• United States Grand Prix

USGP founder sues partners

ESPNF1 Staff
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The suit is not seeking to halt the race scheduled for November at the Circuit of the Americas © Sutton Images

The founder of the new United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas - Tavo Hellmund - has sued his partners for an improper and unlawful takeover.

Autoweek reports that Hellmund has filed suit in an Austin court against his partners after investors withheld the promised funding for the project and caused the initial contract to be cancelled by Bernie Ecclestone. The investors - including major backers Bobby Epstein and Red McCombs - then negotiated a last minute contract themselves with Ecclestone.

While the race was ultimately saved, Hellmund claims that it was his vision of more than 20 years that led to the race coming to Austin and that his partners "executed an improper and unlawful takeover of the very project he conceived, and may well have it careening toward a wall." He also says in the law suit that he has not been paid for his role at the head of the project since September 2011.

Although seeking damages, Hellmund is not looking to halt the hosting of the race, which currently has a date of November 18. Construction continues at the site, with the latest images showing the pit and paddock complex being built.