Monaco on the Hudson

One thing that always amazes me about the comments on this blog is the number of people who look at the world from the glass-half-empty point of view (pessimism), rather than the glass-half-full (optimism). Perhaps it is in the nature of a blog-poster to always look at reasons why things cannot happen, rather than wondering if something might be possible. Formula 1 is a world where the half-empties are left behind and the half-fulls rule the roost. And I like that. I love the fact that an idea will be looked at on its merits and then the downsides are examined, rather than being ripped apart with negatives first. The initial reactions to the idea of a race on the streets of New Jersey were almost all negative. That was back in August when I first reported the idea. It was impossible for this reason, that reason and 42 other things as well. From what I am now hearing we are now just a few days away from an announcement which will bill the townships of Weehawken and West New York, as “Monaco on the Hudson”. From what I have gathered thus far the idea comes from a group of investors led by Leo Hindery Jr, a celebrated media investor and a former chief executive of TCI, Liberty Media and later AT&T Broadband. The mayors of the two communities are behind the idea as it will cost them nothing and will enhance their districts and make them considerable amounts of money.

Weehawken waterfront was a major port area in the early part of the Twentieth Century but did not have the space to expand and fell into decay. In the 1990s plans were developed to revive the area, with residential, office and commercial property and parks for recreational activities. There is potential for further development and the circuit is expected to run on the waterfront to the north of (would you believe, Hamilton Park), climbing up Pershing Road to run along JFK Boulevard before returning to the Hudson level on Anthony M Delfino Way with the pits and paddock area being at Port Imperial, with ferry access from there to New York and train access to the centre of the circuit on the Hudson Bergen Light Railway, which links to the New York subway. This gives F1 the New York backdrop it has so long wanted and creates a venue which can be largely served by public transportation systems.

One of the big advantages of the idea is that most of the land is owned by one man: Arthur Imperatore, an Italian-American businessman who made his fortune in the trucking business before buying much of the waterfront land from the bankrupt Penn Central railroad for $7.5 million in 1981. He then started the NY Waterway ferry service between Weehawken and Manhattan. A sports fan, he was once the owner of the New Jersey Devils hockey team. The logic for him is obvious. If the neighbourhood is deemed to be more glamorous, the price of real estate will rise and he will make profits. There will also be more business for his ferry company.

The other aim of the race, besides getting F1 into the New York urban area – something that NASCAR has failed to do and that IndyCar did but never made work – is to support a concerted effort to make F1 bigger in the United States. A second US race to support the event in Austin means that there will be at least four races in the US timezones, although one can expect to see an event soon in Mexico (to make five) and perhaps in Argentina (to get to six). This means that F1 can create a much stronger TV package for the Americas in general and the United States specifcially and thus a better opportunity for F1 to build up its presence in these important markets. The process will obviously be helped by an American driver and so the search is now on to find one. In this respect Tony Fernandes seems to have got ahead of the game by signing up Alexander Rossi, who is expected to race in GP2 next year…

106 thoughts on “Monaco on the Hudson

  1. visa ve the half glass full thing,

    We live in a world where you can’t take anything for as the best it can be.
    If a stranger offers something you get told as a child to turn away, If the internet offers you a free iPad, it’s more likely not than doing so. Bank account details for a recently deceased leader to giecv you 10 million *strange currency*, probably a scam.

    Most things are treated with caution and are if worried best left alone and ignored. Caution is best. Added to that it’s a basic self defence, that’s why small communities often are the last to change insocial movements as they don’t see the positives immediately but defend and protect not accept a new path.

    Added to that, only the best survive in the world of ideas and so going along with something that may not be right is more likely to lead to failuer. So the only survivable ideas tend to be the ones with by far the best chances, it’s a case of 90% chance isn’t good enough because everything with more will swamp it.

    I think of myself as very pragmatic and because of this, in the world I tend to be more pessimistic about the intentions and outcomes.

  2. F1 would be far better off with more races in the America’s, Europe and developed (in culture) Asia than visiting visiting visiting despot regimes that fund races for their own ego’s. Yes, F1 should visit developing nations but only those that are aligned with the western way of life. East will never meet west and move forward together, they want our material goods and keep their barbaric totalitarian culture.
    More F1 for Uncle Sam I say,with recent goings on in Indy Car its ripe for F1.

  3. Plenty of scope for headline writers. Lewis can make Hamilton Park his own, others can climb up Pershing Road like missiles, or be assassinated by other drivers using DRS on the run along JFK Boulevard.
    On a more serious note – it’s a good time zone for European viewers (unless it is all on Sky by then).

  4. The more interesting way to look at a glass half filled with water is that it is always completely filled, half with water, half with air…

    Chucking rocks is easy from the comfort of the peanut gallery

  5. Is the glass half-empty or half-full? As an engineer, I say it’s neither – clearly the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

    I wonder what the F1 teams would say? Adrian Newey would obviously say that the flexibility of his glass passes the FIA load tests, Ross Brawn would say that a double-bottomed glass was allowed under the regulations and Ferrari would no doubt claim to be able to veto any changes to the glass volume….

