No money ends New Jersey F1 race hopes

Construction of the pit building at Port Imperial

Construction of the pit building at Port Imperial

Plans for a New York street race were foiled by financial backers that pulled out, according to Formula 1 Bernie Ecclestone supremo.

A second American Grand Prix, in New Jersey but amid the iconic Manhattan skyline, has appeared on draft calendars for some time but the Formula 1 supremo now admits it is unlikely to happen.

“I honestly don’t think so,” Ecclestone said in Belgium last weekend. “They still have the same problems they had in the beginning. Nothing has changed.”

Now, speaking to the Formula 1 business journalist Christian Sylt, the nature of those ‘problems’ has become clear — and it’s all about money.

“Two or three backers that (promoter) Leo (Hindery) had had confirmed to me that they had an agreement with him and they were going to put the money up,” Ecclestone told Forbes. “If Leo had got the money or I had put the money up that race would have been on.”

Ecclestone admitted that he went beyond his usual efforts for New Jersey, as the teams “were dying to have a race in New York so we were trying to make it happen”.

Sylt said Ecclestone gave Hindery lots of chances by continually reinstating the race on draft calendars, and he even offered funding, “I had nothing to lose with Leo.┬áIf somebody had come along and put the money up and he had done the job I would have been delighted.

“He (Hindery) was trying to keep things alive hoping that somebody was going to put money in. It suited us to give him chances. Everybody wanted a race in New York.” (GMM)