AUGUST 12, 2011
Austin welcomes November date change
Organisers of next year's US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, have welcomed Bernie Ecclestone's confirmation that he plans a November 18 race, rather than the initial June date.
The original plan was to run the race back-to-back with the Canadian GP in mid season, but Ecclestone said that memories of the Dallas race in 1984, when temperatures over 100 degrees caused the track surface to break up, show that a late season race, likely twinned with Brazil, is more workable.
Although Ecclestone is primarily responsible for the F1 calendar, the schedule remains provisional until ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council later this year.
Austin's Circuit of the Americas president Steve Sexton said: "First and foremost, we want our fans to have a great experience when they come here. The prospect of milder weather makes that more likely. It also gives us time to better prepare our staff and the thousands of volunteers who will be supporting Formula One race week festivities."
Although the wording of the Texas state funding agreement which will support the event to the tune of $25m says that money can only be released a year before the date of the event, it is not thought that the rescheduling of the race will cause any problems.