Jersey race promoter claims they have 15-year F1 deal

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The organizers of the planned F1 race in New Jersey say they have agreed a new 15-year contract with Bernie Ecclestone to host the race from next season.

The event, dubbed the Jersey Grand Prix, was given a place on the 2013 calendar last year but was cancelled when it became clear the venue would not be ready in time.

“Bernie was 100 percent correct in that we hadn’t satisfied his demands and we didn’t have a binding contract in place, and he had every right to question our ability to get it done,” said Leo Hindery, the former racing driver behind the proposal, to the Star-Ledger.

“And as we told Governor [Chris] Christie, we were going to do it without any money from the state or the towns, and that made it very difficult. And it took us longer.”

Proposals for a 19-turn, 3.2-mile street course on the bank of the Hudson River were revealed last May. Race promoters visited the Canadian Grand Prix last weekend to meet with Ecclestone.

“We’re going to go racing sometime in June 2014,” Hindery added.

The Port Imperial race organizers recently announced the hiring of former Long Beach Grand Prix promoter Chris Pook as Bindery’s special assistant. Marty Hunt, the former director of facilities at the Circuit of the Americas, became their director of race operations last week.

Ecclestone said last month a final decision on the race would not be taken for “another couple of months”.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”