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Ecclestone Gives US Another Week To Save GP

Washington, Dec 1: Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has given organizers of next year's US Grand Prix another week to save the Texas race by proving they have the finances in place. Ecclestone had wanted
ecclestone gives us another week to save gp -...
India TV News Desk December 01, 2011 11:27 IST

Washington, Dec 1: Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has given organizers of next year's US Grand Prix another week to save the Texas race by proving they have the finances in place.

Ecclestone had wanted organizers to sign a contract by Wednesday, but extended his deadline to next Wednesday when the World Motor Sport Council will ratify the 2012 calendar.

"The deadline hasn't been met so we are still trying to make it happen," Ecclestone said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

"They need to get some money and a pen ... as soon as possible. They know full well. Deadlines are terrible things because people always go to the end of the deadline. But if it isn't all signed before the World Motor Sport Council meeting it can't happen.

"We can live with it until then. I don't want any more last minute deadlines because it has been going on for months."

Financial backers of the Austin, Texas race include billionaire businessman Red McCombs. The Circuit of the Americas officials have said they will pay Formula One's sanctioning fee, but a dispute over signing a final contract and the long-term financing has not been resolved.

"They are struggling to get the financial side sorted out -- that's the problem," Ecclestone said from London. "They are trying to do it."

The race would mark Formula One's return to the United States for the first time since 2007.

"It would be a loss to everyone (if it didn't happen)," Ecclestone said. "They would like the race to take place ... I'd rather see the race happen than not."

The dispute has been caused by F1's decision to scrap a previous contract it had with Tavo Hellmund, a former race driver with long family ties to Ecclestone who was originally granted the right to stage the U.S. Grand Prix.

The deal with Hellmund was recently cancelled over a contract breach, and F1 officials have instead been negotiating with the track developers, Circuit of the Americas.

If the 2012 race in Texas was cancelled, F1 would still return to the U.S. the following year in New Jersey.

A 10-year agreement has been agreed to hold the race along the Hudson River waterfront, providing striking views of the Manhattan skyline.

The 2011 championship, which was won by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, finished on Sunday in Brazil.

 

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