  6. I love going to new places, I love the enthusiasm surrounding them.
    Most of the negativity seems to come from people that simply don’t like change, and from those that see F1 coming to their neck of the woods as a threat to their local brand of motor sport, the later is evident in Austin, but a trip to somewhere like The Cool River Cafe, where they show live F1 dispels the negativity.

    My glass is usually overflowing.

  7. Great news. I wish USF1 was on the grid. Any chance bidding for the 13th place will open up soon. Toyota and Honda must be kicking themselves for withdrawing as the US is a big market for both companies. Hopefully Honda will re-enter as an engine supplier to McLaren in 2013.

  8. Hi Joe

    Fingers crossed, would be great. The skyline from the NJ side of the Hudson is just incredible, handy for Teterboro too. I’m sure everyone would enjoy being in the city.

    I’m guessing Nascar as a double bill is asking too much . . ?


  9. Great news.

    Rossi is first class. Unbelievable racer. I hope the F1 teams wake up to the opportunity he offers.

  10. Would Dario Franchitti not be a half way house driver? he may well be british but is very well known to the US motor racing fan, and I would has the skill to at least race in the top half of the grid, give na decent car of course.

    I think more tracks in the US will work, and look forward to Austin next year greatly, I only hope the sport does not take on too many of the ‘americanism’s’ whilst doing so.

  11. Race in NY sounds great. NY is world’s business capital and a race there can help F1 to get sponsors as well as get publicity in USA for F1, which also helps to get sponsors. I think USA has much more to give for F1 than, say, Bahrain. Bahrain gives only money and F1 isn’t obviously so popular there so I don’t think we can say we’ll still have Bahrain GP in twenty years. But I think F1 could become popular in the States, bringing US sponsors to F1.

  12. Weehawken ? not exactly propitious for anyone called Hamilton !!

    but another duel there ? maybe not Hamilton -Burr this time , but Hamilton-Alonso or Hamilton-Vettel would sound even better to me !!

  13. Great news if it happens, financially the possibilities in terms of TV revenues & sponsorship would be huge.

    Im guilty as charged when it comes to pessimism, youd be entitled to dance around shouting “I told you so” when this one is signed off!

  14. Great news Joe, hope that it eventually comes into being. It’d be fantastic to have another F1 race in NYC near Montreal.

  15. It bugged and bugged me, but now I remember. Leo Hindry Jr. owned Orbit Racing and raced at 24 hours of LeMans for the first time in 2003 in a Porsche 911 GT3-RS. He, along with co-drivers Peter Baron and Marc Lieb took second place honors in what was then the GT class. To celebrate, he had a tattoo done on his shoulder of the Circuit de la Sarthe. The next year he combined his team with BAM! Racing; Mike Rockenfeller replaced Peter Baron, but they got a DNF. In 2005 he raced for the combination of BAM! Racing/ Alex Job Racing and won what then had became the GT2 class, in a Porsche GT3-RSR. When he was interviewed during the races, his enthusiasm was infectious. It was during the 2005 race he admitted that he should leave the driving to the younger set, and stepped back in 2006.

  16. THIS IS GOING TO BE INCREDIBLE! I really hope this happens. I’ve just mapped out the course as mentioned above (obviously yet TBC) and the site is amazing. Not exactly the glamour of Monaco but it has a steep, sweeping climb and corresponding drop (both surrounded entirely by trees (and in the climb a rock face)). Once the climb is complete the view over the Hudson River to the Manhattan skyline is incredible, absolutely breathtaking. Once the descent through a wooded area (with what looks like will be a very fast left hander in there) then there’s plenty of room in the port area for the pits and lots of temporary grandtstands. Brilliant. With India, Russia and two US races who’s going to go? Valencia please…

  17. I love the idea, I hope they pick a good track. I’ve never heard of these places, you say it needs redeveloping so perhaps it is as Long Beach was a couple of decades ago (and as you’ve told us before, Albert Park). Maybe F1 could work the same magic in New Jersey over a period of years.

    I wonder if it would make more sense to call this one the United States Grand Prix, taking a leaf from Austin’s book and having the Texas race as a Grand Prix of the Americas.

  18. Here is google earth look at the area.( most of the course is around the park area. But what is deceiving is that there will be an almost 200 ft elevation change between both ‘straights’, that should be really cool. Plus its only a couple of miles and a light rail trip from my apt!

  19. I’m not being negative, I’m just asking a question – what races will go to make way for the 6 you mention?

    Simon K.

  20. Great idea, I think the USA can support two races without detracting from each other..The location sounds ideal.. Very good news indeed…

  21. Guilty.

    Well, half the time.

    Thing is, get a lot of people trying things a lot, and you get plenty evidence of failures. That’s easy to pick on, and most people remember their failures because developed large collective society is, at least the recent one i can observe, though many older cultures too, about risk aversion.

