Bernie Ecclestone has, for a third time, questioned the viability of next year’s scheduled New Jersey street race.
Organisers have consistently sounded puzzled by the F1 chief executive’s continual scepticism. The 81-year-old’s latest comments prompted race president Tom Cotter to insist that preparations for the event amid the Manhattan skyline are actually ahead of schedule.
But when asked if the race will go ahead next year, Ecclestone told the BBC on Saturday: “No. Definitely, no.”
Confusingly, he then added: “If they can get it (the circuit) completed and confirm to us it will be done, for sure, they’ll be on the calendar.”
After the recent Canadian grand prix, Sebastian Vettel and David Coulthard travelled to New Jersey for a promotional event to sample in road cars the curves of the proposed layout.
“The circuit is not anywhere near close to being ready,” Red Bull driver Vettel admitted, “but as I said, it would be great.”
Former grand prix driver Coulthard added: “They think they’re ahead of schedule. They’re talking about 12 months from now, but it’s a lot of work — the road is so bowed in the middle.”