PARIS (AP/KXAN) - Formula One postponed the inaugural Grand Prix of America in New Jersey until 2014 because organizers "didn't quite know what they were doing."
The race originally was scheduled for June 16 next year, subject to confirmation. The street circuit course takes in a spectacular backdrop along the Hudson River and through the towns of Weehawken and West New York.
"The event is not going to happen" in 2013 as planned, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said Friday. "Everything is set up, but it's now too late to finish on time."
Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner earlier told The Jersey Journal the race would not proceed next year. The newspaper said Turner and another unidentified mayor contend organizers were behind on road repairs and permits.
"The reason is because they didn't quite know what they were doing," Ecclestone said. "They got all the permissions together. Everything was done, that was all fine, but then they missed the boat a little on some financing that was coming in."
Meanwhile, the first U.S. Grand Prix race held in five years is set for Austin, Texas, on Nov. 16 - 18. F1 officials declared the Austin track "race ready" after an inspection on Sept. 25. The Circuit of The Americas is considered state-of-the-art.
Charlie Whiting, the man who directs racing, safety and technical matters for the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the organization that oversees the international motorsport, spent about two hours touring the facility with CoTA staff and the general contractor, Austin Commercial, along with the track architects, Tilke GMbH. He walked the 3.4-mile course to ensure the asphalt met FIA requirements, inspecting kerbing, guard rails, fencing and other safety measures. Whiting also toured the pit/paddock building.
"Everything that I've seen so far has been absolutely first class, and the progress that's been made since the last time that I was here is amazing," Whiting said of the Austin track. "The guys have done an awesome job--it really is quite fantastic. It's built to the highest quality, exactly as we expected, and I've got absolutely no complaints whatsoever.
The 3.2-mile circuit at Port Imperial goes along the Hudson and the steep cliffs of the Palisades, with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop.
"We are going to be racing at Port Imperial, unfortunately just not as soon as we hoped and expected," race promoter Leo Hindery Jr. said. "We promised Governor Christie, the towns, the sport and its international fans the best possible experience, and unfortunately we need additional time to ensure that happens."
The construction issues center mainly on the development of the riverfront facilities, the pit lane area and the paddock garage.
Ecclestone ruled out the Turkish Grand Prix returning as a temporary replacement, saying "No, no, no. It will be 19 races."
In a statement from the race promoters, Ecclestone made clear he remains committed to seeing F1 blossom in the United States.
"We will continue to work closely together to realize our dream in 2014," he said. "As Leo says, we are still going to be racing at Port Imperial. Now, however, in 2014."
Austin will hold its official track grand opening on Sunday. Lotus F1 Team announced Thursday it will be the first team to take to the new Circuit of The Americas . American racing legend Mario Andretti, actor Patrick Dempsey and Lotus F1 Team third driver Jérôme D'Ambrosio will all complete demonstration runs behind the wheel of the team's 2010 F1 challenger – the R30.
Austin City Council held a public hearing Thursday to discuss official annexation of the land that houses Circuit of The Americas track, located in the unincorporated community called Elroy. Of concern are the millions of tax dollars that will be generated as F1 begins and CoTA schedules other events at the circuit. If annexed, the city would have to deal with issues of fire protection and providing other public services to the site, located about 15 miles east of Austin.
Austin Fan Fest opens on Friday, Nov. 16, with a concert by the band Aerosmith at the Frank Erwin Center on The University of Texas campus. Other events are scheduled for the Austin Convention Center and Downtown Austin, making the F1 weekend a community-wide celebration.
A 5K "Formula Run" is a first-time foot race scheduled for the Austin track on Saturday, Nov. 3 -- one lap around the track will help inaugurate the pavement, though at much lesser speeds.
Note: Pamela Cosel, KXAN, reported from Austin.
Light snow flurries were reported early Saturday just north of the KXAN viewing area. Sub-freezing temperatures along with a slight chance of light snow, sleet and freezing rain will continue through Sunday morning.
Investigators are still trying to figure out who murdered an Austin teacher in Benghazi on Thursday.
Back in June, Governor Rick Perry signed a new law officially letting teachers and students use greetings such as "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hannukah" in school, all without getting in any trouble.
The Round Rock-based computer giant, Dell Inc., is offering some workers voluntary buyouts as it seeks to trim costs and boost productivity.
The Austin Humane Society reopened to the public Friday after closing its doors for six weeks.
Sub-freezing temperatures and an approaching upper level disturbance could combine to produce some patchy freezing drizzle or sleet Saturday and early Sunday morning.