BARCELONA (Reuters) - Formula One has put money into New Jersey’s postponed Grand Prix of America to ensure it will go ahead next year, commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone told Reuters on Saturday.
The riverside race, with the New York skyscrapers as a backdrop, was supposed to go ahead this year but was postponed to 2014 - with June the likely date - because organisers supposedly needed more time to prepare.
Before the postponement, Ecclestone had raised doubts about the race going ahead and said local organisers had not complied with the terms and conditions of the contract which had subsequently lapsed.
Speaking at the Spanish Grand Prix, the 82-year-old said the picture was now much more promising.
”There’s no reason why it shouldn’t happen. We’ve put money behind it to pay a lot of the things off, a lot of their debts,“ he said. ”So I‘m hoping now we are going to get it together.
“We’re going to try and make it happen next year.”
Ecclestone said money had been “put into the circuit” which would be recovered when the race was held.
Chris Pook, a long-time Ecclestone associate who organised a grand prix in Long Beach, California, between 1976 and 1983, has joined the New Jersey senior management team as special assistant to the chairman, Leo Hindery Jr.
Pook’s role is to advise on all aspects of construction, planning and execution of the race at Port Imperial.
“He knows all the things not to do, which is important,” said Ecclestone. “And the other people weren’t sure what not to do. They thought they knew what to do but not what was the important thing.”
There has been talk of Long Beach being revived as a Formula One venue, to give the United States a West Coast race as well as East Coast and one in the middle at the new circuit in Austin, Texas.
“If we do this (New Jersey), it (Long Beach) won’t (happen again),” said the Briton.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris