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Formula One teams now questioning idea of adding New Jersey race

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Construction at Port Imperial may be for naught as New Jersey's provisional F1 calendar placement leads some to believe it will be among the first to go if the tight schedule is pared down.
Construction at Port Imperial may be for naught as New Jersey's provisional F1 calendar placement leads some to believe it will be among the first to go if the tight schedule is pared down. - (Global Strategy Group)

The planned Formula One race in Hudson County is once again being questioned. This time, however, it's by the racing teams, who say the circuit's 2014 calendar has grown too large.

For at least a week, racing executives have called the 22-race calendar "beyond the limit" or "almost impossible" for teams to navigate logistically, according to news outlets that cover the sport.

That has left the once-delayed New Jersey race in the crosshairs because it was scheduled with an asterisk — and because it's part of three-week stretch of races planned for next spring in Monaco, the Garden State and Canada.

The New Jersey race, scheduled to run June 1 in the streets of Weehawken and West New York, was noted as "provisional" when it was placed on the F1 calendar late last month. The inaugural event was supposed to take place this summer, kicking off a 10-year run, but financing and construction issues caused it to be postponed last fall.

In recent days, executives from high-profile teams have taken aim at the size of the 2014 schedule, which has three more races than this year's. On Oct. 4, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner sounded off to reporters before the Korean Grand Prix.

"I think we all recognize that 22 races is beyond the limit, the strain that it puts on the team and the entourage that follow Formula One," Horner said, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, Ferrari team manager Massimo Rivola said the stretch of races in Monaco, New Jersey and Canada is "going to be almost impossible to do" with barely a week between each event to travel and prepare, according to the Associated Press.

"To be honest I'm still hoping we come back to the 20 races as per the current sporting regulation," Rivola said. "At the moment, the calendar is not the best calendar possible in terms of logistics."

A phone message left for a New Jersey race spokesman was not immediately returned this afternoon.

The race, known as the Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial, disappointed fans, government officials and business leaders when it was delayed last year. But organizers in New Jersey have said they are in good position to kick off the series next year.

The race has brought great anticipation since first being announced in late 2011, with expectations of drawing more than 100,000 to the three-day event. This year's race was meant to kick off a decade of consecutive Grand Prix events on the Hudson waterfront with the New York City skyline as a backdrop.

Joshua Burd

Joshua Burd

Josh Burd covers real estate, economic development and sports and entertainment. Before joining NJBIZ in 2011, he spent four years as a metro reporter in Central Jersey. His email is joshb@njbiz.com and he is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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