Formula 1 Grand Prix has owed West New York $500k since Nov., lawsuit says


The town of West New York is suing a subsidiary company of the Formula 1 Grand Prix, a race which was originally set to take place in Weehawken and West New York in 2013, for failing to make a contracted payment of $500,000, a lawsuit says. 


In a suit filed in Bergen County Superior Court on June 11, the Town of West New York alleges that, along with Weehawken, they entered into an agreement with the Port Imperial Racing Association on or about June 21, 2013.

PIRA had the rights from Formula 1 Racing to stage the Formula 1 Grand Prix in New Jersey and both municipalities were owed monies for planing and granting permission to host the event in Weehawken and West New York, the suit says.

After PIRA made a $1 million payment on Jan. 31, 2012, and then a $250,000 payment on March 7, 2014, they have been negligent of paying off the outstanding balance of $500,000 since November 1, 2014, according to the lawsuit.

At a press conference at the Weehawken Ferry Terminal in October 2011, Gov. Chris Christie joined West New York Mayor Felix Roque and Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, among various other officials, to announce that the two North Hudson municipalities would host the Formula 1 Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial in the summer of 2013.

The projected 3.2 mile race course, which would span from John F. Kennedy Boulevard East in West New York through the Avenue at Port Imperial in Weehawken, boasts panoramic, scenic views of the Manhattan skyline.

However, the major sports event has been delayed twice and appears to be in serious jeopardy at this point and time.

“Formula 1 made an agreement with the Town of West New York and we’re asking for the payment we are owed,” said town spokesman Pablo Fonseca. “The complaint, the facts, speak for themselves.”

Although Weehawken is not involved in the lawsuit, Turner told Hudson County View that “it’s not promising at all” the race ever happens, also noting that Formula 1 was not included in this year’s Weehawken budget.

“They paid a large sum of what they owed us, but they stopped paying last year, so we took them out of the budget for 2015,” Turner stated over the phone.

“I don’t have any indication that the Formula 1 Grand Prix is moving forward … so much assistance was needed from the state government, county permits, on all levels, so I’d say it’s not promising at all,” Turner said, further stating that he hasn’t heard from them in over a year.

A representative from Formula 1 could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

A copy of the lawsuit can be read here.

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  1. Well, it’s sure a change for the town of WNY to be the plaintiff in a lawsuit. Thanks to slimy Roque and company, this town is usually the defendant.

    Formula 1 was a stupid idea from the start. If it ever gets here, I hope Roque is in jail and will have to watch it from the inmates lounge,

  2. I think that the Formula One would be something great for the towns of West New York and Weehawken. The Gran Prix is a huge sports event that attracts world wide attention aside from celebrities. This may produce income for Bergenline businesses from the spectators as well as a different reason to speak about West New York, (hinting on West New York always being on the news for political scandals.) This could bring much needed positive attention. Besides, this would uplift West New York’s place to the level of those other famous Gran Prix cities such as Monaco, Toronto, Abu Dhabi, and Milan.

  3. I disagree with OcalJr . Formula One would be a terrible addition to the towns of West New York and Weehawken and would only attract minimal attention in the first few years. Afterwards, the damages incurred by the incompetent race organizers and builders as well as the induced traffic and noise would be a logistical nightmare to a town already struggling to get their owed payments from this organization. It may produce additional income, but the long term expenses of such an ordeal will far outweigh any short term benefits that this event can offer. A rushed, and poorly thought out concept doomed to fail because of the incompetence and crookedness of the managers.