Ecclestone says 2012 USGP faces cancellation

16 November 2011 by Ryan Wood

The 2012 Formula 1 calendar looks likely to be reduced to 19 races if the organisers behind the United States Grand Prix can't produce guarantees over funding for the event.

The race is expected to take place in November next year, however a statement from the organisers on Tuesday confirmed construction had stopped due to an issue involving contracts.

Now Bernie Ecclestone, whose patience has worn thin following repeated issues which have involved funding, local government, date changes and construction delays, says the event will likely be axed if things aren't sorted before December 7th.

"We've done everything we bloody well can do to make this race happen," Ecclestone told the Press Association.

When pushed on whether the event would be dropped if things weren't sorted before the 2012 calendar is ratified on December 7th at the next World Motor Sport Council meeting, he replied: "Yes, it will be, for sure, 100%."

In another twist, the race hosting agreement held by Full Throttle Productions is now invalid, therefore a new agreement must be drawn up between the organisers, Circuit of the Americas.

"We had an agreement with Full Throttle Productions," he said. "Everything was signed and sealed, but we kept putting things off like the dates, various letters of credit and things that should have been sent, but nothing ever happened.

"Then these other people [COTA] came on the scene, saying that they wanted to do things, but that they had problems with Tavo [Hellmund of FTP].

"They said they had the circuit, and that they wanted an agreement with me. I told them they had to sort out the contract with Tavo, which they said they would.

"But that has gone away now because we've cancelled Tavo's contract as he was in breach.

"We've waited six months for him to remedy the breach. He knows full well why we've cancelled."

The organisers must now guarantee they can afford the hosting fee after the Austin government withdrew advance payments of $25 million from the Major Events Trust Fund, a fee they promised to pay for the sanctioning fee a year in advance. This will now be released after the inaugural event, once the economic benefits have been proven.