Thursday, November 17, 2011

Martin Whitmarsh: Formula One needs America race

Posted by Admin On 9:35 AM

McLaren team Principal Martin Whitmarsh believes Formula One needs America more than America needs Formula One. It was confirmed on Tuesday that structure work has been halt at the site of the future United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas outside the Texan city of Austin.

Track organisers claim 300 workers have downed tools pending the arrival of a contract from Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone to COTA per a previously agreed upon schedule. The event is now just one year away as Friday practice is listed for November 16, 2012, but COTA claim will work only be resume upon the delivery of the Formula One race agreement.

At the weekend Ecclestone claimed it was down to COTA and those who own the contract to stage the race, namely Tavo Hellmund's Full Throttle fabrication, to get their heads together and resolve their differences.

While COTA are now citing Ecclestone's failure to deliver them a agreement, Hellmund claims it's the dependability of the Circuit of the Americas to make this project happen before Mr Ecclestone's patience runs out.

There is every danger the USGP could be dropped from the calendar when the World Motor Sport Council meets for the final time this year early next month, unless they are given leeway to resolve the issues.

Addressing the problem, but speaking before the news that construction work had halted, Whitmarsh said: America doesn't need Formula One, we need America.We're eager at the prospect of going to the States. I'm sure Bernie is working very hard on the Texas race and on the New Jersey race.

It's in our programmed; I assume we're going there. I suspect we will. I envisage, as is often the case, there is some posturing and negotiation, but that's not our business.The calendar says we're going there, that's what we're planning on, and that’s what we're looking forward to.

The announcement last month that a street race in New Jersey, with Manhattan as a backdrop, will take place in 2013 has further complicated matters for those in Austin; with Texas state comptroller Susan Combs claiming New Jersey had the potential to affect the economic impact of their race.

Combs confirmed Texas taxpayers would not be held accountable for the USD25million (£15.8million) sanctioning fee, required a year in advance, for the race. Texas has used a tool known as the Major Events Trust Fund to attract large-scale events to the state, including Super Bowl XLV and the NBA All-Star game


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