2012 U.S. Grand Prix in doubt

    The purpose-built circuit in Texas was due to host a round of the Formula One world championship from 2012 onwards.

    Story highlights

    • Construction has been suspended on the venue for the 2012 U.S. Grand Prix
    • The circuit in Austin, Texas is set to host a Formula One race next season
    • Organizers say work will resume when they get official permission to host the race
    • A street circuit in New Jersey is also due to host an F1 race from 2013 onwards
    The proposed Formula One grand prix in Austin, Texas next year has been cast into doubt after construction work on the purpose-built circuit was suspended.
    The new Circuit of The Americas is due to stage the event for the next 10 years, but organizers claim to have not yet received the contract granting them permission to host the race, which will be called the United States Grand Prix.
    "Circuit of The Americas, a premier motor sports racing and entertainment venue being developed in Austin, Texas, are suspending further construction of the project," read a statement released by organizers.
    "While construction at Circuit of The Americas has progressed as scheduled with over 300 workers at the construction site daily, all work will suspend immediately.
    "The delivery of the Formula One Grand Prix race contract will allow construction operations to resume."
    "We have spent tremendous resources preparing for the Formula One and MotoGP championship races," founding partner of the circuit Bobby Epstein said. "But the failure to deliver race contracts gives us great concern.
    "We believe the United States is vital for the future of Formula One and its teams and sponsors ... We hope that Texas will not be left behind. More than 100,000 fans have expressed an interest in purchasing tickets for Formula One alone."
    F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone rejected the claims of Austin's organizers, telling CNN a contract had been sent to the venue but the necessary financial guarantees involved in hosting a grand prix have not been met.
    Ecclestone also revealed no contract has been signed between the Circuit of The Americas and Formula One Management and that the race would not go ahead unless strict financial criteria are adhered to.
    MotoGP, an elite division motorbike racing competition, is also due to be staged on the circuit over a 10-year period beginning in 2013.
    The United States Grand Prix is one of two American races set to enter the F1 world championship calendar over the next couple of seasons.
    Last month it was announced a 10-year deal had been agreed to host a race on a street circuit in New Jersey from 2013 onwards.
    The U.S. last hosted a grand prix at Indianapolis in 2007, but terms could not be agreed between Formula One management and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the race to be continued.
    The 2011 Formula One season will come to a close on November 27, with the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.