Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone is confident that the United States Grand Prix will go ahead as planned in 2016 in spite of the financial uncertainty facing the event.
Torrential rain washed out much of the 2015 event, causing many fans to stay away from the Circuit of The Americas in Austin and prompting track chairman Bobby Epstein to say: “To use a technical term, I think we’re screwed.”
The impact of the wet weather was only exacerbated when Texas governor Greg Abbott announced that the state would be cutting the funding that COTA received for the race by $5.5m.
As a result, the US GP is listed as being ‘subject to agreement’ on the 2016 calendar, leading to growing uncertainty about the future of the race.
However, Ecclestone is confident that a deal can be struck to safeguard the race and ensure that it remains on the calendar.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Ecclestone said he was “absolutely” certain the race would go ahead and has “no doubts” that a resolution can be found.
“The state funding depends on the amount of people that attend the race,” Ecclestone added. “As it rained and a lot of people didn’t turn up, their funding went down.”
Following this report, Epstein told Autosport that he expects a decision to be made on the 2016 US GP by the end of February.
“I share [Ecclestone’s] optimism on it,” Epstein said. “We all want it to happen, and usually when that’s the case, things get done.
“I certainly can’t confirm anything at this point, but for sure there will be something within the next 30 days. We’ll have an answer definitely before the end of February.”
The 2016 US GP is scheduled to be held on October 23.