• Editor's comment

Bernie's smoke and mirrors

Martin Williamson July 6, 2010

The latest comments from Bernie Ecclestone regarding plans for the USA have answered none of the questions people are asking about the state of play in Austin, and by rekindling rumours of other sites being assessed, have actually increased the suspicion everyone is being taken for a ride.

Ever since the announcement of plans for a 2012 US Grand Prix in Austin there have been concerns over the lack of any firm details. Nobody knows much about the people behind it, the funding remains a mystery, and despite assurances land has been earmarked, nobody knows exactly where. Put simply, as it stands the venture looks at best speculative, at worst commercial kite flying.

But Ecclestone doesn't make throwaway comments. Everything he says is done for a reason, and you suspect his letting slip Hermann Tilke is sniffing around New Jersey is aimed at putting pressure on the authorities in Texas to support the Austin proposal.

Or, knowing Bernie, it could be Austin was agreed to force the hand of serious contenders on the north-eastern seaboard.

Either way, nothing is as it seems and, as things stand, a US Grand Prix is as likely now as it was a year ago.

Martin Williamson is managing editor of digital media ESPN EMEA

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Martin Williamson is managing editor of digital media ESPN EMEA Martin Williamson, who grew up in the era of James Hunt, Niki Lauda and sideburns, became managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group in 2007 after spells with Sky Sports, Sportal and Cricinfo