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Formula One boss eyes New York for grand prix

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Formula One cars could be racing with a backdrop of the Manhattan skyline if Bernie Ecclestone gets his way.

The F1 boss wants to help set up a New York Grand Prix in 2012.

"(It would be) in front of Manhattan in New Jersey, with the skyscrapers in the background," Ecclestone said in Thursday's Gazzetta dello Sport. "Fifteen minutes from the center of New York to the circuit would be marvelous."

Ecclestone appears to be interested in widening F1's footprint and appeal in the United States. On March 15, Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials confirmed that they were in discussions with the series to return to the Brickyard. Ecclestone had told an English publication that "we'd like to get back there," referring to Indianapolis, possibly as soon as 2011.

There hasn't been a grand prix in the United States since 2007, when Lewis Hamilton won in Indianapolis to signal the end to eight years at the circuit.

Before that, Phoenix hosted three grand prix from 1989 to 1991, while Watkins Glen in upstate New York hosted the F1 from 1961 to 1980.

Ecclestone also left the door open for former Renault owner Flavio Briatore to return to the series. The Italian was banned for life after an attempt at race-fixing at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. He overturned the ban in a French court, but Formula One's governing body is appealing the decision.

Briatore recently ruled out a return to the series.

"Why not?" Ecclestone said. "It depends on what he wants to do, but I think he could have a role promoting Formula One."

The 79-year-old Ecclestone also said he has no intention of leaving Formula One any time soon.

"I am happy to continue. I'm well and I'm enjoying myself," he said. "When I'm not, then I will stop. At the moment we are going through some difficulties and when things are going badly you should lead from the front to try and improve them."

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  • How About?
    I have always thought they should run the Rolex course at Daytona. A street course race in New York would be a great show but with everything they would have to deal with getting it together I do not see it happening.
  • The Problem
    I know the location that Bernie is referring to and there are a few slight issues. One, he would have to knock down a few abandoned warehouses/factories which probably have asbestos issues. That would probably require court/EPA approval which would take about a year or two. Then they'd probably have to build a semi-permanent road course, pit buildings, etc, which would also require a good amount of planning and permissions. The NY/NJ liberals would be all over it and it is extremely frustrating to get anything done. I think it would be great because it would attract F1 and many other racing series. I've done a few feasibility studies on it already and I'd be happy to share with anyone, you can e-mail me at jaingorn@gmail.com . The last major hurdle is transportation. NJ Transit provides transportation to the area so one could connect from NY-Penn Station and Newark-Penn Station. Additionally, Amtrak could also service some traffic from Philadelphia and below. There would probably need to be ferry/bus service just to prevent any overcapacity issues on the trains. Oh - and did I mention security? All in all it would be EXTREMELY messy but I'm up for the challenge.

    -Jason
  • Return to Detroit
    Let's not forget the years in Detroit, and
    Belle Isle now supports racing, plus it also
    borders the city of Windsor, in Ontario, Canada.
  • The 'Real' Problem...
    "At the moment we are going through some difficulties and when things are going badly you should lead from the front to try and improve them."
    Bernie needs to go, period! Not racing at IMS or any other venue for that matter all goes back to him not getting the $$$ he asked for. Teams are being asked and then forced to cut budgets, but Ernie just continues to push for more and more money, most of which ends up in his pockets. I am amazed the powers in F1 keep putting up with him.
  • The 'Real' Problem...
    "At the moment we are going through some difficulties and when things are going badly you should lead from the front to try and improve them."
    Bernie needs to go, period! Not racing at IMS or any other venue for that matter all goes back to him not getting the $$$ he asked for. Teams are being asked and then forced to cut budgets, but Ernie just continues to push for more and more money, most of which ends up in his pockets. I am amazed the powers in F1 keep putting up with him.
  • Really?
    Someone's going to pony up $50m for an event that will have tv ratings in the IRL range?
  • Long Beach F-1
    Story seems to forget about Formula one racing in Long Beach, California.
  • Bernie Babbles
    I can't see NY ponying up the $75million or so it takes to fill Bernie's pockets. Nor can I see the NY City admin closing down streets and complying with F1's stringent pits, lanes, access, party tents mandates. That is UNLESS some deep-pocket sponsor steps up (ok, Bloomberg)and pays the freight.

    Still hopeful (foolishly so, I know)F1 will return to IMS soon. Would love to hear the conversation between Cowboy Bernard and F1 Bernie during negotiations...yee haw.
  • Two-timer
    Ecclestone is so predictable you can write a script. The moment he declares interest in location A and begins discussions, he immediately announces he's much more interested in locations B and C.

    Obviously, he wants to create panic so people will give him the store and attract the race to their venue. But equally obvious is the fact that he is painfully obvious. He does this every time with every venue.


    Obviously, he wants to create panic so people will give him the store and attract the race to their venue. But equally obvious is the fact that he is painfully obvious. He does this every time with every venue.

    Hats off to Tony George for attracting this race in the first place, and then for standing up to our buddy Bernie.
  • Prediction
    Bernie will swing a deal with Bloomberg News for sponsorship of a USGP in the Meadowlands parking lot...

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