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.”