Formula 1 In New York! Bernie Ecclestone Has His Best Idea Ever!

jack nelsonContributor IApril 10, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - APRIL 04:  Felipe Massa of Brazil and Ferrari drives during the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on April 4, 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

There were some clues in a recent web article suggesting that Bernie Ecclestone had done his homework already.  Imagine, a Formula 1 street race in New York...well, not exactly in the city, or even the state, but better yet; he suggested the Jersey side of the river, with a view of the skyscrapers.

So I immediately opened the Google Earth online program, which effectively lets you take a virtual helicopter to almost any place on Earth.  And there it is, just north of the Lincoln Tunnel.

It would probably become the most popular F1 track of them all.  It could be as long as 5.2 miles, depending on the choice of layout.  It could have everything. Uphill and downhill curves.  Forget Spa.  A bridge.  Forget Suzuka.  Party town.  Forget Montreal. Even a tunnel under a high-rise, a yacht anchorage, and water views.  Forget Monaco.

Where is this fantasy track?  Start down by the River at the corner of Avenue At Port Imperial and Port imperial Blvd.  A huge parking lot will do for the pits and service equipment.  The pits straight is about 300 meters, comparable to Monza.

Then a left and a long right entering a 540 meter straight, followed by a fast right, left, and straight of 950 meters into a left hairpin.  Uphill on Anthony M. Delfino Way, a short straight and a long bend  comes to a 90 degree left on John F. Kennedy Boulevard.  The Boulevard is almost a kilometer of straights and fast bends.

Next comes Pershing Road; a sharp left and right downhill along the bluff to a broad bridge over the rail tracks.  After that, parking areas and access roads give options for twisties before returning to the pits straight.

The JFK section is along the bluff above the river, with big buildings on one side and park lands and trees below on the other.  It's a spectacular setting on a broad boulevard that could easily accommodate viewing stands for thousands.  Likewise, the section from the pits to the Delfino Hairpin appears to offer space for everything.

This street track, probably the most likely, would be just over 5 kilometers, or 3.14 miles.  There is enough pavement for passing and for safety installations, the terrain and scenery are outstanding, you have a ready market that could arrive on public transport or even on foot. It looks like there is no residence trapped in the infield.  There is a general hospital nearby. It's perfect.

But...tort law, noise regulations, multiple jurisdictions, politics, inertia...Could this American Grand Prix dream ever come true?