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No US GP certainty for ‘weeks and months’ – Todt

It will not be known for “weeks and months” whether a United States grand prix will be held in Austin, according to FIA president Jean Todt.

An unnamed official at F1’s Paris-based governing body said Todt learned about Bernie Ecclestone’s deal with the Texas promoter for an inaugural race in 2012 by reading about it on the internet.

And promoter Tavo Hellmund, whose father has known F1 chief executive Ecclestone for decades, has “ignored or sidestepped” the FIA’s “repeated inquiries” about the deal, according to the Austin Business Journal.

Multiple sources said the vague plans could be Ecclestone’s ploy to shift pressure from F1’s carmakers and sponsors about the lack of an American race.

A spokesman for Hellmund’s office said: “Formula One Management is satisfied with our plans to fund and build an Austin track.”

But for now, it seems Todt is not.  On a visit to Daytona last weekend, the Frenchman described the deal as “just a project”, and to the Speed Channel he said it is a “discussion” and “far too early to conclude anything”.

“The coming weeks and months will be able to tell us what is really going to happen,” added the FIA president.