Ecclestone doubts Austin race will go ahead

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says he “wouldn’t put money” on next year’s American Grand Prix going ahead.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Austin GP looks doubtful, says Ecclestone (Reuters)

“Austin? I wouldn’t want to put my money down that that will happen. I hope it will and we are doing our best to make it happen, but I wouldn’t want to say yes.”

Ferrari technical reshuffle not finished yet, says Fry (Daily Telegraph)

“The rules still allow you to do a few things differently but there are 12 teams out there looking at the same set of rules so I would be surprised if our car ended up looking a whole lot different to anyone else’s.”

Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Yas Marina is very dear to me

“This track definitely holds fantastic memories for me. To be the first to win at a new track is always very special and then to win the race and the championship here last year will always stay in my memory.”

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Comment of the day

STSCM anticipates today’s race:

Fascinating start tomorrow, the first three minutes will be telling.

Hamilton knows if Vettel gets ahead, he’ll disappear into the distance. Vettel knows if he doesn’t get around Hamilton quickly he’ll be stuck on his diffuser for a while, something he doesn’t like. Both drivers will see turn one filling up their visors rapidly. Either outstanding wheel to wheel racing or clouds of carbon fibre. Then the question is what happens to Button and Alonso, 5cm behind the front two?

After the start, all bets are off.

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On this day in F1

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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36 comments on “Ecclestone doubts Austin race will go ahead”

  1. Bernie sees Austin as doubtfall… I’m sure that’s just a hurry the hell up sort of warning call that we’ve become used to hearing from him. I guess he doesnt care either if a race goes ahead or not, he get’s paid on way or another!

    1. If you look at the article, it explains why he’s concerned. The race promoters who have the contract with FOM (USGP?) are not the same entity as the track owners (COTA). Apparently those two entities have had some falling out. If they don’t kiss and make up, there’s no way it will go ahead, but that said, I can’t Imagine COTA will sink all that money into building the facility and not do what they need to to mend fences with the promoters. If they don’t fix it, everyone loses. That said, this could well just be be classic Bernie-bluster.

      1. Or he’s hedging his bets. With the Gribkowsky affair, Bernie has been having to direct his attentions away from Formula 1. With that in mind, it’s going to look very bad for Bernie and the sport if someone else points out problems in Austin. It’s better for all involved if Bernie expresses those doubts, because it shows that he is aware of the situation.

        1. Another option is, now that New Jersey is on (could be on) Bernie thinks Austin is not that much needed and would not mind them budging.

          1. Nah, I reckon Bernie, being Bernie, wants both of them.

    2. Every single syllable ever uttered by Ecclestone is manipulative and self-serving in some (to us, mere mortals, not necessarily obvious) way. That’s the only constant with him.

      Most of what he says can be tuned out safely as distraction, misinformation, pressurization or provocation.

    3. Eccelstone also doubted the Indian GP a month before the event, I think Austin will go ahead. That is IF the Texan Engineers know how to build a track with >2 corners. If anything, I think the New Jersey Grand Prix might be a bit of a sham.

      1. Care to be any more condescending?

  2. Why does bernie keep giving contracts to place he thinks won’t be ready.

    1. How many times has Bernie expressed doubt about a race being ready on time? And how many of those races had to be dropped because those dark prohpecies came true? Donington is the only one that springs to mind, but given the way they magically turned everything around once the race contract went back to Silverstone, I suspect that was Bernie playing hardball with the BRDC.

      1. But for Donington Bernie was just about the only one not voicing his concerns, at least not until it was clear for everyone they had no chance at all in rebuilding in time for a race.

        1. That would be because he never intended for Donington Park to host the race in the first place – he just awarded the contract to them in order to get Silverstone to toe the line. He wasn’t concerned about it because he never intended for them to have it. They were just a bargaining chip. After all, despite all the rigmorale surrounding the circuit once the British Grand Prix contract had been awarded to them, Donington recovered remarkably quickly.

          That’s my theory of it, anyway.

  3. Errr…. COTD is rubbish. Once the lights go out, the race is over. Vettel has been absolutely, totally untroubled every year this race was on. There won’t be any overtaking on track, Vettel can get more out of the tyres than Hamilton can, so even assuming he loses the lead at the start (he won’t, the trip to turn 1 is too short), he will just go longer at the pitstops and jump him that way. Foregone conclusion.