    Stigma attaches real fast when you talk about how you messed up. I’m not sure why in any complete way, because some girls don’t mind a bloke who can try and fail, allowing he’s not ruined. Maybe it’s herd instinct, or maybe it’s something to do with keeping social groups in line with one another for collective protection, why you get disdain for breaking the mold. But i am pretty sure this is i think why so many people enjoy boasting in ways which to me come across as hollow. One way to deal with it (both ways) is humor.

    As for the chicken littles of the world, guilty there too on some biggies. But most people go bust shorting the market (done that, too) because markets compete and evolve faster than a single narrow conjecture. It’s as insightful as saying “what goes up must come down”.

    I wonder if it’s not a power trip to nay say, also. Because most everyone is turned down when they pitch the big boss (me too) and so saying “no” impresses some kind of authority. If you don’t believe me, cold call with me a week, and you put a pound in the jar every time you say “that won’t work” – i’ll be rich before i have to pay you a commission, but you need to work it out of the system 🙂

    Reminds me of a pal who worked in a lab where saying something didn’t work got you suspended.

    F1 in the US is a good long bet, IMO. Imperatore sounds like he has the clout to pull it off. If so, Praise be for slightly nutty (they all are in some ways) older tycoons. I’ve no idea why we can stick tracks in the middle of no-where (“Istanbul”) and somehow NJ is too far out.

    Just realized last week when i went full on shouty Irish lout (first time in a very long while, i add) was in no small part because two guys were trying to help another and all he said was “no, no, no”.

    Okay, last one, you know the one about only an idiot repeating his mistakes after two attempts (or something like that)? A scientist always goes a third time, for a control experiment . .

  22. That would be great, more races in the Americas time zone, less broken nights. As I’m watching all the races from the Chilean time zone (= New York time), the races in the far east have quite an impact on our weekends. Broken nights to watch the qualification and races, so afternoon naps are needed to catch up and avoid zombie faces.
    But I’m not complaining! I more than happy to be able to watch them all (pay tv).

    I’m living on the coast of Chile (Viña del Mar), which is a bit of a fancy beach town (the sea is freezing cold though) and I have imagined more than once how a F1 race could be hosted in Viña del Mar. A track that sweeps along the coast of Viña (Avenida España) with the Pacific stretched out to the right (or left when you drive up the other way) – vast blue mass of water-, then turn left in front of the flower clock, a twisty bit follows along a palm tree shaded road (Avenida Marina) that brings us to a sharp left turn hander that takes you over the bridge, around the casino (Avenida Peru) and than back towards the second bridge, through the centre and rejoining Avenida España again back towards the finish. Including Valparaiso with Avenida Brasil and Avenida Argentina would made it a great all South American race track, but it will become a bit too long (over 6 km). So choices have to be made.

    The space is there – a bit of repair work is needed on the tarmac, the scenery is great, the food too, enough hotels to host teams, press (also cheap ones Joe), enough room to park all these great floating palaces in front of the coast, but not enough money (for organizing it and the audience can’t afford the current ticket prizes) is available right now to make it happen, but dreaming cost nothing. You never know. I would say, if Argentina can make it happen…..

  23. As an avid F1 fan, and an an American, Im thrilled to hear this. New York is one of the Worlds greatest cites, F1 is the worlds greatest racing. They are made for each other. This part of the country will represent America a bit better than the Texas race in the desert. Nobody uses the word glamorous in texas.

  24. I find it baffling that we are going from zero F1 races in the US to two races, but I won’t complain if it happens!

  25. Well I think more F1 in the Americas is great. Being a Canadian, I won’t be going to the races in the USA as boarder crossing issues have gotten way out of hand but for F1 to be rekindling it’s relationship with north and south america is a very good thing for all.

    Joe, what race(s) do you think will be making way for “Monaco on the Hudson” and for Mexico and Argentina? If anyone has the information to hazard a guess, it’s got to be you.

  26. I think it would be great for F1 to have a more significant following in North America, however every time a new race is announced I can’t help feeling that the extra long calender is hurting F1 rather than enhancing it. I’ve felt a little exhausted at the number of races this season and wonder if F1 would do itself some favors by rotating more races on a biannual basis (e.g. Spa and potential French GP) and reducing the calender to about 16 races that are bigger ‘events’ instead of a constant stream of races, many of which can be quite forgettable. Plus less races could potentially make the championship more exciting as wins become more important. It would also perhaps allow more time for testing giving young/third drivers more of a chance plus it could help the smaller teams with smaller budgets become more competitive (perhaps?).

  27. Sounds all good to me – an American street race again at long last, on a photogenic track that climbs and descends. I’ve always preferred watching Grands Prix in the evening in the UK – the “usual” 1pm slot just gets in the way…

    I guess this would happen a week before, or after, the Montreal race? And would another race have to make way for it (wishing thinking says Barcelona or China)?

  28. I think this will be great, a race with New York City as it’s backdrop. Couldn’t get any better.

    Wonder which race will go? Bahrain?

  29. I think this sounds like a much better, and certainly more practical, proposal than the one or two that were floating around earlier in the year. I’ve been very interested by the idea of a New York grand prix, and this sounds like a brilliant solution. And TF grooming young Mr. Rossi for future F1 stardom is an exciting prospect. I was a fan of Scott Speed in F1 because he came along through the European route, and it’s a shame that he was unable to deliver, but I think Rossi is potentially a very good driver. Exciting times!

