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Bernie: Azerbaijan, New Jersey in 2016?

2014-07-25 11:19

WILL IT EVER HAPPEN? F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says New Jersey could be added to the F1 calender in 2016. Image: AFP

BUDAPEST, Hungary - Mexico is to join the 2015 Formula 1 calendar; not two more cities are reportedly to get a grid in 2016.

That's the skinner from F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, even though on Thursday there was already scepticism in the Budapest GP paddock about Mexico happening in 2015 because it's believed the organisers need to spend at least $50-million to upgrade the layout - including converting a baseball field into a new section of track.

ON-AGAIN, OFF-AGAIN

Mexican driver Sergio Perez said in Budapest on Thursday said he was not even sure the sweeping Peraltada corner would remain in the layout - but he was "100% sure" the race would take place in 2015.

"No doubt about it," he asserted. "2013 was a difficult situation due to the time that we had to build the circuit but now there is no doubt."

The Mexicans are not the only ones clamouring for the F1 calendar. "Baku is for 2016," Ecclestone added while being interviewed by F1 business journalist Christian Sylt for Forbes magazine. He was referring to the capital of Azerbaijan, even though the republic at the crossroads of Europe and Asia was originally targeting an inaugural race for 2015.

And as for the on-again, off-again prospect of a New Jersey street race, Ecclestone now thinks the famous Manhattan skyline might feature on the 2016 schedule.

"Somebody said to me the other day that New Jersey seems to have got its act together, got the money and are all in good shape," he said. "Whether or not that is true I don't know.  The soonest it could come on the calendar is 2016."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Hungarian GP this weekend.
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