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Ecclestone considered permanent F1 facility in New Jersey

Formula One Group chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has said he considered staging New Jersey's Grand Prix of America on a permanent track, rather than the street circuit that has suffered numerous difficulties in its development schedule.

Having been initially scheduled to make its debut as the United States’ second race last season, organisers of the Grand Prix of America are now targeting a place on the 2015 calendar. The New York street race, which had been scheduled for June 1 on the motor racing series’ provisional 2014 calendar, has been postponed while organisers attempt to secure “restructured financial arrangements for a 2015 race”.

The addition of the race, which would have taken place against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, has been a long-time goal of Ecclestone. He told the Pitpass website: “We looked at a permanent circuit in that area three years ago.” The Grand Prix of America organisers are led by Leo Hindery, managing partner of private equity fund InterMedia Partners.

However, Ecclestone said that if New Jersey’s goes ahead, the promoter “may not be Hindery. Maybe the venue will be a little bit different.” Pitpass said this may again raise the potential of a permanent circuit, with Ecclestone stating race organisers “are in breach” and “if anyone comes in today they can have it (the race).”

Speaking following last month’s postponement of New Jersey’s 2014 race, Hindery had said: “Our entire management team and our supporters in New Jersey, New York and throughout the Formula One community obviously want to see the inaugural Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial take place as soon as possible. Bringing a world-class race to the world's largest media market is a huge undertaking that has required balancing construction of our road course, without tapping any public money, with the sport's own timing demands.”