Austin prepared to pay F1 fee
Circuit of the Americas prepared to pay for the United States Grand Prix - but not on the terms suggested by Bernie Ecclestone
Bosses at the Circuit of the Americas have agreed to pay the sanctioning fee required for the 2012 United States Grand Prix and has said it is prepared to put a payment scheme in place for future races - but seemingly not at the terms suggested by Bernie Ecclestone.
The event was thrown into doubt when it was revealed that work had been halted at the circuit near Texas, with contractual issues between Ecclestone and the venue making it appear likely that the race would be dropped from the 2012 schedule.
With Ecclestone having set a deadline for the circuit to show it could put the funds required together, bosses have now confirmed that it is ready to make an 'immediate cash payment of the sanctioning fee for the 2012 United States Grand Prix' and had 'offered to establish an advance payment schedule for USGP races beyond 2012'.
A statement from the circuit said that the offer would secure the race on the calendar once accepted by Ecclestone, although it also revealed it hadn't actually signed Ecclestone's contract and had instead sent back an amended version that didn't contain the 'unrealistic and unfeasible demands' of the original.
"We have been ready to send Mr. Ecclestone a sanctioning fee cheque for some time now," said Bobby Epstein, founding partner of Circuit of The Americas. "He hasn't received it yet because the new contract presented to us two weeks ago contained unrealistic and unfeasible demands.
"We have signed and returned a contract similar to what we anticipated receiving. This race should be a reality, but if we are going to make the 2012 race date, we must receive a countersignature in the coming few days. We believe the teams, fans, sponsors and local business share our enthusiasm and hope that their voices will be heard."