  30. With apologies, and speaking as a generally optimistic guy, my glass remains half empty. Possibly two-thirds empty. The idea of taking the ferry from NYC to a Grand Prix in Weehawken is a dazzling one. I just don’t think it’s going to happen. Announcing something and doing it are two very different things. Witness USF1.

  31. I live fairly nearby so obviously I think this would be awesome. However, if F1 cars actually race on a track as described I will eat a bloody glass, half full, half empty, whichever 🙂

  32. I think this is a brilliant idea and I love the possible layout linked to above. F1 in the states is long overdue and I think the timing might well be very good for the sport to gain a substantial foothold in the US if all goes well.

    Roll on Austin and New Jersey!

  33. Nooooh! I missed the movie reference, Yes Man, with Jim Carrey. Probably because it’s not a touch on Me, Myself And Irene.

  34. To kevin Tichenor..

    Quote…This part of the country will represent America a bit better than the Texas race in the desert.

    Who told you that our circuit is being built in the middle of a desert? Please take the time to look at a map..

  35. This could be fantastic — back-to-back GP weekends in the two most interesting cities in North America! I wasn’t too thrilled about Texas, this is way more exciting to me.

  36. And the 1 and only reason this race WILL NOT HAPPEN, at least not as you describe it, is because there’s no mention of public money involved. Nobody makes $ promoting F1, so why would successful business people try it using their own $$$? You can say that they can develop the property around the area, but NFL owners don’t build their own stadiums without public $$$, and they develop the areas around their stadiums too. And NFL owners make $$$ hand over fist on the teams, while F1 promoters LOSE BIG.
    Just my 2¢ – dose of reality – glass half empty. 😆

  37. Well, that neighborhood needs all the help it can get. It’ll be a while before it has the glamor of Monaco! I would love for it to happen, I never thought I’d see an F1 in the NY area while I was here.

    Lets see what the plan is, as 2013 seems very soon for all the work that will need to be done but good on them! You can expect me to be there and to bring a whole lot of people that have never been to an F1 race.

  38. We need F-1 in racing relevant countries like Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, United States, South Afrika not in Abu Dhabi, Bahrein, China, Corea, Malaysia and Turkey…

    1. Sombrero,

      Who says what a relevant country is? When it comes to modern day relevance in the world I would argue that Abu Dhabi, China and Korea are way more relevant than some of the countries on your list

  39. The more races we have in the America’s the better as far as I’m concerned.
    F! has raced before in Canada, US, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and the sooner they all return, the better. They all have enthusiastic, knowledgeable potential fans, who given some local names to support would flock to the circuits.
    As others have pointed out, the timing would be quite comfortable for European viewers ( well, most of them, anyway ) Providing F1 keeps the sensible cap of maximum 20 races per year that means we can dispense with all those races which Herr Tilke designed in the deserts of the Mid East and we can get back to proper, well attended race meetings.

    Glass is always half full in my house. The only dead fly floating in the
    ( F1) glass is our loss of free to air and first class BBC coverage next year. That is, as far as I’m concerned, a disaster of the first magnitude. Yes, I’m quite aware that BBC retains some races. But we do not yet know which ones, and, in the longer term, because of the terrible financial pressures the BBC is under, I fear the worst. And then we refill the glass again, because if, as expected Sky ruin the coverage and/or charge people too much money to watch ( which they already do ! ) their viewing figures will presumably drop like a stone, F1 management will go ballistic and hey presto…..back to free to air F1 !

    Would be so good if all that came to pass, wouldn’t it ?

  40. I think people are negative about this because there seems to be a story almost every week about a new F1 circuit being proposed or a city claiming that they plan to host a GP. Quite whose interest it serves to stoke up these stories I can only guess at but it does not take that much working out..I am only disappointed that Knockhill has not (yet) been slated for an F1 race…

    Most of this stuff is about as realistic as my nephew’s Xmas wish list so I think a lot of people prefer to see it actually looking like happening before they are able to accept it as fact.

    I think the notion of a second US GP with NY in the background is a great idea – it will look great on TV and will provide kudos to the F1 brand unlike some of the more recent backwaters chosen seemingly only for their financial profligacy. But will it happen? Stories about F1 in NY seem to have been doing the rounds for ages so who knows…but what will the ticket prices/audiences be like, will it stack up financially (after the revelations about Korea) and what damage will it do to the Austin GP in terms of attracting overseas visitors to what will probably now be viewed abroad as the less glamorous, poor relation US GP?

  41. Joe,

    As we are calling this a world championship, then why not, based a little on TV & population figures, have 3 races in North America, (Canada, America & Mexico) and 2 in South America (Brazil & Argentina) – BUT and here is the catch, the tracks should be challenging and not the boring mickey mouse ones we seem to be getting these days. We want to see the best drivers in the world performing at the best and most challenging tracks in the world, and with the most technology advance race cars in the world. That is what F1 should be all about. We are near to it, at some tracks. Also some teams are there and the same with a few drivers.
    A 20 race program over say 300 days (10 months) means on average we see a race every 2 weeks. That leaves 2 months off each year for the race teams, and people like you Joe to have a break before starting all over.

