Another day, another drama with Bernie Ecclestone at the center. This time, it appears that the the Formula One CEO and the series' top brass have "torn up" the contract for New Jersey's Grand Prix of America. In a new report from The Guardian, Ecclestone claims that the race's organizers have missed deadlines, leading to the scrapping of the race.
The main concern since the announcement of the New Jersey race in October of last year has been its financials – that is, the ability for event organizers to raise the necessary funds to put on the race. While construction has begun on the circuit, a motorsports industry insider told the Guardian in the report, "pricing for sponsorship etc. is unrealistic and not obtainable in the current market."
Such high pricing could be motivated by the massive fees associated with hosting an F1 race. The ten-year contract for Grand Prix of America would have been for £150 million ($193.9 million USD) and an annual estimated fee of £15 million ($19.3 million). The 2013 provisional calendar for F1 showed the New Jersey race as subject to confirmation, and a lack of commitment to the race may have also scared away sponsors.
The Guardian says dissolution of the contract is a "big blow to F1." Ecclestone is reportedly moving on, looking for new suitors including a GP in Mexico. Ecclestone tells the Guardian, "After Mexico, we want to go to South Africa."
The Grand Prix of America, which was to take place on a 3.2-mile street course on the New Jersey side of the Hudson river was set for June of 2013. It appears that now that the United States Grand Prix is locked in for in Austin, Texas, New Jersey may well be passed over altogether.