Date: 8th December 2011 at 10:42am
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Formula One looks set to return to the USA next season after the Circuit of the Americas struck a deal with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

The race had been under real threat of being cancelled after construction of the proposed $250 million purpose built track was suspended in November following a contract dispute between the race organisers.

The circuit was reportedly set to be ready to host their first United States Grand Prix towards the end of the 2012 Formula One season and previous reports had suggested that they would continue to host the event until 2021.

Funding was reportedly in place and the construction work was supposedly on schedule.

Over 300 people had been working on the site to prepare the circuit, but they were told on November 15 to down tools indefinitely, while a contractual dispute between Formula One officials and the track promoters was resolved.

It had initially been reported that the Texas promoters had yet to receive an official contract from Formula One Management, however Bernie Ecclestone later clarified the situation, explaining that a previous agreement with United States Grand Prix chief Tavo Hellmund [Full Throttle Productions] was cancelled as they had been in breech of contract, which left the track developers, the Circuit of The Americas without a contract, hence the suspension of construction.

There then appeared to be doubt over whether the track would pay the required sanctioning fee [£15.8million] to Formula One ahead of the event, which was why a new contract had not been offered.

The Circuit of the Americas were told they had until the World Motor Sport Council meeting in New Delhi on December 7th to resolve the dispute and that appears to have happened.

‘Mr. Ecclestone received his check today. We want to thank the fans supporting us, the local officials and businesses that have encouraged us, the State of Texas, Circuit of The Americas’ staff and Bernie himself,’ Red McCombs founding partner of Circuit of The Americas told Autosport Magazine.

Bobby Epstein, founding partner of Circuit of The Americas added: ‘Our investors have believed all along that this project has tremendous benefit for our region, and provides a strong economic engine for the future,’

‘We remain committed to reaching our goal of being valuable community partners as we establish a platform for sports and entertainment. We’re glad that Tavo’s vision of bringing F1 to the people of Texas will become a reality.’


Following the announcement that Austin would remain on the 2012 Formula One calendar, construction at the track resumed and officials remain confident that the circuit will be completed in time for November 18.