  42. as soon as i saw this written about the first thing i thought was ‘Joe was spot on!’. This’ll be great, i’ll definitely try to go to this, how great would a week in New York ending with a GP be!

  43. It can be hard to have anything other than glass half empty with F1 at times. However I seem to remember a self proclaimed glass half full person saying on a podcast that he could not see a race ever happening in New York because of hotel occupancy rates etc.

    I am sure the glass half full tribe on hearing about this race will be so happy that Tilke gets yet another chance to produce an even better track than his previous efforts. Maybe this time he will manage to design a pit entry and exit that is not criminally dangerous although given his previous record on that the glass half empty people will doubt it.

  44. Wasn’t Valencia at one time supposed to be another Monaco? Like the saying goes about romantic comedies: they are billed as Tracy-Hepburn but end up as
    Doris Day-Rock Hudson.

    As a native New Yorker I said it before and I will say it again. I’ll believe this when I see it. Nobody ever says they wish racing would return to the Meadowlands. But no one ever wished for a Gotham Bowl to return to the city but for some reason it has as the Pinstripe Bowl.

    Note to Imperatore and Hendry: Hire Tony Cotman to design your circuit.

  45. As far as Libya is concerned I’m happy to be with the half empties but New York is an exciting prospect. A street race in New Jersey with the NYC skyline as a backdrop will be spectacular. With so many seemingly souless venues on the calendar this race has the potential to be a major attraction.

  46. Joe,

    SPEED TV in the U.S. just announced (Saturday afternoon) that it will cover a press conference this coming Tuesday at which the 2013 “Grand Prix” in the shadows of Manhattan towers will be announced.

    Glad I did not write a glass half-full (or is it half-empty or maybe just half-vast) comment on the improbability of such an event.

    Looks like a visit to the family on the East Coast is in the offing for 2013. And where are you going to hold your NYC pre-race gathering/seminar/evening with Joe?

  47. looks cool, though the track as it looks to be now on the map is maybe a little ‘unchallenging’? – good for spectators and tv, but the best circuits challenge the drivers,
    this looks like mostly flat out, one kink of interest, then a couple of low speed short corner stops. tricky to tell on ‘street view’ though!

    think it could do with one or two ‘proper’ corners or a suzuka S-type section to spice it up…

    have to wait to see what the actual plan is. exciting.

    1. RShack,

      I think you should explain that Weehawken was the site of a celebrated duel in 1804 between Vice President Aaron Burr and former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. This was illegal at the time. The duel took place on the ground below the Palisades of Weehawken. Hamilton was mortally wounded and died the following day.

  48. I drove along some of those roads last weekend. This race will be brilliant if it comes off — like Montreal but tighter, and with two stonking great hills at each end of the circuit.

    Joe, when the date is announced, I recommend making swift reservations at the Motel Super 8 in North Bergen. Extremely cheap, relatively cheerful, clean, and free boiled eggs and breakfast cereal in the morning. And only a brisk 30-minute walk from the (presumed) paddock.

  49. Very exciting as someone living in Washington, DC. I can’t imagine how this wouldn’t work barring total logistical failure. It has the most densely populated and the richest part of the country, a large foreign born population and it sounds like most people on the east coast can get there without driving.

  50. What ever happened to the all American team that was going to be entering formula 1 last I heard is they were going to wait until they knew they could definitely do it, so the same thing didn’t happen to them as what happened to Peter Windsors team. Nothing since then

  51. Joe,

    I want this to happen…badly! I am salivating at an F1 race in my own backyard. However, knowing how the greenies, corrupt officials, and other hangers-on come out of the woodworkl with their hands out waiting for a little grease….I will reserve any further comment until I see shovels in the ground and tarmac being laid.

    That said though, Leo Hindery has some bucks and is an avid gentleman racer. He co-founded the YES! Network, which is home to the NY Yankees telecasts, which made/makes a ton of money. He also has some big power connections politically. So, if an F1 track is to be built in the tri-state area, I’d say Hindery is one of but a handful of people that can pull it off.

    Also, Joe…steaks on me at Bobby Van’s if this happens, ok?


  52. Notice the site is directly across the Hudson from the USS Intrepid Museum, in Hell’s Kitchen. If you zoom in to the end of West 46th using Google Maps, you can see a Concorde out on the pier, as well as about a dozen modern warbirds on the Intrepid’s flight deck, including an F-14 Tomcat and an A12 (prototype for the SR-71). The Intrepid Museum recently was awarded one of the retired Space Shuttles, but there is some controversy as to whether they will actually get it, because they don’t yet have a proper place to display it.

    I spent 3 days aboard the USS Intrepid a few years ago, shooting a TV show. The filming was in August, and we were all baking like fish fillets out on that steel deck, so every few hours we’d take a break and go sit inside the Concorde, which was air conditioned.

