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      11-16-2011, 10:07 AM   #155
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      11-16-2011, 11:24 AM   #156
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Based on what I've read, here's what I think the situation is:

* Tavo Hellmund and his Full Throttle Productions (FTP), hold the contract with Bernie and F1 (FOM) to hold the race.
* Tavo is a part of COTA, but doesn't have much money committed
* Epstein and other investors have put the lion's share of money in so far, but have no contractual relationship with FOM. They want the race contract in order to guarantee their investment.
* Tavo probably wants a lot in return for transferring the contract to COTA. His past relationship with Bernie is really his only leverage at this point.
* COTA has suspended track construction in order to force the issue.
* Susan McCombs, Texas Comptroller, is covering her political a** in issuing a statement that Texas funds will not be released prior to the event happening.
* The deadline for this to get resolved is early December when FIA finalize the 2012 F1 schedule.

To my mind, this gives Tavo and Epstein 2-3 weeks to iron out their differences, or else there is no USGP @ Austin in 2012.
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      11-16-2011, 11:47 AM   #157
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      11-16-2011, 12:01 PM   #158
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I may be over simplifying this, but it seems that the builders want a signed contract to continue building. The FOM need the sanctioning fee to sign the contract. The special events fund won't pay the sanctioning fee until the race has shown an economic gain. So...there can't be a track without a contract, there can't be contract without the sanctioning fee, and there can't be a sanctioning fee without a race. To me this sounds like no track, no contract, and no race.
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      11-16-2011, 12:25 PM   #159
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I may be over simplifying this, but it seems that the builders want a signed contract to continue building. The FOM need the sanctioning fee to sign the contract. The special events fund won't pay the sanctioning fee until the race has shown an economic gain. So...there can't be a track without a contract, there can't be contract without the sanctioning fee, and there can't be a sanctioning fee without a race. To me this sounds like no track, no contract, and no race.
Pretty much. Though the funding from the state has been central to this entire plan from the beginning. How is it now conditional on the actual event happening? Someone somewhere must have reneged on some agreement or contract. I just find it hard to believe that it would have advanced to this stage if there were truly this kind of deadlock from the beginning.



Montreal is closer to here than Austin is anyway
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      11-16-2011, 12:49 PM   #160
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Montreal is closer to here than Austin is anyway
Which is why Austin was a stupid choice in the first place. A secondary airport that nearly all international traffic would have to make a connecting flight to, poor infrastructure and public transit and a narrow window for acceptable weather. This had bad idea written all over it from the start. I suppose I'll be planning a trip to NY/NJ for 2013 and will try to hit Belgium or Germany next year.
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      11-16-2011, 12:55 PM   #161
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Looks like it will be dropped any day now unless some miracle happens.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/96270
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      11-16-2011, 01:27 PM   #162
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Looks like it will be dropped any day now unless some miracle happens.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/96270
Its the logical, sensible, and safe decision for Formula 1.
They do not want the issue to be carried over throughout 2012, and wondering if they will go to US or not. Just like Bahrain issue this year.

Plus they can finalize the logistic strategy throughout the race season. Also the race is to be scheduled in November, you do not want the Championship going down the wire and finds out one race is cancelled and favor the champion leader.
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      11-16-2011, 02:06 PM   #163
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Jersey made more sense from the start. No purpose-built track necessary, a metropolitan population of nearly 20 million people, 4 area airports (2 domestic, 2 international) with direct flights to every destination on the globe, a robust infrastructure, a city that the whole world has already heard of, and loads of other attractions in the area. It was a no-brainer and likely a huge factor in the halt of progress in TX.
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      11-16-2011, 02:22 PM   #164
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Jersey made more sense from the start. No purpose-built track necessary, a metropolitan population of nearly 20 million people, 4 area airports (2 domestic, 2 international) with direct flights to every destination on the globe, a robust infrastructure, a city that the whole world has already heard of, and loads of other attractions in the area. It was a no-brainer and likely a huge factor in the halt of progress in TX.
Agreed. Now hopefully they have their ducks in a row and can scrounge up the $25m fee before 2013.
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      11-16-2011, 03:07 PM   #165
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Jersey made more sense from the start. No purpose-built track necessary, a metropolitan population of nearly 20 million people, 4 area airports (2 domestic, 2 international) with direct flights to every destination on the globe, a robust infrastructure, a city that the whole world has already heard of, and loads of other attractions in the area. It was a no-brainer and likely a huge factor in the halt of progress in TX.
I kinda wish both NJ and Austin will happen, maybe if they host in alternate years like German GP.

The NJ track looks nice compare to theoretical "street circuit" like Singapore and Valencia. But also a purpose build track will be nice given the layout published on the Austin GP.

