Grand Prix Of America's Fate Still Up In the Air Despite Inclusion On '14 F1 Calendar
The F1 Grand Prix of America in New Jersey has been included on the official '14 F1 calendar released Friday, but "just as it was last year," the Grand Prix of America's June 1 spot in '14 was "accompanied by an asterisk indicating that the race's inclusion on the [schedule] was provisional, and 'subject to circuit approval,' by F1," according to Steve Strunsky of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. The 22-race calendar for '14 "would amount to a record number of races" for the circuit. F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has said publicly that he "envisions the final calendar will include 20 or 21 races." Port Imperial Racing Associates, the group working to stage the New Jersey race, "issued an optimistically worded statement ... welcoming the news" despite the event's provisional status. Strunsky noted one positive difference "between the race's prospects for 2014 versus its postponement this year is that permission to work on the course was granted late this summer by Hudson County." However, "doubts remain" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 9/28). In New Jersey, John Brennan reported more than 100,000 people are "expected to attend the three-day event, most arriving by public transportation due to a lack of parking at the site." The race is to "receive no government subsidies per orders" from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. That has "led to questions" about whether F1 Grand Prix of America Exec Chair Leo Hindery "could raise enough money" (NORTHJERSEY.com, 9/27).
SWEET DEAL: In London, Kevin Eason noted Ecclestone reportedly has "promised a small fortune in payments" worth $200M (all figures U.S.) through '20 over the eight years of the Concorde Agreement between the FIA and F1 that was approved on Friday. The agreement also reportedly includes "a cash sweetener worth more than" $4.85M "simply to sign the deal." In addition, there is an offer of a 1% stake "in the F1 business, if and when it is floated on the Singapore Stock Exchange." That "could be worth" $70M to the FIA (LONDON TIMES, 9/28).