Indianapolis still hopeful of 2009 F1 race

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

2008 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Moto GP circuit

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is still sending out positive signals about its desire to hold a 2009 United States Grand Prix.

The circuit owners have made a point of stating that the Moto GP race held for the first time this year is not a replacement for F1 (it’s behind held in September, not June), and that the revised track (above) is suitable for F1 cars.

The new track is similar to what was predicted here just over a year ago.

The direction has been reversed (and so is now anti-clockwise, as the oval is when it is used), the banked corner replaced with a new section which also requires a change to the pit exit, and the horrible double hairpin replaced with a revised bend (see ‘ten worst chicanes’ for more on that…)

I hope F1 does come back to America in 2009 but although I’m glad to see the double hairpin go I’m not sure about the new first corner. I liked that the old configuration used at least one bend of the mighty speedway and the long flat-out section made for good overtaking opportunities into the original first turn.

But if this what it takes to get a United States Grand Prix back then so be it. Here’s hoping they find a sponsor.

More debate: Where should the United States Grand prix be held?

Thanks to Scott Newton for the tip.

2009 F1 season

51 comments on “Indianapolis still hopeful of 2009 F1 race”

  1. As always, i’m thrilled to see news on here of a posible F1 return to the United States. As an American who is new to the sport, it is among my fondest wishes to be able to attend a GP here in my home country. Since i’ve never even seen any of the previous F1 races at Indy on TV, I can’t offen any credible commentary about the track layout, but i’ll take anything that brings the series back and produces a decent race.

    My thanks to Keith for continuing to keep us updated on this topic, and to all of you who have stated your support for a return of the USGP in recent months. Hopefully some good news will emerge on the event in the near future, and we’ll all be able to party in America’s heartland next summer!

  2. Fingers crossed for an Indy return in 2009.
    Everyone wants it back, well except maybe Bernie…..

  3. I think the USGP got black balled after a few incidents that were not the fault of the organizers. Its too bad the US is massive and Indy is in the middle of no where…. I’m going to shoot for Montreal next year.

  4. Woah, that first corner is very Tilke.

  5. It actually looks a bit like they’ve taken that ‘double hairpin’ and moved it to where the old turn 13 used to be. Reverse the direction back again and this configuration isn’t a million miles away from the controversial plan put forward by the Michelin teams to save the 2005 GP at the last minute.

    I always felt as though Indy was a mickey mouse circuit, but I warmed to it in later years, and I too would like to see it return to F1.

  6. uknowwhatisell
    11th April 2008, 2:35

    Why cant we get away from Indy?
    GP racing celebrates the greatest cities of it’s other host countries, is Indianapolis, Indiana, really our best choice?  Screw tradition, lets get a race people are excited to come to.

    Lets get a petition for a street race, either downtown Las Vegas or Manhattan.  In F1 anything and everything is possible.

  7. I would rather see some company invest into Laguna Seca so Formula One can go there. If F1 is all about racing at the best tracks then for me Laguna Seca > Indianapolis as far as F1 is concerned. 

  8. While I respect all opinions offered for a return of F1 to the US. I question the notion that Las Vegas fits into the "greatest cities" catagory mentioned above. Bernie would love it because it’s all about the glitz and glamour, but is "Sin City" really the best venue for America to show off to the world of motorsports? No offense to anyone who lives/works there, but the city is better known for many other things above sports or racing.  Many people in Las Vegas have been lobbying for years to get a major pro sports team in the town- NFL/NBA/etc- and they still aren’t sucessful. Brining F1 there would just further Bernie’s dream of turning the sport away from true racing and towards a pro wrestling-style moneymaking venue that is more "entertainment" than sport.

    I’ve heard Laugna Seca is a great track- and I must admit that i’m a bit biased due to location- but would it cost a small fortune to make it F1-ready? Indy has the facilities, the name and history- yes, that’s important to fans like me- and the willingness to start the race back up next year. The sooner it comes back, the sooner fans such as myself attend and develop a stronger interest in it.

  9. The ONLY saving grace about the old Indy layout was the one passing chance at turn one and now…..its gone! Personally I’d rather see no USGP if the only choice is Indy. Even the drivers held it in low esteem.

    The only viable street course I can think of is Long Beach, along with a prior history. Laguna Seca and Road America are superior tracks, but there is no one willing to pony up the $$$$ necessary to upgrade to F1 standards, and they are geographically no where.

