Tag Archives: New York

Jersey City bins Grand Prix plan

Well that was quick – the mayor of Jersey City has refused to give support to the planned F1 race in the area, which was announced only yesterday.

Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said that the F1 race would be completely unsuited to Liberty State Park, and it would have a negative effect on the community:

"After a review of the draft proposal prepared by the City's
Tourism Office, I have come to the same conclusion...that this
type of event is not suited for Liberty State Park.

While we work to attract national and international events to
our city, we must ensure that they are appropriate and will have
the least impact upon the quality of life of our residents and
our community."

A plan had been made to host the New York Grand Prix in Liberty State Park, but simply appeared terrible in every single way. The track was a complete mess, and it was right in the middle of a national park. I’m delighted, and I hope you are too, and so are Friends of Liberty State Park, who were opposing the project:

"Mayor Healy did reach out to me yesterday and we had a very 
constructive conversation.

Instead of a negative wasteful controversy, we can all focus on working together on 
positive efforts to benefit Jersey City and Liberty State Park."

So, where now for plans for a race in New York? I’m delighted about this news, but at the same time would love a race in New York.


New York 2012 race plans revealed – and it may be at night

The planned circuit for the 2012 New York Grand Prix

The planned circuit for the 2012 New York Grand Prix

The plans for the 2012 New York Grand Prix have been revealed, which will be based around Liberty State Park.

The planned track is in Jersey City, is 5.79km (3.6 miles) long, and the event orgainsers have said that they plan to hold the event at night. However, the plan has already come under fire from a local environmental group.
The organisers had this to say:

"With the incredible backdrop of the New York City skyline,
selecting Jersey City for the 2012 Grand Prix Auto Race
Circuit will not only boost ticket sales as the Grand Prix
returns to the United States, but will providing striking
television footage. To maximize the dramatic effect, Jersey
City could possibly follow in Singapore’s footsteps by
holding the finals at night.

Pictured below is a generic circular circuit through Liberty
State Park, which covers a distance of 3.6 miles, the area
would provide the least impact to city functions, and the
greatest possible space to accommodate ticket holders. As
the park has 1,212 acres, with a significant portion dedicated
open space, amble viewing facilities can be erected, with the
potential to hold the largest spectator audience on record.

There are multiple ways to carve out the interior to make the
course challenging with tight turns, great straights, plenty of
options to place the pit, run off zones, team facilities, media
center, and of course the paddock area."

I’ll be blunt – I really don’t like the design. First of all, there is no proper straight, which would lead to absolute minimal overtaking from the start. Secondly, the south section of the track looks like a complete mess, kind of like Fuji Speedway. It just appears like a random sprawl of slow corners, with occasionally quick left-handers thrown in. I’d say that, in this location, this is the only layout that would be possible.

And thirdly, do they really think that they can just blast an F1 race into a national park? And I mean that quite literally – just look to the right of the Liberty Science Centre. The track plan is going straight through the park, and I can’t see the locals being too pleased with an F1 track in the middle of their park. Friends of Liberty State Park agree, saying:

"Whomever has proposed it to Formula I has no clue about the true 
purposes of LSP or about the park’s history of battles to protect 
public access. LSP is not a city property to rent out for the 
weekend and take away from public users who need it more than ever 
for the quality of their lives. LSP is a park for the people and 
is not a commercial venue. It’s arrogant for anyone to consider 
this use for our green haven."

And fourthly, the circuit orgainsers aren’t exactly doing all of the work themselves. Here is the list of what they want Formula One Managment (Bernie Ecclestone’s company) to do:

Planning, developing, logistics, marketing, and all necessary 
preparations to effectively carry out the event.
Structures for media center, paddock and VIP areas, temporary 
meeting rooms, security control tower, pit areas, team facilities, 
clubs, visitor welcome center, hospitality tent, and all other
necessary structures.
Providing ample portable facilities for visitors.
Obtaining all the necessary permits and licenses required to hold the event.
All equipment needed to stage the race as well as staffing.

I’m not a circuit planner, but isn’t that a massive amount of work they are trying to lob towards someone else? I also noticed something else – where are they going to put the pit lane, paddock and media centre? It’s a park, you can’t just exactly blast through it. And, how do they plan to illuminate the entire park and circuit at night?

There’s a lot that I’ve just given out about, but I just don’t feel that this plan can work. What do you think? Is it possible to hold a night race in the middle of a national park in a city?

Ecclestone wants F1 in New York by 2012

Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone

Since 1982, Bernie Ecclestone has been chasing a Grand Prix to be held in New York. Today, in an interview with Gazetta Dello Sport, he has renewed fresh rumours regarding a race in the city.

While Formula 1 once raced in the New York state, Ecclestone has always wanted one in the middle of the city. He said:

[It would be] in front of Manhattan in New Jersey, with the skyscrapers in the
background. Fifteen minutes from the centre of New York to the circuit would
be marvellous.

F1 last raced in America in Indianapolis in 2007. Ecclestone has said many times that he didn’t like the circuit, nor the people he worked with:

It’s all the wrong crowd and the wrong people and they didn’t really… nothing
worked there really, we’d have to have a big change round. But we’d like
to get back there.

I can’t really see how that makes sense. There’s no such thing as a wrong crowd, because attendance has always been high ever since Indianapolis first appeared in the calendar in 2000. The wrong people might be more accurate, in Ecclestone’s mind. It is well knows that Watkins Glen was dropped in the 1980’s because the organisers coudn’t keep up the payments, and the Indianapolis organisers didn’t want to pay Ecclestone’s increased demands for the next contract. So, we can conclude that Bernie has no real excuse, and just wants more money.

My question would lie in the fact that the wouldn’t be many people in America who would want to invest in a New York race. Most new Grands Prix are hosted in Asia and the Middle East, because there are people who are willing to invest huge sums of money in the races. I’m just not sure that there will be enough investment in the New York race, if it ever becomes a reality.

Having said that, I would love the idea of a race in New York, a creative street circuit especially. The one problem is that there would be too many street circuits on the calendar if this race started, which is ample reason to kick Valencia away and never to be seen again.

If you want, you can start designing your own New York street circuit on www.gmap-pedometer.com. You home in on New York, click “start recording”, and double-click on the next part of your course as it unfolds. If you want, you can save the link of your idea and post it here.