Not far from the Lincoln Tunnel with the spectacular Manhattan skyline and Hudson River filling the background, the ‘Grand Prix of America’ on the shores of New Jersey along its town’s streets, made the Formula One (F1) calendar for 2014. However, according to sources, that pesky asterisk was there for a reason and low-and-behold, the on-again off-again event won’t make the official F1 schedule after all. As they say on either side of the Hudson: ‘Fugetaboutit’.
There was talk less than a month ago that this event would take place on June 1st of 2014, although it was a ‘provisional’ date. Still, having paid F1 a registration fee to make sure they had a date on next year’s calendar appeared to put a positive spin on whether this race would happen or not. Construction was taking place (Port Imperial) and even a week ago, the announcers on NBC Sports speculated that indeed next year’s Grand Prix of America would proceed as planned.
Nonetheless, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said this past weekend that he had doubts about the two new races scheduled for North America in New Jersey and Mexico. Said Ecclestone,
“It’s not definite if it will or it won’t but I doubt if it does.”
Money is always the criteria for all things F1 and that appears to be the stumbling block. Plus, this isn’t the first time the New Jersey race has been postponed or put off. Originally, the Port Imperial event was to happen this past June, but it became obvious it would not take place when financing wasn’t in place. It should be noted the organizers have been able to put the whole program together without public funds (source: Hudson Reporter).
The race was to take place along the streets of the Weehawken and West New York townships on the Hudson waterfront. The race would offer impressive sweeping skyline sights with a plan that called for a 3.2 mile circuit around Port Imperial along the Hudson River Walkway – all with easy access to public transportation. It was expected that the event would draw over 100,000 fans.
Other races dropped from the 2013 schedule include the race in India and also the event in South Korea. Austria is to be added in 2014, as was New Jersey and Mexico. Mexico’s problems relate to a race circuit that needs updated.
Promoters for the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey are still working on acquiring the necessary funding. Also, safety requirements have slowed the progress of moving ahead with the event. Race teams have been hesitant about the date because of the extreme logistics of having two races back-to-back in North America – the Grand Prix of Canada would be the following week.
If and when the New Jersey organizers can obtain the required financing, the race will go ahead, probably for the 2015 F1 season. Until then, folks in the New York area can, as they say, ‘Fugetaboutit’.