Austin Grand Prix officials says they are baffled by suggestions from Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone that next year's race is in doubt, as they insist that preparations at the new track are well on course.
Ecclestone informed team principals at the Indian Grand Prix that he had some concerns the Austin event may not happen, and he subsequently confirmed to reporters that there were issues within the promoting company. Speaking in Abu Dhabi this weekend, Ecclestone reiterated that Austin chiefs were facing an "uphill struggle" and that he could not guarantee the race would take place.
Steve Sexton, president of the Circuit of the Americas, responded on Saturday night to Ecclestone's comments.
"Our funding is secured, and construction is on schedule, so we don't understand Mr. Ecclestone's comments," Sexton said in a statement published by the Austin Statesman newspaper. "He has expressed great interest in the Austin race and in expanding the F1 brand into the United States."
However, Tavo Hellmund, whose Full Throttle Productions company won the right to stage the United States Grand Prix, warned that the track must ensure it gets things sorted before Ecclestone loses total faith in the project.
"Mr. Ecclestone has been incredibly patient with the challenges here in Austin," he said. "Full Throttle Productions has worked tirelessly to bring the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix to Austin. It is now the responsibility of the Circuit of the Americas to make this project happen before Mr Ecclestone's patience runs out."