At the moment NJ ones are getting more support from fans and city officials, rather than like Austin, where city doesn't want to spend a dime and all the politics BS.
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      11-16-2011, 03:18 PM   #166
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Oh boy...

http://www.statesman.com/blogs/conte...eady_to_c.html

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Ecclestone says he’s ready to cancel Austin’s F1 race

By American-Statesman staff | Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 12:22 PM

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone said he’s ready to cancel an F1 race planned for Austin next year and that he needs a guarantee or letter of credit that he will be paid from officials with Circuit of the Americas, according to the Press Association.

If a deal is not reached before the final World Motor Sport Council meeting on Dec. 7 in New Delhi, when the final 2012 schedule is officially ratified, Ecclestone said the race would be axed.

“Yes it will be, for sure, 100 percent,” Ecclestone told the Press Association, a British-based news organization.

Ecclestone today said a contract held by Full Throttle Productions for the rights to the race was canceled recently and that circuit organizers have been negotiating with him.

Developers stopped construction at the facility in southeast Travis County yesterday until a dispute over the contract is resolved. “The delivery of the Formula One Grand Prix race contract will allow construction operations to resume,” officials said in a statement.

Speaking for the investors group Tuesday, circuit investor Bobby Epstein said, “I don’t know why Formula One would want to kill this race. The money is in place; the project is on time. All COTA needs is for Formula One to convey the original contracts that were in place for a long time.”

The Press Association today reported that Ecclestone said: “We’ve done everything we bloody well can do to make this race happen.”

The American-Statesman has contacted circuit officials, who are expected to respond today.

According to the Press Association:

Explaining how the situation has spiralled, Ecclestone said: “We had an agreement with Full Throttle Productions.

“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.

“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. He’s happy.

“But these other people haven’t got a contract. All we’ve asked them to do is get us a letter of credit.

“We are looking for security for money they are going to have to pay us. That is via a letter of credit, normally from a bank.

“If people don’t have the money they find it difficult to get the letter of credit, and so we don’t issue a contract.”

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs yesterday announced a change in plans to provide a $25 million a year in state financial incentives to the project, saying a first payment would not be made until after the initial F1 race is held as currently scheduled on Nov. 18, 2012. Previously, it was thought that the payment could be made at any point up to a year in advance of the race.

Combs has been a big supporter of the race since 2008, when Hellmund first pitched the idea to her.

Yesterday she introduced some doubt, citing “recently publicized disagreements between the race right holders and the circuit developers,” slowdowns at the Austin construction site and a potentially competitive F1 race recently awarded to New Jersey as reasons for concern.

Speaking shortly before the construction stoppage was announced, Combs said, “The State of Texas will not be paying any funds in advance of the event. Further, as is the case with all (Major Events Trust Fund) events, each application will be reviewed and analyzed for its likely economic impact, and only after the race occurs would any funds be disbursed.”

No state money has been spent on the F1 race project, Combs emphasized.
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      11-16-2011, 04:13 PM   #167
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First USF1, and now this? And before the Indy organizers problem?
Its like Americans keep tripping over themselves, just can't get F1 right...
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      11-16-2011, 05:36 PM   #168
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First USF1, and now this? And before the Indy organizers problem?
Its like Americans keep tripping over themselves, just can't get F1 right...
It all comes down to funding. The main reason the Indy race is gone is because they couldn't find a title sponsor, which really doesn't surprise me given F1 near invisible market share in terms of sports and auto racing in the US.

This one, again, seems to have come down to the financing. Especially considering the (IMO exorbitant) 25m sanctioning fee, hosting an F1 race is prohibitively expensive for the amount of exposure a sponsor stands to receive. IMO, an ideal sponsor would be a truly multinational company, or one with great success in Europe (or other large F1 markets) looking to penetrate US markets as well. Considering the current global economic climate, this sort of expenditure is a hard bargain.

Combine this with Ecclestone's notoriously "unconventional" (I'm being polite) business practices, the unavailability of public funds / subsidy (understandably), and the amount of races slated to be on future schedules (which FOTA has said they will not agree to) it's really an unfortunate reality that this race will probably not happen.

As for travelling and international exposure, NJ is certainly an easier destination to get to. 3 major airports, the international diversity that NYC provides, etc... BUT - and this maybe somewhat anecdotal - I don't foresee location playing a huge role here, especially in the North American / Americas market. People who want to see the race will find a way to get there. At the USGP at Indy, I was literally surrounded by Brazilians ecstatic to see Barichello. The Tifosi was there in full force, from destinations all over, I've met people from Korea, Japan, all over Europe, Canada, South America, literally all over. It was the best crowd I've ever been a part of at a race. It's certainly not going to hurt NJ that it's easy to get to, but it didn't really hurt that Indy was impossible to get to. If you're ready to fly from Brazil to see a race in the US, you're not going to say "oh fuck it" because it's a little more inconvenient to get to.
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      11-16-2011, 06:04 PM   #169
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If you're ready to fly from Brazil to see a race in the US, you're not going to say "oh fuck it" because it's a little more inconvenient to get to.
Agreed, but Indy's F1 track sucked and attendance dropped each year, even before TireGate. The Austin track is in the middle of nowhere (think Watkins Glen) doesn't have an easy way to get there, not even secondary roads, much less highways, and there are no hotels near the track. Indy was right in the middle of town, so it was possible for folks to not need a car for the race weekend.

