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Bernie: 'Mexico, New Jersey unlikely'

2013-11-03 19:04

JERSEY OFF AGAIN? F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said its unlikely that Mexico and New Jersey would be included on the 2014 race calender. Image: AFP

ABU DHABI, United Arabs Emirates - Formula One races in Mexico and New Jersey are unlikely to make it to the 2014 race calender, the sport's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said on Sunday.

Both events were on a 22-race calendar published in September but the 83-year-old, speaking at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, doubted they would stay on a final version due to be approved by the governing body in December.


Ecclestone said when asked about New Jersey whose debut has already been postponed once: "I would doubt whether it's going to happen. It's not definite that it will or won't (go ahead) but I doubt that it does."

That June 1 race is listed as part of a 'triple header' on successive weekends in between Monaco and Canada.

Mexico, whose race is scheduled for Nov. 16 as the penultimate round of the season at Mexico City's Hermanos Rodriguez circuit, also has an asterisk against it on the provisional calendar.

"Definitely not," said Ecclestone before correcting himself: "Probably not".

F1 has never had more than 20 races in a season, with 2013's calendar running to 19 rounds. If Mexico and New Jersey fail to make the final version the main novelties will be Austria - returning in June after a decade off the calendar - and a new race in Russia's Winter Olympic venue Sochi in October.

India has been dropped for 2014 and South Korea's race remains doubtful with the local organisers seeking a contract renegotiation for the loss-making event.

Mexico last hosted F1 in 1992 but recent media reports have suggested the time frame is too tight to make the necessary improvements to the outdated facilities and a postponement to 2015 looks more realistic.

New Jersey, whose 'Grand Prix of the Americas' would have been the second US race on the calendar along with Austin, Texas, and held against a backdrop of New York's Manhattan skyscrapers, has struggled with finances.

It was due to make its debut in 2012 but had to be postponed. It was absent from a draft calendar circulated to teams earlier in 2012 and then reinstated despite considerable scepticism in the paddock.

Ecclestone was quoted by CNN in August, before the race was added to the calendar, as saying New Jersey was "not on the cards' because the organisers "haven't got any money".

Team managers said last month the race would pose an almost impossible logistical challenge if it were to go ahead in its current slot.

Read more on:    bernie eccelstone  |  mexico  |  new jersey  |  f1  |  motorsport

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