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New Jersey F1 Race On Hold, Street Circuit Not Ready

 
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Circuit layout for Grand Prix of America

Circuit layout for Grand Prix of America

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Formula 1 racing in the U.S. has had a rough time over the five years since its ignominious last appearance at Indy. The Circuit of the Americas is rapidly shaping up as the new center of American F1 racing, but there is--or was--hope that a New Jersey street circuit might soon join it.

That hope appears to be dashed for the 2013 season, however, as Sebastian Vettel has rated the proposed circuit as "nowhere near ready" after a preview drive, and Bernie Ecclestone has now told the BBC (via SpeedTV) that the event would definitely not be on the 2013 calendar--with a proviso that if the necessary improvements are made, it will be added back on to the agenda.

The problem with the New Jersey street circuit appears to be the surface itself. Low-slung, aero-sensitive F1 cars can't tolerate much in the way of bumps, dips, and other imperfections, and the main issue appears to be amount of crown to the road surface--something that's not easily changed.

Add to that the need for as many safety allowances (run off room, catch fences, barriers, curbing, etc.) and the expensive, time-requiring hurdles for the New Jersey event look difficult to overcome in the next year.

With an extra year to make changes to the street surfaces and get the rest of the event up to speed, however, the event seems likely to make the 2014 calendar under the 10-year agreement signed in late 2011.

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