  53. Another interesting piece of Weehawken trivia…….the proposed F1 track is a few hundred meters from the crash site of USAir Flight 1549, aka “The Miracle On The Hudson”. Flight 1549 took off from LaGuardia and suffered a double bird strike, taking out both engines. The pilot successfully dead-sticked the plane into the Hudson River at Weehawken with no injuries to any of the passengers or crew.

    If you look in the background of this crash video, you can see the NY Waterway Ferry pier owned by the above-mentioned Mr Imperatore.

  54. What was it that caused F1 to fail in the US previously? It’s had a few stabs at it and never taken off.

    It would obviously be a great thing for F1 commercially to get a race in the US up and running and to keep it running, but what are they doing differently this time to ensure it’s a success this time?

  55. Just a plea: celebrate this news, F1 fans, but please also support Indycar any way you can. In the ultracompetitive US sports market, I hope the NJ GP doesn’t deflate interest and attendance in the Baltimore Indycar race, which went wonderfully. Not F1’s problem; but, always a supporter, I’ve become doubly solicitous of Indycar’s interests recently. I’ve nightmares of a future wherein the only topline owr in the USA is an annual visit (or two) by F1, or worse. Optimistically, I could think that the NJ GP and Baltimore Indycar will generate business for each other, like a McDonalds and a Burger King set catercorner. Anyway, cheer the news, but as fans, give some extra for Indycar too. They need you.

  56. I’d say that the half full and half emptys are split about half and half. Both strategys are essential for a successful project (unless of course you have an unlimited supply of luck (but then would that be good or bad luck))?

    The better person to ensure success is not one that has all of one or another but is the person who has enough of both and is aware of the difference and their primary strategy so they can compensate.

    As for this race, if it happens, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

  57. Kick it list: any necessary, or all of Valencia, Shanghai, Korea, Hungary, Barcelona, India (can’t see it taking off).

  58. It looks like that track layout would roughly measure about 3.04 mi/4.9 km distance making it about a 63 lap race. I also looked at it on Google maps, it’d be interesting to see where they’d put the grandstands.

    sorry folks, a bit too much free time on my hands.

  59. If the race is put on from private money then I hope it is a success. Even if the organizers get a few tax breaks or even small investment from the local governments, I’m OK with that. But if it’s like Texas where it’s heavily subsided from tje public’s money, I hope it does not take place. But overall I am happy to hear another F1 race will be in the U.S.

  60. Well, been tried so many times. First I heard they tried in the 50s to propose a race in Central Park (unsuitable roadway even for 50s F1 cars), then there was Flushing in the 80s killed by NIMBYs, then NJ recently killed by more NIMBYs.

    So no breath holding on my part.

  61. My rought calendar (based on 2012)

    01 Australia (Melbourne)
    02 Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
    03 China (Shanghai)
    04 Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina Circuit)
    05 Spain (Catalunya)
    06 Monaco (Monte Carlo)
    07 Canada (Montreal)
    08 USA (New Jersey)
    09 Mexico (Mexico City)
    10 Great Britain (Silverstone)
    11 Germany (Hockenheim/N’Ring)
    12 Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps) / France?
    13 Italy (Monza)
    14 Singapore (Singapore)
    15 Japan (Suzuka)
    16 Korea (Yeongam)
    17 India (New Delhi)
    18 Argentina
    19 United States (Austin)
    20 Brazil (Sao Paulo)

  62. Until recently, I was a longtime New Jersey resident, and I probably will be again in the near future. I say that to emphasize this: I will be beside myself with anger if the State of New Jersey spends even one dollar on this race. Gov. Christie is slashing state services left and right, including steep reductions in education and healthcare spending. Despite any economic benefit to hosting a grand prix – which, I think, is anecdotal at best – the overwhelming majority of New Jersey’s citizens will gain nothing at all by hosting a grand prix.

    This seems like exactly the sort of thing Gov. Christie would try to bring to NJ simply to increase his (rotund) visibility in the public eye as he “weighs” making a run for the White House. (Lord knows he’s not running anywhere else.)

  63. Joe – probably didn’t get much coverage over your part of the world, but what did you think of the performance of some of the current/former F1 drivers at the V8 supertaxi race on the weekend? Bordais in particular was pretty competitive.

  64. another race in America would be great. Prime time viewing for a European audience! F1 should also make an effort to have a race somewhere in Africa. Ideally Bernie will drop the hideously dull Valencia GP………

  65. joesaward

    > RShack,
    > I think you should explain that Weehawken was the site of a celebrated
    > duel in 1804 between Vice President Aaron Burr and former Treasury
    > Secretary Alexander Hamilton. This was illegal at the time. The duel
    > took place on the ground below the Palisades of Weehawken. Hamilton
    > was mortally wounded and died the following day.

    Please forgive, it’s hard to know what is common knowledge.

    Also, please feel free to post what follows, or trash it or edit it, as you deem appropriate. (This is your house, and I’m just a visitor who enjoys your generous hospitality.)

