The 2013 F1 calendar looks set to feature just 19 races after organisers of the inaugural New Jersey Grand Prix were forced to postpone the race to 2014 due to delays over building.
F1 insiders suggest that the selling of the race to potential partners in the riverside track project has also proved difficult and that the organisers are regrouping in order to secure the funding to ensure a successful 2014 event.
“We are going to be racing at Port Imperial, unfortunately just not as soon as we hoped and expected,” said the promoter, Leo Hindery, Jr. “We promised Governor Christie, the Towns, the sport and its international fans the best possible experience, and unfortunately we need additional time to ensure that happens.
“We remain 100% committed to the Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial and the race could have no better partner and friend than the CEO of Formula One, Bernie Ecclestone,” said Mr. Hindery. “We benefit greatly from his experience and counsel and from his support.”
This news has been coming for some time. F1’s CEO Bernie Ecclestone had flagged up some problems last month and now says that the promoter ran out of time ahead of the June date next season, but he is keen to see the race take place in 2014. Much of the F1 community hopes that the race against the backdrop of the New York City skyline will make it onto the calendar,
“They’ve run out of time,” Ecclestone told the Guardian. “There’s all sorts of things, and they didn’t quite think it all through. They’ve had a wake-up call but the wake-up call came too late. They couldn’t get everything ready in time. That’s the bottom line.”
The 2014 calendar is also due to feature the inaugural Russian Grand Prix at Sochi, on a circuit built from the Winter Olympic facilities due to be used for the Games in February 2014.
F1 in the USA was however boosted this week with the news that NBC is to carry coverage of the Grands Prix.
NBC is one of the oldest and best established of the US TV networks and will offer some of the races on its main network and some on its free to air cable offering. This should open the sport up to the US audience.