outrageous sanctioning fees.
      Jake
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why'd y'all put a picture of Phyllis Diller up there?
      mattmnx
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm sure all of this is familiar to those following F1 for a while. The most likely scenario here is that millions will be spent rushing this track into service. F1 will swing in, race maybe two years and then ditch the venue when ticket sales dont leave the promoters with any money left over after paying their entry fees. Unfortunately there is no interest in nurturing a long lasting interest in the sport of F1, that isn't in Ecclestone's game plan. Rush in, make a money grab and move on to the next sucker. I'm sad to say that because I do really like F1 but that just seems to be how a lot of the new races turn out with a couple of notable exceptions (Singapore and Abu Dhabi).
      zackwatt
      • 3 Years Ago
      Fine, as long as the V8 Supercars are still gonna get there in 2013....
      Gubbins
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bernie--for God's sake--get a haircut will you?
      John Hughan
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The American race, however, isn't the only one WHOSE future is in doubt." Come on Autoblog, basic proofreading please! This is theoretically a professional blog, is it not?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @John Hughan
        [blocked]
          John Hughan
          • 3 Years Ago
          Sigh. No it's not. "Who's" is short for "who is", as in "Who's the person who doesn't understand grammar in this situation?", whereas "whose" is an adjective, as in "You are the person whose understanding of grammar is flawed." Quickly Googling "Whose vs who's" would have saved you the trouble.
          adrenalnjunky
          • 3 Years Ago
          Easy mistake to make? Not if you paid attention in basic grade school grammar. John's point - these are professional journalists - it takes exceptional effort to pooch this.
          John Hughan
          • 3 Years Ago
          Clarification: Yes, whose is the correct use in the sentence I quoted; my point is that the article as of this posting is currently using "who's" there instead, which is wrong.
          • 3 Years Ago
          [blocked]
      Elmo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Don't get me wrong, Bernie has done a lot for Formula 1. But his old ass really just needs to step down. With his doubt of this track not being built in time, who's to say that he won't pull this race out of the schedule in fear that it won't be built in time?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Elmo
        [blocked]
        Kimithechamp
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Elmo
        I'm not a Bernie fan, make no mistake about that. But from everything I've read coming out of Austin and other news/blog sites that seem to be tracking this closely, it's the folks at CoTA that we should be directing our angst. Read above.
        Kimithechamp
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Elmo
        Nor do any of the comments I've read from Bernie actually say that the track is in question due to schedule issues... Don't know where this came from. Even the article doesn't support this with it's chosen quote. "forgotten to talk to each other" does not mean that the part they haven't communicated on is the schedule of construction.
      Plasticar
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm pretty sure if the little troll had the check in his grubby little claw, the race would somehow be "right on schedule". Of course he does have the ridiculously expensive wedding for Petra and her two houses that each cost more than most Caribbean islands, so he is hurting for cash. Jackhole.
      TMTexas
      • 3 Years Ago
      Damnit, Bernie, don't mess with us on this. I've planned next fall around this race.
        Kimithechamp
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TMTexas
        Bernie didn't renig on his own contract between FOM and Full Throttle... CoTA tried to take that contract from Tavo when they were in no position to. Now they're seeing what happens when you think you're entitled to something and Bernie doesn't.
      Kimithechamp
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope AB knows something that it seems no one else does... And it doesn't seem like many people who've left comments have done any looking into it either. I've been following this story for days now, and nothing I've read has alluded to the track falling off schedule and that's why the race is in jeopardy. Every news source and blog I've read on the subject suggests this is due to internal fighting between Tavo (CEO of Full Throttle the organizing entity) and CoTA. Apparently, Eppstien and McCombs and CoTA CEO Sexton had a growing feeling that they were being screwed in the deal by Tavo. Tavo is the one who knows Bernie, found the site for the track, brought Tilke on, brought the state of Texas on, and found the support for building the track. Accordingly, HE was given the rights to hold the race, not the organization building and managing the track. A little further down the road and now the folks with CoTA decide that THEY should be the ones with the contract in their hands and, according to some reports, tried to buy it from Tavo (effectively squeezing him out of the entire thing). Tavo didn't like this move, or their offer, so he went to the comptroller to see if they would recognize the same contract if it was held in another name. Susan Combs (state comptroller, one of the biggest pieces from the state's side, and its biggest proponent of the race) informed Tavo that Texas intended to honor the contract no matter who held it. It's a little unclear, but it seems this is the point where Bernie decided such a contract was not transferable and delivered to CoTA conditions for a new one (and from all accounts, a more expensive one). CoTA in turn didn't like this new offer, and thus, no contracts are signed. After all this, the state decided to no longer offer the $25 million (nearly the entire sanctioning fee, according to the original agreement) before the race and now would only release the funds after the race. I think this has much more to do with Sexton, McCombs and Eppstein deciding mid way through that they didn't like the conditions they signed up for, and in turn tried to take full control from Tavo... I guess they didn't know who Bernie was, or what his relationship with Tavo means....
      Reparkable
      • 3 Years Ago
      making a mountain out of a molehill.....
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