The first F1 race to come to the United States in half a decade was scheduled to take place next year in Austin, Texas. However, following doubts expressed by F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone on the project's progress, the latest development has construction on the Circuit of the Americas – the new motorsport complex being built to host the event – grinding to a halt.
A statement released by the track's administration confirms that the construction project has been put on hold indefinitely over a dispute with the company responsible for promoting the race. Apparently, Full Throttle Productions has yet to produce an actual contract with Formula One Management, or with organizers of the MotoGP series, prompting those behind the Circuit of the Americas to send home the 300 workers building it until Full Throttle can demonstrate that it will be used.
Here's hoping the parties can resolve their dispute and get back to business. Otherwise we'll have to wait another year for the Grand Prix of America to arrive in New Jersey. Follow the jump for the official announcement.
Readiness for Formula 1™ United States Grand Prix™ Not Yet Affected
AUSTIN, Texas – November 15, 2011 – Organizers of Circuit of The Americas, a premier motor
sports racing and entertainment venue being developed in Austin, Texas, are suspending further construction of the project until a contract assuring the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix will be held at Circuit of The Americas in 2012 is complete. The race contract between Formula One and Circuit of The Americas has not been conveyed to Circuit of The Americas per a previously agreed upon timetable.
While construction at Circuit of The Americas has progressed as scheduled with over 300 workers at the construction site daily, all work will suspend immediately. The delivery of the Formula One Grand Prix race contract will allow construction operations to resume.
"We have spent tremendous resources preparing for the Formula One and MotoGP™ Championship races, but the failure to deliver race contracts gives us great concern," said Bobby Epstein, founding partner of Circuit of The Americas. "We believe the United States is vital for the future of Formula One and its teams and sponsors. Given the purpose-built Tilke design, creating a unique fan experience and iconic challenge for drivers, we hope that Texas will not be left behind.
Over 100,000 fans have expressed an interest in purchasing tickets for Formula One alone."
"It is in the best interest of all parties to reach a timely resolution," said Red McCombs, chairman of McCombs Enterprises and founding partner of Circuit of The Americas. "Local businesses, fans and the State of Texas are counting on us."
About Circuit of The Americas
Circuit of The Americas will be a world-class destination for performance, education and business. It will be the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the United States designed for any and all classes of racing, from motor power to human power.
The Circuit of The Americas master plan features a variety of permanent structures designed for business, education, entertainment and race use. Its signature element will be a 3.4-mile (5.5-km) circuit track. Other support buildings will include a medical facility, 14 executive meeting suites, a conference center, and a banquet hall, as well as an expansive outdoor live music space. Future proposed amenities include a driving/riding experience, a motorsports driving club, kart track, grand plaza event center and tower, and a trackside recreational vehicle park. For more information and downloadable video, audio and photos, visit: www.CircuitofTheAmericas.com