This certainly doesn’t look good!

FIA President Jean Todt has added to the ever-growing doubts about the viability of the Formula 1 circus making a return to the United States in 2012 at a purpose-built circuit in Austin, Texas.

With a ten-year contract for the event recently being signed by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, recent rumours have cast doubt on the status of the project when Ecclestone took the rather odd step of stating that the promoters faced serious financial penalties if the maiden event in 2012 did not go ahead.

Now, it has emerged that Ecclestone is again touting the prospect of an event in New York, after the short-lived proposal of a race at New Jersey’s Liberty Park fell through, with the mogul telling Autosport: “We are talking to them and trying to do our best. Let’s see what happens.”

Ecclestone also hosed down speculation that Spain’s second race at Valencia could be moved to Majorca in the coming years, although he admitted to meeting with representatives of the circuit.

"There is no discussion for that," he said.

Meanwhile, FIA President Todt was a guest at the recent NASCAR event at Daytona last weekend as part of a fact-finding mission to discover why NASCAR has such a strong foothold in the US motorsports’ scene.

When asked about Austin’s prospects, Todt’s reply was certainly not pleasant reading for the event promoters, telling Fox Sports: “At the moment, it’s just a project. I don’t think something will happen next year.”

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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.