A dark cloud has moved above the future of the United States Grand Prix in Austin.
The local Austin American Statesman newspaper reports that the office of the current governor of Texas has dramatically slashed funding to the race from $25 million a year to less than $20m.
Speaking from Brazil, the scene of this weekend’s grand prix, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone confirmed: “If it’s changed, it’s going to be difficult to continue the race in Austin.”
And promoter Bobby Epstein agreed: “To use a technical term, I think we’re screwed.”
A spokesman for the Circuit of the Americas, meanwhile, hinted that a legal challenge to the governor’s decision cannot be ruled out.
“An entire facility was constructed based on that deal,” he said. “If the calculation is changed now, that’s effectively changed the terms of the deal.”