Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has issued a reminder to promoters of the United States Grand Prix that they will face stiff financial penalties if the race doesn’t go ahead as scheduled, sparking a wave of speculation that the future of the event is in question.

Ecclestone USGPThe contract with Tavo Hellmund’s company involves the construction of a Hermann Tilke designed monstrosity circuit outside Austin, Texas.

With the hardly glittering history of the United States Grand Prix at venues past (a total of 62 races spanning nine different circuits) and with a lack of information forthcoming from the event’s organisers, the scepticism is hardly unwarranted.

With Ecclestone only able to reveal that the backers for the event are US-based, their identities (or even their existence, dare we speculate!) remains unknown.

The 2012 schedule is also viewed as optimistic, given the narrow timeframe and the current economic climate, but Ecclestone remains bullish about the event’s prospects.

“That’s what the contract says,” he told Austin’s American-Statesman newspaper. “It might turn out to be expensive for [them]. We’ve got some penalty clauses, although I wouldn’t want to use them.

Here’s hoping not! You certainly don’t want to land up on the wrong side of Mr E!

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.