    Some might not appreciate the great historical importance of Alexander Hamilton. His influence exceeds any formal title. He served as the first Secretary of the Treasury, while Thomas Jefferson served as the first Secretary of State. The endless arguments between the two tested the patience of President George Washington. Both left his cabinet before the end of his terms as president.

    Hamilton founded America’s original right-wing political party, the Federalists. One of his allies, John Jay (first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), articulated the Federalist view by saying: “it is only right that those who own the country should run it”. Fear of the Hamilton-led Federalists led Jefferson (author of the Declaration of Independence and Prez #3) and James Madison (primary author of the Constitution and Prez #4) to jointly create what is now called the Democratic Party (it was originally called the Republican Party, but there is no relationship to the current party of that name which was formed 60 years later). They did so for the sole purpose of thwarting Hamilton’s vision, with no other agenda. They feared Hamilton’s views would lead to the creation of a “new royalty” based on wealth. Their primary reason for favoring a weak nat’l gov’t was fear that a strong nat’l gov’t would become the agent of a “new royalty” of bankers and corporations.

    Hamilton succeeded in establishing original U.S. economic policy which featured a central bank and tariff protection for domestic industry, with tariff proceeds used to develop infrastructure (ports, roads, canals). He was blocked by Jeffersonian opposition from implementing his full program, which included direct gov’t subsidy for business. With Hamilton’s dueling death, the Federalists lost their leadership and found no effective replacement. A decade later, the Federalists were shamed entirely out of existence, as their behavior related to our second war with England caused the public to view them as traitors who cared more for their own wealth than they did for their country. For several years thereafter, during the Era of Good Feeling, literally everyone in American politics was a member of Jefferson’s and Madison’s Democratic Party (including John Quincy Adams, Prez #6, the son of Prez #2, John Adams who was the only Federalist prez). That the Democratic Party allowed their organization to wane after defeating the Federalist comported with the Founders’ wish that America would not be “afflicted by political parties”.

    By Jefferson’s death in 1826 (on the 50th anniversary of July 4, 1776, the day when John Adams also died), it seemed that his views had defeated Hamilton’s. With the center of right-wing sentiment in the Northeast, it appeared Jefferson’s win would be secured into the future: his views were favored in rural areas South and West, and the nation’s expansion westward hemmed in the Northeast with no room to expand. Indeed, the second American right-wing party, the Whigs, arose and died within 20 years, with their demise largely due to public disinterest in what they said. However, one unheralded consequence of the Civil War is that it destroyed the political influence of Jefferson’s version of the left (it was based in the South, which tied its cart to slavery and was destroyed), thus permitting America’s third right-wing party, the newly born Republican Party of Lincoln, to divide South from West and dominate the decades after the Civil War, preside over the Gilded Age, and lead us into the Great Depression. With Jefferson’s and Madison’s efforts to prevent the great influence of bankers and corporations thus defeated, America’s second version of the left adopted the goal of trying to limit the influence of wealth by the use of rules and regulations which define appropriate behavior for those who hold great economic power and constrain their power in gov’t affairs.

    Hamilton’s deeply tarnished image was repaired in the late 1800’s amid decades of right-wing dominance, and he was put on our $10 bills where he remains. His is the only portrait on our paper money that has the person looking towards the left from the right.

    All in all, Hamilton was a visionary man in matters of industry and economics, albeit with weaknesses of principle that caused Jefferson and Madison to suspect him and oppose him. By the same token, Jefferson was a genius on many topics but economics was not among them. The values each of the two men brought into tension with one another prefigure nearly all political-economic debates that occur in America to this day (albeit with some realignment of specific points). While they set the tone of passionate disagreement, what is lost in recent years is the spirit of larger agreement and cooperation despite crucial differences. For example, the Constitution was created and approved while Jefferson was serving as Minister to France. In his absence, Madison was the primary author of the Constitution. He then cooperated with Hamilton in authoring the Federalist Papers (unrelated to Hamilton’s later Federalist Party). The purpose of the Federalist Papers was to persuade the nation to adopt the Constitution and the stronger central gov’t it specified. They did so while simultaneously (a) agreeing about what the Constitution said, while (b) strongly disagreeing about precisely what the words of the Constitution actually meant. It is difficult to find a topic of political disagreement today that cannot be found in the arguments between Hamilton on one side and Jefferson and Madison on the other. Thus, when someone says “the Founders meant this” or “the Founders intended that”, one must ask who among the Founders they are referring to.

  66. @ Joe, who said: “jim, Your glass is not half empty. It almost completely empty! You need a refill”

    Perhaps. But, I still think I’ll pass on the Kool-Aid you’re serving up. 😉

  67. RShack has provided a remarkable distillation of a tremendous amount of history and politics. He didn’t mention Hamilton’s remarkable Caribbean origins or the conflict that led to the duel with Aaron Burr (not a criticism, just pointing out there’s a lot more to learn). I found that the book “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow to be absolutely fascinating on these and many other matters while being quite readable. Recommended.

  68. Great hook, “Monaco On The Hudson”, the Hudson isn’t the Mediterranean and Weehawken is far from being a Monaco of any kind!

