• US Grand Prix

Delays cause concerns over inaugural US Grand Prix

ESPNF1 Staff
October 3, 2011 « Mallya sets sights on Renault | Drivers face taxing time in India »
David Coulthard puts the Red Bull show car into what is hoped will be turn two at the Circuit of the Americas race track last month © Getty Images

A behind-the-scenes power struggle at the USA Grand Prix could endanger the ability of organisers to hold the inaugural race in late 2012.

The Austin Statesman, which has been following developments closely, has revealed work at the new Circuit of the Americas venue has slowed of late as a possible change of promoters and management becomes a possibility. "Construction of the grandstands, paddock and medical centre has yet to start ... [but] developers have maintained they are still on schedule and that building will begin soon on what has grown to a 1,100-acre site."

The newspaper reported race promoter Tavo Hellmund had contacted the Texan authorities - who are bankrolling the event to the tune of $250 million over a ten-year period - to ask if a change of management would impact on the deal.

Furthermore, the paper stated Susan Combs, the state's financial officer, had written to Bernie Ecclestone to warn that major investors have not secured the rights to hold the grand prix. She also raised the possibility of a transfer of the contractual rights from Hellmund to a company controlled by some of the investors.