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A second US Grand Prix in New Jersey to join F1 calendar in 2013?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Oct 2011   |  9:10 am GMT  |  126 comments

On Friday evening in the US news began to emerge that there could be a second US Grand Prix from 2013 onwards, with suggestions that a street circuit in New Jersey would be announced as an F1 venue on Tuesday.

According to Autoweek, the circuit is believed to have the Manhattan skyline as a back drop and the concept has been developed over several years by Leo Hindery Jr, who is married to the daughter of legendary US motorsports promoter Humpy Wheeler.

There are suggestions that the race would be paired in June with Montreal, which is a short distance to the north, across the Canadian border. Austin has moved to the end of the season to be paired with Brazil.

There is precedent for two races in the USA; in the mid 1980s there was a US Grand Prix East in Detroit and a US Grand Prix West in Dallas, with Montreal also part of a June/July triple header in 1984.

There is also a lot of effort going into a Mexico GP, with a delegation from Cancun lobbying Bernie Ecclestone with support from Carlos Slim Jr, the telecoms giant who has an involvement with Sauber team and a seat on the FIA World Motor Sports Council.

There was a Mexican GP from 1963 to 1970 and the event was revived from 1986 to 1992. Tavo Hellmund, who set up the race in Austin, Texas and used to work for Bernie Ecclestone’s Brabham F1 team in the 1980s is spearheading the expansion of the sport on the other side of the Atlantic. Sauber’s Mexican driver Sergio Perez looks like he has a strong future in the sport, if not perhaps world champion potential.

In terms of calendar congestion, clearly the future is uncertain on Bahrain, with many F1 insiders feeling that next April’s race is not likely to go ahead, while there were strong suggestions that the Korean GP might not last very long. But there is also a new race due to come onstream in Russia, so there is pressure on existing events, which is as it should be from Ecclestone’s point of view, when promoting a market for race hosting rights.

* The news was confirmed on Tuesday, New Jersey governor Chris Christie saying, “I’m pleased that New Jersey will play host to Formula 1 beginning 2013, bringing one of the world’s most popular and exciting sports right to our backyard,”

“I can assure Formula 1 that this is one of the wisest decisions you have ever made, to come and hold this event in New Jersey”.

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1

Fan of the Grand Prix of New York?

Click: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnZcSJsHKM8

2

Time for a classics league then. Teams made up of one ex F1 driver and one up and coming driver in any f1 car from the last 5 years. Existing teams could run their old cars. New teams could run old Toyota or Super Aguri cars. 12 races a year all on classic F1 circuits.

I guess they tried this already and it failed. For me I just watch Moto GP to see some of the older tracks in action.

On topic. Make it a Las Vegas GP. Cheaper and easier for me to manage from the west coast of Canada than Austin or even my own home race in Montreal.

3

I’m not convinced there is the appetite for a 2nd GP in the US. However, I’m happy to give it a go as long as it’s not at the expense of one of the long standing and traditional venues. Perhaps some of the fledgling venues should go on the calendar in rotation until they can prove themselves.

4

F1 will loose two or three classics in two years, BE only wants money not anything more in F1, HE used to …but not anymore.

5

A lot of talk, Ill believe it when friday practice starts

7

The news that this is signed is sad….one more track someone will give up a date for another race in the US….good to see the United States getting back to F1…but at what price

…and new venues have no life expectancy!!!

Two years maybe three before they are broke paying BE

8

F1 Should take note of MotoGP at Laguna Seca. At that event you get to see MotoGP and AMA back to back.

Why couldn’t we have a CART race in the morning, F1 in the afternoon and Nascar in the evening?

That would be a massive event pack out a 400,000 track easy.

