COTA ready to pay Bernie for 2012 US GP

COTA says that it is ready to pay Bernie Ecclestone the sanctioning fee for the 2012 US GP – but in the same breath accuses the F1 boss of making “unrealistic and unfeasible demands.”

COTA has signed its own version of the contract presented by Bernie and returned it to him.

A statement said: “Circuit of The Americas has responded to Formula One Management’s contract requirements by agreeing to an immediate cash payment of the sanctioning fee for the 2012 United States Grand Prix (USGP). In addition, Circuit of The Americas has offered to establish an advance payment schedule for USGP races beyond 2012. The offer comes after several weeks of talks, and once accepted, will secure the USGP on the Formula 1 race calendar.”

“We have been ready to send Mr. Ecclestone a sanctioning fee check for some time now,” added COTA’s Bobby Epstein. “He hasn’t received it yet because the new contract presented to us two weeks ago contained unrealistic and unfeasible demands. We have signed and returned a contract similar to what we anticipated receiving.

“This race should be a reality, but if we are going to make the 2012 race date, we must receive a countersignature in the coming few days. We believe the teams, fans, sponsors and local business share our enthusiasm and hope that their voices will be heard.”

Asked by this blog about Epstein’s comments, Bernie said:

“The guy that was going to do it in the first place [Tavo Hellmund] didn’t think it was unfeasible, and it’s not for him [Epstein] to say that it was unfeasible. What he should do is go to the bank and see if he can get some money.

“If he does what we asked him to do he’ll have a contract.”

13 Comments

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13 responses to “COTA ready to pay Bernie for 2012 US GP

  1. Let’s talk about it….Friends of Formula 1 austin Texas, on Facebook and LinkedIn.

  2. Sean

    The Bernie show continues.

    The sooner he steps away from F1 the better. Sport should not just be about money.

  3. pjg

    Why does F1 in America continue to be so maddening? Motorsport works here; we are all aware of that. F1 is unique, yes, but still a sellable proposition to the American public. Time, persistence, and promotion would help popularize F1. But instead, it’s like an endless, unceasing stream of shenanigans by all parties involved. Tony George, USF1, COTA, Bernie… UGGGHHH!

    Being an F1 fan in the US can seem so lonely at times 😦

    Hopefully the Jersey race happens. We American fans need an F1 GP, please! How thrilling it would be to have a congregation of the hardcore American fans with the worldwide fans of F1!

    And hopefully TSA doesn’t treat the drivers and international fans as they did Simona de Silvestro…

  4. Abuelo Paul

    Whatever my feelings are regarding the monopolising of F1 by Mr Ecclestone, with 19 other circuits all signing the standard contract issued by FOM, I think the Americans (COTA) are rather impudent in rewriting a contract to suit their needs. They are coming into F1, not inviting F1 to go to America.The have to play by the same rules as everyone else, like it or not. Damned cheek of it. Before long they’ll be believing they invented the sport. In this case Bernie, you are the lesser of 2 evils.

    • Steven

      Unless you are privy to whatever changes Bernie made to the contract after rewriting it for COTA, I don’t see how your statement makes much sense. For all we know the changes COTA made could be just putting it back the the same agreement that Bernie had made to Tavo.

      • The point is that nobody changes a contract to suit themselves and send it back to Bernie. If you to want to be in the game, you play by his rules. They got a tougher contract because they are the very same people who failed to fund Tavo Hellmund contract which led to it being cancelled, so Bernie needed some guarantees that they wouldn’t screw up again…

    • mvi

      “19 other circuits all signing the standard contract issued by FOM”. How do we know there is one standard contract, in particular when it comes to price? It seems the amounts paid by the other circuits vary by quite a lot.

      • Abuelo Paul

        The truth is they’re not complying with the terms and conditions of the contract. And as we make the contract, we will award the event or not award the event. They are not awarding anything to us.

        “It’s normal,” he added.

        Bernies own words.

      • mvi

        Still, it is interesting that Bernie presented them with a new contract two weeks ago, rather than the original one. I wonder what the changes were.

  5. So this suggests they expected a contract from Bernie that did not contain “unrealistic and unfeasible demands”. How naive of them.

  6. DuncF1

    “Before long they’ll be believing they invented the sport.”

    Before you know it, the World Championship will just be two rounds. Austin and New Jersey 😉

  7. CTP

    this seems like an attempt at saving face from cota… look, we sent a signed contract but bernie refused to sign it, it’s not our fault!
    were they surprised that bernie made unreaslitic and unfeasible demands?!
    it sucks for cota, and austin/texas, and the us… but day-um, were they really that naive?

  8. Steve W

    Don’t know what the “unrealistic and unfeasible demands” are, but I say good for COTA for sticking it back to Bernie. Bernie gets his money and there’s no reason everyone else should have to go bankrupt over an F1 race…

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