What began as a misfire is now in flames. Formula 1 boss (and we do mean “boss” in every “Sopranos” sense of the word) Bernie Ecclestone threw jet fuel onto the fire today when, according to London newspapers, he announced the Formula 1 contract (necessary to run a Formula 1 race in Austin) held by Tavo Hellmund has been cancelled.
Here's what Ecclestone told the Daily Mail:
Everything was signed and sealed, but we kept putting things off like the dates, various letters of credit and things that should have been sent, but nothing ever happened.
Then these other people [Circuit of the Americas] came on the scene, saying that they wanted to do things, but that they had problems with Tavo.
They said they had the circuit, and that they wanted an agreement with me. I told them they had to sort out the contract with Tavo, which they said they would.
But that has gone away now because we've cancelled Tavo's contract as he was in breach.
We've waited six months for him to remedy the breach. He knows full well why we've cancelled. He's happy.
Asked point blank if the race would be cancelled if no agreement were reached by December 7th Ecclestone answered, “Yes, it will be, for sure, 100 percent.”
Wait a second… Tavo Hellmund is happy? Now that’s a new take on the situation, and it suggests there is more at play than meets the eye.