Formula 1 Grand Prix in West New York/Weehawken Postponed Until 2016

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Hudson County, New Jersey’s Formula 1 Grand Prix race, where the course would operate through West New York and Weehawken, was once scheduled for 2013, but now won’t be raising a checkered flag until 2016 the earliest.

Red Bull Formula 1 race car in the midst of a race. Photo courtesy of Autoblog.com.
Red Bull Formula 1 race car in the midst of a race. Photo courtesy of Autoblog.com.

By Sarah Introna/Hudson County View

Bernie Ecclestone, Chief Executive of the Formula 1 racing circuit, was quoted by Forbes saying the earliest New Jersey could see a race on the calendar is 2016. Formula 1 typically only hosts 20 races per year.

And 2016 is only going to be a possibility if the organizers can finish the much needed road improvements in Weehawken and West New York.

“They have to do a lot of road work, a lot of resurfacing, curbs and setting up the whole operation. It’s an awful lot of work.” Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner told Hudson County View. “If they don’t start working by the spring, then they’ll miss 2016 also.”

According to Forbes, The Grand Prix of America is the only proposed race to have been dropped. The race’s organizers weren’t able to raise the $100 million to sustain a race that attracts fans in the tens of thousands.

In a statement to The Record on Thursday, race promoter Leo Hindery seems to be committed as ever to bring one of the world’s most popular sports to New Jersey without “tapping into public funds” to build the road course.

“Our team is dedicated to bringing the inaugural Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial to the New York-New Jersey region as soon as possible,” Hindery said in the article. “We are currently balancing the sport’s own timing demands with other considerations.”

The 3.2 miles course is to run in a circle through Weehawken and West New York along the Hudson River and up to Boulevard East. New York City’s skyline will serve as its majestic backdrop.

During a ride along with popular F1 racers in 2012, West New York Mayor Felix Roque was excited to turn the world’s attention away from Manhattan.

“I’m incredibly happy to be a part of this world event that will have recognition around the world,” Roque told The Jersey Journal. “This is the second miracle on the Hudson and I can’t wait to experience the economic boom that will come with it; it’s something we desperately need.”

It was made clear from day one that Weehawken, West New York and the neighboring municipalities would not contribute to its funding.

The organizers spent thousands of dollars replacing sidewalks and curbs from 47th to 51st street on Boulevard East, Turner explained.

“If it happens, it would be very nice, but if it doesn’t happen we already got a lot of benefits from it,” Turner stated.

Roque did not return calls from Hudson County View on Monday.