9

Probably because CART doesn’t exist anymore…

10

You could never get even two organizations inside the fence…

11

A couple of years back a friend and I spent a couple of years with a sim game. Imola to me, was one of the smoothest, rhythmic tracks. Kylami was devil fast, Monza, Monaco, Spa, Silverstone, Suzuka are all institutions, clearly. I’m an American, loved F1 as a kid, but I must agree with the other guys who say Austin doesn’t sound good. What if they take all the Austin money and sink it into Laguna Seca?!!! Or take some tean/sponser money and bring Imola up to date, and yes, how about a French circuit?! How can the country with one of the greatest races of all time, Le Mans, not have an F1 on race?! You know what I’m talking about,,,,!!!

12

Got a strong hunch Singapore will be removed if more street circuits are implemented. Looks like a trend from the ring master, like a city tour. Planning your holidays soon?

13

another Bernie Bust! A street circuit with the New York skyline as a backdrop for the world TV feed. Race fans get to spend the weekend at highly overpriced New York hotels and fight brutal traffic jams through the Lincoln Tunnel so they can watch a mickey mouse setup from nothing track along the New Jersey waterfront. Who cares if the waterfront is being rebuilt, ask anyone who isn’t from New Jersey, it’s still New Jersey! Smelly, polluted, crime-infested. Wait ’til the fans from Europe and Asia get to ride NJ Transit or the NY subway system to the race! If Bernie wants/needs more races, bring back the Oesterreichring, bring back Zandvoort, Paul Ricard, and Imola, bring back RACE TRACKS, not made for TV street races like Las Vegas, Long Beach, and Detroit (all flops, Bernie). And just how much money is the financially-strapped State of New Jersey and their Republican Governor going to contribute to this farce? The State is running a $10 billion+ deficit for FY 2012 and had their credit rating downgraded in August. This scheme sounds like another “Turkey” to me!

14

Another street circuit eh? Street circuits may be a good challenge for the drivers but they don’t often make a good race.

Monaco may be pretty glamourous but that doesn’t make any difference to me in my living room. If its a dry race its usually pretty boring. Valencia and Singapore are the same. In a season where DRS and tyres are making the races more exciting than in any recent year, if they can’t turn Valencia into anything other than a bore fest then its not the cars or the drivers that’s the problem, its the circuit.

We need more open circuits with straights going into hairpins and chicanes with run off areas so the drivers aren’t too careful to avoid the walls you get with street circuits. We need more circuits like Monza, Silverstone and Suzuka. Not more street circuits.

15

Why not have a few races fixed every year like Monaco, Monza, Silverstone, Singapore and Spa and have the rest on a rotating roster from year to year to fit all the venues in?

16

James, I think Bernard needs to remember the words of the Godfather when dealing with the NJ & NY crowd. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. :>)))

17

As a native New Jerseyan and rare American F1 fan, I’m thrilled about this — much more than the proposed race down the Hudson River near the Statue of Liberty that ended up being axed.

For those who know New Jersey politics, particularly in that corner of New Jersey, this event will have full support of both American political parties (even though they ordinarily fight like cats and dogs), giving Bernie the backing he wants to ensure the long-term investment will be worthwhile. Hindery is a master businessman and true racer and Wheeler, if actually involved, is America’s leading motorsports promoter.

The waterfront of New Jersey (as in from the movie “On the Waterfront”) is being modernized quickly and can provide the infrastructure (pit complex and otherwise) needed for a 2013-caliber Grand Prix.

But thing that excites me most is the course. It will be a lot like Monaco (albeit with no casinos and five-star hotels). The layout I’ve seen will climb up and down the Palisades, the steep hillside that borders the Hudson River, on narrow city streets. No Tilke constant radius curves here!

Like Monaco, there may not be much overtaking, but it will take a driver with some serious cojones to win this event. And that, I think, the casual American fan will appreciate — which, combined with the lack of any other open-wheel alternative, given Indycar’s continuing implosion and the sad death of Dan Wheldon just last week — may just reignite at least a small fanbase here in the States.

I haven’t even spoken about Austin — don’t know much about the circuit, but it’s a rare economically prosperous major city in America that doesn’t already have a baseball, football or basketball team, so I like Bernie’s idea of making F1, in essence, Austin’s “major leagues.”

