Organisers of the US grand prix have one week to rescue their event before it is scratched from next year’s calendar. The deadline has been imposed by F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, according to the Associated Press.
“If they want to come back to us, if it (a contract) is not signed before the end of next week, I suppose it won’t be on the calendar next year,” he said.
It is reported that Ecclestone wants a letter of credit or a guarantor for the organisers’ $25 million race sanctioning fee.
“We have a World Motor Sport Council meeting on the seventh of December and we need to prepare everything before that,” said the 81-year-old Briton.
In reality, the deadline will almost certainly be missed, with the Circuit of the Americas announcing that it is setting its sights on hosting an inaugural event in 2013 instead.
“We know the US market is important to the teams and their sponsors and 2013 certainly allows time for the Circuit of the Americas to be ready,” the organisation said in a statement.
The project’s collapse occurred apparently because of disagreements between the original promoter Tavo Hellmund, and the circuit.
“I think somebody needs to jump on a plane and go see (Ecclestone) and make him happy,” Hellmund told reporters on Thursday.
Without saying it specifically, it is clear he blames the project’s investors.
“It’s really not a Tavo problem. It’s really an investor problem,” Texas comptroller Susan Combs told the local Austin American Statesman newspaper. “The state has no role in saving something like this.”