Bernie Ecclestone says next year’s planned grand prix in New Jersey could still go ahead but warned the promoters won’t be given any more help to make the race happen.
Ecclestone told Adam Cooper: “We’ve been mucking around and waiting long enough. We’ve compromised enough.”
“We sent them 10 million to pay some of their debts, and keep the doors open, so we’re a little bit serious”
Ecclestone said F1 remains keen to put on the race: “If they can comply with the contract, we want to be there. If they come to me next week, and show they have complied with whatever it should be, it’s alright. They’ve got to finish the circuit, so they need to pay, and they need to comply with the conditions for us.”
However the mayor of West New York does not share Ecclestone’s doubts. Felix Roque told NJ.com: “As far as we are concerned, the race is still on.
“[Construction crews] are working diligently on Boulevard East, getting curbs and sidewalks done… They are out there today.”
And promoter Leo Hindery Jnr told GP Update there were no concerns over getting the track ready: “The only obstacles in front of us now are execution, they’re not structural.”
“The course never changed its configuration from the time we first identified it. It’s been clearly and frequently vetted by [FIA race director] Charlie [Whiting] and his colleagues on behalf of the teams.”
The race on the banks of the Hudson river was originally supposed to take place last June, but was pushed back to next season due to delays getting the venue ready.
“In a difficult financial market it became clear late last fall, really early in the winter that we would not make 2013,” Hindery added.
The FIA Formula E Championship will add Hong Kong to its calendar for its third season, 2016-2017.
The race will take place on October 9, 2016 – exactly one year from now – around the city’s Central district. The 2km circuit will run between Lung Wo Road and the Star Ferry, with cars reaching speeds of up to 225kph (140mph).
The launch event today featured the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Honourable CY Leung; Mr. Gregory So, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development; Mr. Alejandro Agag, CEO, Formula E Holdings; Mr. Lawrence Yu Kam-Kee, President of the Hong Kong Automobile Association; and reigining FE champion Nelson Piquet Jr.
“The Hong Kong ePrix will be one of the highlights on the FIA Formula E Championship calendar,” Agag said in a release. “As one of the most innovative, cutting-edge and fun-loving cities in the world, Hong Kong and Formula E share many of the same qualities. We look forward to bringing all the fun and entertainment of Formula E to this amazing city, and international motorsport back to Hong Kong.”
The track map is linked below.
Prema Powerteam has confirmed that it will enter GP2 for the first time in 2016, taking over the entry of Team Lazarus.
Prema has established itself as one of the most formidable teams in junior motorsport over the past 30 years, winning countless championships – including the last five FIA F3 titles – and helping to launch the careers of Ryan Briscoe, Roberto Merhi and Esteban Ocon (pictured).
In 2016, it will enter GP2 – Formula 1’s feeder series – for the very first time, taking over Lazarus’ entry as its four-year association with the series comes to an end.
“We are delighted to line-up for this exciting new adventure in the GP2 Series,” Prema manager Rene Rosin said. “Prema always followed the evolution of the GP2 concept as an interested spectator, and it is now finally time to join the game in first person.
“The move to the GP2 Series is a logical step for Prema, following the successful experiences in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and in the Italian and the German Formula 4 Championships, which will continue with the same level of commitment.”
Series CEO Bruno Michel was pleased to welcome Prema to GP2, and believes that it will adapt quickly to life in the championship thanks to its impressive racing record.
“I am very pleased to welcome Prema to the GP2 Series,” Michel said. “Their remarkable track record makes me believe that they should be able to adapt quickly to our category.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank [Lazarus team principal] Tancredi Pagiaro and his team for their hard work and dedication for the past four seasons. I wish them the best for the future.”