Plus, Texas in general will embrace F1. Everyone forgets that the ’84 Dallas Grand Prix was well-promoted, sponsored, televised and attended — it just turned into, alas, one of the two or three biggest organizational fiascos in F1 history due to the combination of the temporary track and brutal heat. That won’t happen for a November race on a purpose-built circuit.

I’m excited about F1’s American future. And I agree that there are plenty of candidates (Valencia, Bahrain, Korea, etc.) to be cut to keep within the 20-race limit that almost no one would miss, including in their own cities/countries!

18

Texas is not the same hospitable place it was in the 80’s. The only person I found that knew anything about F1, or cared, was at the track site. There were about 20 people on the site, virtually no earth moving equipment; a couple of cement trucks arrived when I was there, but they may have been pouring cement for sign posts. I didn’t see anything happening to indicate the scale of building this project requires. Maybe the buildings are just going to be trailers, tin sheds and outhouses.

19

It’s as though Bernie’s never gotten over the fact that Chris Pook called his bluff over the rights fees at Long Beach. This will be the fourth street circuit he’s tried since then.

I’m a lifelong fan; went to four of the seven Indy GPs. This event would even be easy for me to get to, because I live in Brooklyn. But this plan is a triumph of marketing ambition over common sense: Street racing killed F1 in this country. Dallas and Phoenix were both exercises in chase-the-new-Sunbelt-money, doomed to fail. As is well known, in Phoenix, more people attended an ostrich race than attended the last F1 race…

Maybe the solution to drumming up interest here is to go back to the old idea of counting the Indy 500 toward the WDC? I know it’s the same weekend as Monaco (the race Bernie wants every street race to be), but think of the marketing possibilities (Bernie’s goal, and that of the factory teams) of putting Lewis, for example, into the Penske team for the weekend.

Won’t happen, of course, because the teams won’t risk losing WCC points by putting third/reserve drivers into the cars at Monaco.

20

This all looks good, my worry is that with so many great circuits and teams that many excellent races could be crowded out. So, here is an idea, what about a 2 tier championship? a second division of F1? This would mean that maybe the top 8 teams race 20 races and at 10 of those 8 other teams compete in secondary races but those second tier teams also compete in 10 separate races thus bringing top quality racing to much more of the globe. A relegation/promotion battle would add an extra dimension to the sport and open up the sport to more teams who could start out at much lower costs.

21

Simon, this is an absolutely, spectacularly, brilliant idea! Promotion and relegation, using all of those unused tracks… brilliant! Just like the Premier League and the Championship.

It’s funny, I just watched QPR beat Chelsea this morning (yeah, they escaped, but a win’s a win), and Norwich draw yesterday, so there’s the obvious football example right there. I don’t know how it works in football, but does a separate organization operate the Championship through the FA? I’d think that you would have to have another “Bernie” figure – a different one, rather – for the second tier, as Ecclestone having total control of both series would probably result in exorbitant rights fees. And I suspect that Bernie having control would run afoul of various anti-monopoly laws.

Maybe call it the FIA Intercontinental Formula Championship?

22

I disagree. It sounds confusing for the fans, expensive to run, and a nightmare to administer.

23

It would be nice for two races in the US and if the NEw Jersey circuit is good then I’m sure we’ll want to go there. Get rid of Bahrain and Valencia and even China but bring back Turkey and keep Korea. These two countries have great circuits and we need to keep them. Hungary may be a modern classic but it rarely presents a truly exciting Grand Prix. There are only three I can think of since its debut in 1986 with one being 1997. Catalunya can be gotten rid of in my view it can be kept as a testing circuit but it’s not very good for racing.

In my view F1 can get rid of Bahrain, Valencia, Catalunya, (Hungary and China) keeping Silverstone, Monaco, Spa, Monza, Brazil, Melbourne, Montreal, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Austin and India. the latter set to become modern classics. We want circuits that either hold prestige and/or have a great circuit.