    That being said, if the logistics can be overcome I think I’d gladly go to the event. As far as being a naysayer, one needs to identify problems before they can be eliminated or worked around.

    1. GeorgeK,

      And you think that F1 is going to be making announcements of this kind without identifying potential problems and working on solutions? I am sure there are some problems still to come, but I see no reason to be negative about the idea thus far.

  69. The public transportation serving this race would be second only to Montreal in convenience for racegoers. I am sure there would be many attending their first F1 race here.
    This is a great idea, and would be a big boost for F1.
    Let’s see how it turns out.
    Thanks for this great report, Joe.

  70. It wouldn’t be the first time press conferences and major announcements came to nought.

    But I do agree with your assessments Joe, what truly encourages me in this venture are the principal players identified. Especially a billionaire racer who has the connections and resources to pull it off.

    I still fear the petty local politicians gumming up the works or asking for far more then their contributions are worth.

    Start thinking of where we’ll have dinner in 2013. How’s THAT for a dose of optimism!

  71. @RShack,

    Thank you for a fascinating article-ette about American history, none of which I ever learned in school (neither did I know about the Hamilton-Burr duel; as Joe suspected, it *did* need explaining, at least to this personage). As Keith Crossley said, so much information distilled into such a small space: a gift I wish I had.


    Thank you for publishing it!

  72. One USGP on a brand new state of the art track in a scenic, artsy southwestern city and another spitting distance from the skyline and massive urban resources of NYC: amazing!

  73. Ambient Sheep,

    you might enjoy checking out how duelling went in Russia, about the time Tolstoy was wielding a pen. They literally got down to a yard from eachother. Efficient.

  74. Thanks to Keith Crossley and Ambient Sheep for your kind words. Ironic that you give me credit for saying a lot in little space, as it seems to take me three paragraphs to say “Good morning”…

  75. According to the BBC website, the second US GP is on as you predicted!…I am ecstatic about the news, living in the East coast of the US this would be the easiest GP for me to attend.

    I think that this is the right step towards bringing F1 to a broader audience in America, I completely agree with you suggestion that in order to create an important fan-base here, there needs to be more races that happen at a time of the day where not just us F1 diehards are willing to tune in.

    Bring on Canada, Austin, NY (or NJ more accurately), Mexico, Brazil and Argentina!

  76. John (other John)

    > RShack,
    > I’m a fan, too, – j

    I should quit while I’m ahead. Further activity will reveal that my knowledge is mainly limited to useless things 😉

  77. RShack,

    ooh, the brainwave half life horizon, a tricky place to perch. In Cricket the sneaky thing to do (school games where cheating was at least the norm expected of you by grudge bearing teachers) is to retire injured, and recover to bat as tenth man, nice and rested 🙂

    off for a rest too. All best from me – john

    almost . . just lifted a memory with that. If anyone reading is young enough to be at a prototypical english prep school, should such places remain, they let girls do the scoring. Word. Where obviously you can cheat even more. (Our lot had to, and still we were utterly thrashed) If my recollection is any good, you won’t be able to do much with this because they pumped us up silly with sugary foods, to show off one bankrupt prep school was slightly less bankrupt than the other.

  78. The most sensible comment was from Jim (no.45). “Nobody makes $ promoting F1, so why would successful business people try it using their own $$$.” There is something fishy about this proposal.
    The Melbourne Grand Prix has lost over $400m since 1996 in operating losses and race establishment costs. It is staged on a temporary circuit, and expenditure on the 2011 race was $86.5m. Revenue was only $33m and the balance came from the promoter, the Victorian Government, using public funds. This is a typical result for many F1 events around the world. The New York promters must know that it is impossible to make money from staging F1 races.

  79. Peter Goad

    > The most sensible comment was from Jim (no.45). “Nobody makes $
    > promoting F1, so why would successful business people try it using
    > their own $$$.” There is something fishy about this proposal.

    Might be a case of someone who owns gobs of real estate there hoping to accelerate its appreciation to the price levels seen on the Brooklyn side of the East River… add a pinch of ego, stir and bake…

    No doubt, the race itself will be a money loser. Always is. Requires someone having faith in some calculation of hypothetical second-order benefits to offset great actual debt. Such calculations are always available for hire. As long as Bernie is successful at profiting by manufacturing great gobs of debt for someone else, fans of new venues (or fans of maintaining classic venues for that matter) are left to hope another sucker is in line. To date, Bernie is better at manufacturing debt for others than he is at anything else.

    Whether any given sucker is deft enough to escape suckerdom by achieving actual second-order benefits which approximate the hired projections is a matter of legitimate debate, as we are not privy to any real answers… if there are any real answers, which we don’t know either. Lots of Magic-Goes-Here cyphering going on. Fortunately for me, I don’t have a $billion burning a hole in my pocket, else we might have an F1 race in NASCAR’s back yard… and another on the Left Coast to honor the aforementioned F1 fans there who deserve a medal. Just wish there was another way for North America to receive a continent’s worth of F1 races…

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