Austin Grand Prix Gets Week Reprieve

Officials have one week

By Justin Hinton
|  Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011  |  Updated 4:46 PM CDT
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Austin Grand Prix Gets Week Reprieve

Flickr/jdn

If a deal isn't signed by next week, an F1 race won't be coming to Austin after all.

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Next year's organizers for the U.S. Grand Prix have one more week to raise funds before the Texas race is cancelled, said Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone.

Ecclestone orginally wanted a signed contract by Wednesday but extended the deadline. The new date coincides with the World Motor Sport Council's ratification of the 2012 race calendar.

"The deadline hasn't been met, so we are still trying to make it happen," Ecclestone told The Associated Press . "They need to get some money and a pen ... as soon as possible. They know full well. Deadlines are terrible things because people always go to the end of the deadline. But if it isn't all signed before the World Motor Sport Council meeting, it can't happen."

Texas billionaire Red McCombs is one of the financial backers of the race, but several contract disputes have led to the delay in making a final decision. 

F1 scrapped a previous contract with former driver, Tavo Hellmund, over a breach of contract. Instead, they have turned to track developers, Circuit of the Americas. Their officials have said they will pay Formula One's sanctioning fee, however, the long-term financing has not been resolved.

If a contract is finalized before the deadline, this race would mark Formula One's first return to the United States since 2007, however, if it is cancelled, F1 will still make its way back to the U.S. the following year. A 10-year deal places the 2013 race along the Hudson River with a view of the Manhattan skyline.

The 2011 championship concluded in Brazil on Sunday where Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel took the top spot. 

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