I would want Portugal as it has a great circuit lined up, Russia should be given a shot, South Africa is a key part in F1 history and Mexico should always bring challenging conditions, so New York bring it on. Bernie bring it on just please keep the ones we love and what make the sport so popular

24

I don’t think Austin is going to last. Having just returned from there; it doesn’t look like anything serious is happening at the site, maybe they can throw it together in 12 months, and the “Don’t Mess With Texas” motto so prevelent in Austin, we came to believe means “foreigners keep out”.

25

Would anybody complain too much if New Jersey, Mexico and Russia joined the calendar replacing Bahrain, Korea and Valencia?

I know, we can’t just opt-out of races because it suits. But if Bahrain is held in the vice of political instability, it may be dropped altogether, paving the way for New Jersey (or Mexico). And with Korea being dissatisfied with their deal, Bernie might consider that a breach of contract, making room for Mexico (or New Jersey). And by the time Russia is ready in 2014, Valencia will have seen out its seven-year contract.

26

Doesn’t Suzuka contract run out 2012, have they re-negotiated again?

27

I enjoy street circuits, but i believe there are enough great circuits around that this track isn’t necessary. Although it does prevent one of such circuits getting Tilke’d

28

If the goal is to promote the sport with an eye to actually impressing fans/sponsors then any spot in New Jerey with a New York City skyline view will fail miserably. Anyone who lives or has lived in that area will agree. I lived in that area for 15 years and still maintain a residence there. The only visually appealing this is the NY City skyline. The streets and neighborhoods on the western shore of the Hudson River (directly facing NYC) are quite nice places to live but would be quite unappealing and physically very unattractive. The F1 circus on the streets of Calcutta would make more sense. I’d love to see a race on the Streets of NYC itself. Now THAT would be truly exciting. But alas, NJ is the ugly stepsister of NYC for a reason. Please Bernie, don’t.

29

With the Singapore GP due for contract negotiations, do you think Bernie is using the New Jersey GP to put some pressure on the Singapore organisers to pay him more money?

30

It’s all a big picture, with races as pieces of a jigsaw. I think Singapore is good for both sides, so both sides will not want it to stop now.

31

Ridiculous one more BS venture for BE…trying to get all he can out of two race venues and ruin all the classics ….now Korea cannot even make the race fee ..only two years in …street race in NY will never go.

32

I suspect much of the impetus for this came from Ferrari, Mercedes, and perhaps McLaren. What do you think they see as their largest market?

33

No doubt the US…but again at what price for the classics

34

India and China will probably be larger markets for them. Mumbai has the more millionaires than anywhere else in the world and India has a middle class larger than the population of the UK.

35

The question is which races will be dropped – at least four of the existing races will have to go I think if we are to have a maximum of 20 rounds including India, Russia, Austin, and now NJ. France also wants back in, as does Mexico and South Africa (a whole continent without a race??). I bet Portugal perks up again soon too.

Bahrain is toast – I can’t see anyone supporting it given the dreadful record of the government there.

Valencia is loathed by all it seems – including the crowds and most of the city council, so I can’t see it being kept.

Korea looks very precarious. It suffers the same fate as magny cours – it is in the middle of nowhere – and worse, it is poorly attended.

If it wasn’t for the mountain of cash the Chinese government poured into their race the GP would surely have no future. It is one of the circuits that only gets used on F1 weekends.

Alas, I bet Melbourne and Spa are in the firing line, along with Hungary.

Some kind of rotation of the historic circuits will have to be arranged, otherwise F1 will be an even frothier circus than it has become. Perhaps a couple of non-championship races could be held in the off years?

36

There is and there isn’t a maximum number of races in a season.

The Concorde agreement states 17 as a maximum number of events, but with provision for up to 20 races provided the teams are suitable compensated, and there is an extra provision for additional races beyond 20, but this requires the teams to be paid a higher % of F1’s profits.

37

It’s not made by Tilke & Ecclestone, so it’s good news 😀

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