- Grand Prix of America
New Jersey still has a contract - Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone says the New Jersey Grand Prix is not yet dead and buried despite stories suggesting it will not be on the 2014 calendar.
New Jersey was meant to feature in F1 this year but the organisers failed to get a long-term financial package in place and had to address several issues with the circuit itself, such as crowned roads and the removal of various street-side objects. The pit and paddock building is still under construction and mayors of the local areas of Weehawken and West New York both believe the project is going ahead next year.
"They have a contract," Ecclestone told Speed.com journalist Adam Cooper. "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."
Ecclestone added: "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."
Meanwhile a spokesperson for the race told The Jersey Journal that work is continuing on the track despite the latest bout of media speculation.
"We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the story, but we don't discuss media reports or financial matters," a spokesperson said. "We will have a statement after the FIA announces the 2014 calendar. Until then, we're continuing to prepare for the 2014 Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial."
In the same report West New York Mayor Felix Roque confirmed work on the streets was still taking place.
"As far as we are concerned, the race is still on," he said. "[Construction crews] are working diligently on Boulevard East, getting curbs and sidewalks done ... They are out there today."
Ecclestone's quotes in the media are not dissimilar to how he handled the US Grand Prix in Austin in the build up to its inaugural race last year. Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner believes Ecclestone is using the media to play hardball with promoter Leo Hindery to ensure the terms of the contract are fulfilled.
"No one from F1 down to Mr. Hindery has said the race was off," Turner said. "The way they negotiate details seems to be in the public."
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