Tavo Hellmund held a press conference this afternoon to dispel myths and rumors and to actually offer up the truth.
“We don’t have a contract. As a project we have failed to fulfil our financial obligations to Formula 1.”
They breached multiple issues since as late as May. Bernie Ecclestone would send requests on how they could fix things, but the failed to do so.
He is worried, but hopeful that there will still be a grand prix.
Hellmund said the money part is not his role. When a reporter asked who is supposed to pay, he answered, “the partners of COTA.”
What on earth is his role then at this point? He really couldn’t answer this, just that there’s been an offer to buy him out of the situation, his group has tried to buy out the investors. Of course then the bombshell came out: it’s underfunded – not on purpose, however.
Hellmund’s lawyer stepped in when he started saying he had accepted a buyout. His lawyer said they are negotiating about it.
Hellmund said he would be willing to step out of the way to let the project continue. He would not say how much money this buyout would pay him, but it sure as hell would be interesting to know, considering the lack of money.
He said they met with Bobby Epstein and other COTA people with Bernie Ecclestone a couple weeks ago to try to work something out. They couldn’t come to an agreement, which is why Ecclestone made all his comments.
There’s a rumor out there that when the contract made with Hellmund’s Full Throttle Productions was thrown out, one was written for Circuit of the Americas, and the officials refused to sign it. Hellmund said there is a new unsigned contract now….which must be that one.
The race date was changed to November, not because of the hot weather, but because construction was not on track at that point. The race was always supposed to be on the calendar with Montreal.
And yet despite everything going on, he claims that there’s a greater than 50% chance of 2012 happening. Huh. Yet there isn’t money for the sanctioning fee, and he has no idea about the finances. Meanwhile COTA people have not said a word.
Questions get answered and create more questions. What a bizarre situation.
One fact remains: the track is going to be built. Tavo Hellmund holds contracts for a MotoGP race and an Australian V8 Supercars race, both in 2013. Neither of these contracts are affected. If it takes until 2013, 2014 to sort out with Formula 1 and Ecclestone, so be it. But the track will still happen, and it will definitely get a contract, how could you let Tilke design something and not run Formula 1 cars on it?