Oh yes, it just keeps getting better. Bernie Ecclestone has now revealed that Tavo Hellmund, the promotor who secured the contract for the United States Grand Prix, was in breach of the terms. Ecclestone says there is absolutely no guarantee he will get paid the funds required to run the race. The investors and people in charge of the Circuit of the Americas do not have the contract, and Bernie says he gave Hellmund SIX months to fix the situation.
The office of the comptroller of Texas has said the race will get no funds ahead of time. The addition of the race in New Jersey doesn’t help that situation, and the track is apparently not subject to get any money until it actually has an economic impact on the area.
If the people with COTA can get proof of credit, this might appease Bernie. He says if there is just a guarantor that the fees would be paid, this wouldn’t be a problem.
Regarding the possibility of the race being pulled from the calendar at the WMSC meeting on December 7, Ecclestone says “yes, it will be, for sure, 100%.”
My head hurts. This is more ridiculous than a soap opera.
UPDATE: Susan Combs, the comptroller mentioned above, is getting into serious WTF territory now. As stated, she made a statement saying funds wouldn’t be given in advance. Adam Cooper just posted this letter she sent to Bernie Ecclestone back in May 2010. He also spoke to her at that year’s British GP where he asked her about taxpayer criticism. Her response was “the legislation is a done deal.”
And now she’s taking the side of the taxpayers while completely blowing it with what she promised several months ago.
Additionally it looks like EVERYTHING is being removed from the construction site, as you can see from this tweet and picture.
Thanks a lot, Texas politics.
Photo from Flickr user Nick J. Webb.