While looking into a Northern California location for a new Grand Prix Circuit, American developer Tavo Hellmund has been putting together a group to purchase a controlling interest in the Manor F1 team to bring another American Formula 1 team to the grid. The driver lineup mentioned includes NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Alexander Rossi, who currently drives for the Manor F1 Team and according to Hellmund, “He has the resume.” in a recent interview with the Austin Statesman-American.
Costs of operating a successful Formula 1 team are high, and Hellmund has tempered expectations adding that, “It would never be our goal to compete with the manufacturer teams. We’re never going to spend $400 million a year like Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren… but we think you can run it respectably and not be in the red. I think you can fight for fifth.”
Hellmund added that “Manor Marussia cut a deal to be able to have Mercedes motors next year, which is a step forward as opposed to a year and one-half old Ferrari spec engine,” which is currently run by the team putting them roughly 50 hp down on the current spec engines of other teams.
Timing would be critical for 2016, with diligence and engine to be finalized. Hellmund gives it until early next year to sort out: “I think if we get to late January or February, it may be too late, and my partners and I would probably lose interest”.
Circuit of The Americas founder Tavo Hellmund mentioned a new Formula 1 circuit was being considered somewhere in Northern California in an interview published by the Austin Statesman-American this evening.
Hellmund told the Statesman that a Northern California party was interested in building a grand prix circuit and had approached him in the last year about the possibility. While permits and additional land would be necessary, Hellmund feels the land would be a good location for a circuit, and good enough to send Formula 1 circuit experts Tilke GmbH to have a look at the site.
This news comes comes after two Formula 1 circuits Hellmund has been involved with recently hosted the United States Grand Prix and the Grand Prix of Mexico in consecutive weekends. Circuit of The Americas held its fourth USGP on October 25th amidst declining attendance figures, changing political climate towards the race, and severe weather, while Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez held an inaugural race after a 23 year absence from the Formula 1 calendar for a sold-out audience with over 330,000 attendees over the weekend in Mexico City.
Over the Mexican Grand Prix weekend, American Tavo Hellmund spoke about a new Formula 1 circuit in the works. Following recent comments by Bernie Ecclestone about a new Grand Prix “Out the California way“, Tavo mentioned to journalists over the weekend:
We’re looking at a project that’s probably two weeks away from being able to talk about it, then looking also maybe making an investment with a team.
Hellmund’s work on Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez brought about it’s first Formula 1 race there in 23 years, and following his work on Circuit of The Americas, would make this his third Grand Prix circuit in less than a decade.
When pressed for more details on the circuit’s location, Hellmund would not elaborate, stating only that it would be in North America.