Bernie Ecclestone is reportedly working on a deal that could see Formula One race around the streets of New York City. Speaking to Italian sports newspaper, Gazzetta dello Sport, Eccelstone is apparently trying to put something together in time for 2012, and the race, it is hoped, would run around Manhattan, 15 minutes from the centre of New York City itself.
Ecclestone has been on a street circuit drive recently, adding Singapore and Valencia to the calendar, along with existing races Albert Park and what many consider to be the sport’s flagship event, Monaco. Even Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is making a return this year, the Canadian Grand Prix being held in Parc Jean-Drapeau on the man-made Ile Notre-Dame island in Montreal.
Further to this, Ecclestone is still keen on adding a Rome event to the schedule, the Formula One circus racing around Italy’s capital. This is despite Monza having recently been granted an extension to its deal to host the Italian Grand Prix until 2016. On this, Ecclestone insists Monza will retain the race and alternating the event is not even a consideration.
The promoters seem resolute. I repeat once again that there’s never been the intention of taking Monza off the calendar, and alternating hasn’t even been considered. Monza is Monza and it’s the venue of the Italian GP. Rome will be something else. Bernie Ecclestone.
On the possibility of a New York Grand Prix, Eccelstone stated the following:
I’m trying to do it for 2012. It would be in front of Manhattan, in New Jersey, with the skyscrapers in the background, 15 minutes from the heart of New York to the circuit, it would be marvellous. Bernie Ecclestone.
New York City has been mooted as a possible venue for a United States Grand Prix before, but the logistics of shutting down a busy, metropolitan hub for a weekend always seemed crazy. Both Albert Park and Parc Jean-Drapeau aren’t quite as busy and although close to their respective city centres, are far enough away to not infringe too much on the day-to-day running of the city.
North America has endured a shakey relationship with Formula One, ultimately resulting in the grand prix (held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway) being pulled from the calendar after 2007. The 2005 event turned into a complete farce with only six cars running after Michelin discovered a problem with their tyres and the relevant teams abandoning the race on safety grounds after a solution was not found.
To return to the US would be great for Formula One, and although Canada is back on the calendar, many feel it isn’t enough given the size of the American automobile market. New York would be a great place to host a race, despite how immense the logistics of it seem when initially running the idea through the mind.