GP of America organizers issue statement on race postponement

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Shortly after the FIA released its finalized 2014 Formula One schedule minus the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey, race organizers got out a statement saying that the group is working on “restructured financial arrangements” to ensure that the event will go off in 2015.

Today marks the second year in a row that the GP of America has been left off the final F1 schedule, which will no doubt lead to a heightened sense of skepticism over whether it will ever be a full-fledged Grand Prix. The event had been listed for June 1, 2014 on a provisional schedule.

In the statement, GP of America executive chairman and promoter Leo Hindery Jr. maintained that “our entire management team and our supporters in New Jersey, New York and throughout the Formula One community obviously want to see the inaugural Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial take place as soon as possible.”

“Bringing a world-class race to the world’s largest media market is a huge undertaking that has required balancing construction of our road course, without tapping any public money, with the sport’s own timing demands,” said Hindery, who also thanked FOM, New Jersey governor Chris Christie and other local officials and property owners “for their patience.”

Also commenting in the statement was F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. His desire for a race in the New York metro area remains unabated despite today’s events.

“There is great demand for a race in New Jersey and I have no doubt we’ll be racing at Port Imperial in 2015,” Ecclestone said. “New races can take many years to get started, but there is significant momentum and we are close to realizing a New York City F1 race.”

Williams to wait until new year before making 2018 F1 driver decision

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Williams will wait until the new year before making an announcement regarding its Formula 1 driver line-up for the 2018 season.

Williams holds the final vacant seat in F1 for next year, with Felipe Massa retiring at the last race of the 2017 season in Abu Dhabi at the end of November.

The Brazilian’s departure has opened up a seat alongside Lance Stroll for 2018, which looked poised to be taken by Robert Kubica, over seven years after he last raced in F1 before injuries sustained in a rally accident appeared to cut his career short.

Doubts emerged about Kubica’s comeback following a test with Williams in its 2017-spec car in Abu Dhabi after the final race of the season, leading to Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin becoming the favorite.

Besides Kubica and Sirotkin, ditched Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat is also an option, but Williams has now confirmed it will make no decision on its line-up until the new year.

Sirotkin first entered the frame in F1 in 2013 when he became a development driver at Sauber, with Russian backers SMP Racing pushing to get him a race seat for the following year.

Sirotkin missed out on a full-time role at the team, leading him to focus on racing in Formula Renault 3.5 for 2014 before spending two years in GP2, where he finished third in the standings in both seasons.

Renault struck an agreement to sign Sirotkin in a junior role in 2016, leading to a number of practice run-outs over the last two seasons, but he was passed over for a 2018 race seat when it signed Carlos Sainz Jr.

Williams emerged as an option for Sirotkin following a successful maiden test with the team in Abu Dhabi alongside Kubica, with talks now set to continue over the holiday period.

Sirotkin has not taken on a full-time race program this year, making just a single competitive appearance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with SMP Racing in the LMP2 class.

Sirotkin has also been involved in the development of the team’s BR Engineering-designed LMP1 car for the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship season, and is likely to secure a seat should he miss out on the role at Williams.