Austin's Circuit of The Americas officials say they are ready to pay the sanctioning fee for next year's Formula 1 race in the United States, but will only sign a contract on their own terms.
Amid growing uncertainty about the future of the event, with Bernie Ecclestone suggesting the event will be dropped at next month's meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council, COTA has declared itself prepared to sort out a last minute deal to prevent that happening. In a statement issued on Thursday, officials at the track – for which construction has been placed on hiatus – revealed that they were willing to pay the sanctioning fee for next year's race immediately, as well as sort out a payment schedule for future events.
However, COTA principal Bobby Epstein said that the circuit is not willing to accept all the terms of a race contract that it was offered recently by Ecclestone, so has instead proposed a revised version.
"We have been ready to send Mr. Ecclestone a sanctioning fee check for some time now," explained 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 businesses share our enthusiasm and hope that their voices will be heard."