I agree that people will come, but once NY/NJ begins, most folks would pick the race with better weather, earlier in the season, nicer accommodations, better transit to and from, etc. Once they announced NY, Austin was dead and it should have never been announced in the first place, typical Bernie BS.
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      11-16-2011, 06:17 PM   #170
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Agreed, but Indy's F1 track sucked and attendance dropped each year, even before TireGate. The Austin track is in the middle of nowhere (think Watkins Glen) doesn't have an easy way to get there, not even secondary roads, much less highways, and there are no hotels near the track. Indy was right in the middle of town, so it was possible for folks to not need a car for the race weekend.

I agree that people will come, but once NY/NJ begins, most folks would pick the race with better weather, earlier in the season, nicer accommodations, better transit to and from, etc. Once they announced NY, Austin was dead and it should have never been announced in the first place, typical Bernie BS.
And those ancillary fans certainly aren't inconsequential in the US, where it's likely impossible to sell out the entire crowd to "true" F1 fans. I'm personally disappointed that the Austin race appears dead, but am absolutely against public expenditure required to entice it. Something to consider is the vast amount of public money that has gone into the "new" races (China, Singapore, Bahrain, India, Abu Dabi)

IMO many factors lead to poor attendance at Indy. Sept 11 certainly did. The era F1 was at Indy was characterized by mostly aerodynamic grip, leading to limited on track action and "boring" races for a casual fan or a crossover fan used to more passing. The marketing was abysmal - living in the closest major market to Indianapolis (Chicago) there was literally NO marketing support, which considering the proximity and diversity in population, is unacceptable. The Michelin debacle was a nail in the coffin.

I think NJ is promising, but as well all know, nothing, NOTHING can be counted on. If we are talking location, I personally think the best venue in the country would be a street race in Miami, which could end up being a "mini Monaco." True Latin/South American interest, a gorgeous locale to put on display, while being a "small" enough city to host a race in the city (as opposed to with the city as a backdrop). It would be a great lead up to the finale in Brazil, and would make a great excuse to visit a warmer climate in November...but now I'm just rambling my own dreams
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      11-16-2011, 06:29 PM   #171
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Agreed, but Indy's F1 track sucked and attendance dropped each year, even before TireGate. The Austin track is in the middle of nowhere (think Watkins Glen) doesn't have an easy way to get there, not even secondary roads, much less highways, and there are no hotels near the track. Indy was right in the middle of town, so it was possible for folks to not need a car for the race weekend.

I agree that people will come, but once NY/NJ begins, most folks would pick the race with better weather, earlier in the season, nicer accommodations, better transit to and from, etc. Once they announced NY, Austin was dead and it should have never been announced in the first place, typical Bernie BS.
Ummm....The Austin track is less than 10 miles from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. And less than 15 miles from the center of downtown Austin. It is definitely not in the middle of no where, unless we have different definitions for that statement.

Also Texas has three of the top ten most poplulated cities in the US. All within easy driving distance of the track location.
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      11-16-2011, 06:33 PM   #172
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Which is why Austin was a stupid choice in the first place. A secondary airport that nearly all international traffic would have to make a connecting flight to, poor infrastructure and public transit and a narrow window for acceptable weather. This had bad idea written all over it from the start. I suppose I'll be planning a trip to NY/NJ for 2013 and will try to hit Belgium or Germany next year.
Something on the West Coast would be nice or even something like Miami. Jersey just doesn't have a good sound to it. F1 needs something upscale. Put it in a vacation spot, make it an inviting destination.
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      11-16-2011, 06:35 PM   #173
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To my mind, this gives Tavo and Epstein 2-3 weeks to iron out their differences, or else there is no USGP @ Austin in 2012.
I just want the track. The US needs a premier racing facility, where ever it is.
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      11-16-2011, 07:05 PM   #174
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http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/201..._1_race_r.html

Let's see if anyone sues. Sounds like the Texas state gov. got hoodwinked about $25million by the organizers in Austin who probably had no right to promise that they would be the only race in the US.
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LOL....let's start a civil war....
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What is that saying again...? Oh yeah, history repeats itself. Sry to the "good ol'e boys"
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Watch out Texas!
Saw this a mile away. lol
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      11-16-2011, 10:09 PM   #175
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Never in a million years would I have imagined that America's only F1 race would be on a crowded residential street in Jersey. This blows!!
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      11-17-2011, 01:46 AM   #176
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