    1. Hamilton typically gets decent starts, Alonso gets great ones, The long straights arn’t far into the lap and Vettel is well down on top speed.

      That and Mclaren look strong and as the fuel gets lighter typically become more competitive.

      I think the race is very much contested.

      Admittedly it’s only the Mclaren cars that can compete, Alonso Ferrari just isn’t fast enough over a race distance.

      1. Red Bull were even worse off for straight line speed the previous two years. How much pressure was Vettel under then? Errr… none. None at all.

        1. It’s a bit hard to say for the 1st race in Abu Dhabi, with Hamilton on pole if I recal correctly, and being faster for the first laps until his KERS started to go and things got worse for him.

      2. he was down on top speed at Monza and they couldn’t catch him either.

    2. I understand your pessimism, and the smart money is certainly on Vettel controlling from the front, but the McLaren have genuinely looked quick here all weekend, and Hamilton had a good long run in FP2, so perhaps he will be able to make his tyres last this race. I’m optimistic, anyway. And even if Hamilton can’t challenge Vettel, Button is only 7 metres down the road (of Hamilton), and capable of looking after his tyres perfectly well.

      Also, this race might be a good opportunity to try some team strategy that unfortunately we haven’t seen much before: in case both McLarens are close on Vettel’s tail, one could try the undercut, tempting Vettel to respond by pitting early, with the other going longer and having the advantage of fresher tyres at the end of the race.

      1. As we’ve seen in recent races, the teams understand the tyres now. That means that there is one less variable, and things become more, not less predictable. The more predictable things are, the easier it is for strategists to keep things under control. Red Bull know what Vettel’s fastest way around the track is, and even if Button is keeping up, they are clever enough to cover off whatever he does. Race over.

    3. COTD was right, but not for racing reasons. Race still over by turn 3

  4. Yeah, that’s the way to sell tickets Bernie.

  5. The president of COTA has a statement responding to that, if anyone is interested — although, as the post I’m linking to points out, it doesn’t directly address Ecclestone’s claim about the internal squabble.

    1. LOL, posted about the same as well at the same time as you did!

      1. Nice to have company in obsessively looking for F1 news! ;-)

    2. That’s all nice and happy sounding, but as you said it doesn’t address the falling out between COTA and the promoters, and without the rights to put on the race, COTA is just an empty venue.

      1. Indeed, seems there is some backroom dealing going on between Tavo and the COTA investors there (with Bernie putting his weight behind Tavo, I guess).

  6. features a reaction by the president of the COTA track:

    “Our funding is secured and construction is on schedule, so we don’t understand Mr. Ecclestone’s comments. He has expressed great interest in the Austin race and in expanding the F1 brand into the United States. There is no question that if he wants the USGP race to happen here in 2012, it certainly will.
    A project of this magnitude has its challenges and we have had ours, but the City, the County, our state officials, our employees and construction workers, and our community supporters are all counting on Circuit of The Americas to happen.”


  7. I swear every time a new circuit is being built, Bernie comes out with this crap to make us doubt it will be finished, just so that he can how amazing it is that it was done on time…

  8. Are we going to listen to Bernie again? how many times has he said: “ooh, I doubt the race will go ahead”?

    1. I thought the COTA was in a good position regarding its construction time. I doubt it will not go ahead, as Korea and India have.

  9. Don’t forget that Darth Bernie has a habit of ripping on new teams, too. It almost seems like he has a pathological hatred of things that haven’t been in F1 before.

  10. Can’t wait for the turn one action between Hamilton & Vettel.

    1. & Bernie probably he will get more money from New Jersey then Austin so he is doing his PR work.

    2. Same. It is going to be tense. I am also thinking Alonso is the dark horse at the start. I can definitely see Alsonso mixing it up into the first corners, at least I hope so.

  11. There’s still appx 8 month left but Bernie doubt it…it’s not a good sign. Do you remember Korean GP? even Bernie never doubt(at least in public) until a couple of month before the event.

  12. Thanks Keith!
    Perfect present for me would be a 1-2 for McLaren. Let’s hope I get it :)

Comments are closed.