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  10. uknowwhatisell
    11th April 2008, 3:36

    The only viable street course is Long Beach?  Use a little imagination friend… 

    Gman…  If tradition were what we based race locations on, well then the only possible place for a USGP would be Detroit.  Las Vegas, no matter how you spin it’s reputation, is a beacon on the map as far as world travel destinations.  Not sure if you have been paying attention to F1 over the past 2 decades, but it has been, and will always be a profit generating endeavor.  Do you think F1 is a non-profit organization racing for glory and pride?  Just think about that, as a fan, the only reason that we get to enjoy the sport of F1 is because it generates income for some billionaire tycoon.  The day F1 stops being profitable for those at the top is the day F1 ceases to exist.  There is no loyalty, no commitment to it’s own history, it is first and foremost a for-profit business.

    Also, I really feel like you are missing something if you do not enjoy the spectacle that is F1.  There are plenty of racing leagues around the world that have a more serious, less flamboyant approach to motor racing.  F1 however is proudly not one of those events, there is nothing like it anywhere else for a reason.  A USGP racing through downtown Manhattan or using the "strip" (Las Vegas Blvd) as the main straight for a road course in Vegas would be perhaps one of the greatest new events in GP racing in a while.

  11. uknowwhatisell, it’s ture that I am new to this sport, but I have learned a tremendous amount regarding it’s history over the last few decades from many resources, including this site :) I do love many of the aspects that make up the spectacle of F1- the international flavor and worldwide scope it encompasses being chief among them. But along with that is the history and traditions of the places it races at. I may be wrong, but if F1 followed your policy, we could just forget Indy and also drop places like Monza, Interlagos, Silverstone and Spa, and go race wherever the money flows and the lights will shine the most.  

    It’s just the humble opinion of a rookie fan, but the commitment/loyalty to history very much play into the spectacle for me. I’m also an avid fan of teams in the NFL and Major League Baseball- those leagues have a great deal of respect for tradition and history, yet still rake in a ton of money year-round. To me, F1 can easily do the same. I’m guesisng that if Vegas gets the USGP, it won’t fare any better than it would at Indy.

  12. A GP at Vegas would be just another attraction for the casinos to comp the high rollers with. It previously failed at Vegas, Phoenix and Detroit for good reasons. Historically they were abberations, nothing like Monaco, Monza or Spa.

    The reasons F1 is being pulled from the traditional venues is the promoters CAN’T make a profit because Bernie takes all the income and charges outrageous sanction fees (20mill?). The only way to subsidize the cost is through government funding (China, Singapore, Malaysia, Melbourne, etc,) and Tony George wouldn’t cough up more, or wasn’t smart enough to find a paying sponsor.

    And hell will freeze over before F1 or any racing series shuts down NYC for a weekend a year.

    "Use a little imagination friend…" Let’s read some of your choice locations that aren’t in the middle of no where?

  13. theRoswellite
    11th April 2008, 6:46

    Boy Keith, this one is fun!

    Just a couple of little points.

    "the middle of nowhere"…………Laguna Seca?

    Everyone is correct about the cost of upgrading the circuit and facilities (too bad it hasn’t been expanded since Ft. Ord closed).
      However, "nowhere" it is not.  Located on arguably one of the most outstanding coastlines in the world, and surrounded by such wonderful communities as Monterey and Carmel, it is certainly as beautiful as any place I’ve been in the US.  You can fly in, and the track is just down the road from the airport….all a short connecting flight from SF.  It would draw from the large metro areas (the Bay Area, and LA) and California generally….the most populated state in the US. 

    So……..ready to have a GP, it isn’t; but trust me, that is a real loss for any F1 fan.  (And please don’t start me on the potential for sponsorship…….as in……gee, is there any regional area in the world in which….say…..BMW or Toyota sell more automobiles than California??????)

  14. Nico Savidge
    11th April 2008, 6:50

    Like GeorgeK said, they’ve tried a USGP in Vegas (i think a couple of times – I remember Keith covered those hideous circuits a few months ago) and it was awful.
    Anyway, aside from the fact that it’s one of only American road courses that could actually accomodate F1 and the crowds it would bring, there is the fact that every inch of the brickyard is soaked in history. The point of racing at Indy isn’t that you’re driving an amazing circuit that presents a huge challenge to the drivers (other than staying awake through that double-hairpin) – it’s that you’re holding a race at the home of "The Greatest Spectacle of Racing," and that you’re bringing F1 to the heart of American motorsports. I was at the USGP last year, and the fact that Indianapolis isn’t a huge town didn’t mean a thing (by the way, Silverstone isn’t exactly a vibrant metropolis and that doesn’t stop the fans…) – the grandstands were still packed.

    To be honest, I don’t really care what layout they use – hey, they could battle it out on the golf kart course at "Brickyard Crossing Country Club" for all I care. As long as there’s a race in the US, I’ll be happy…

  15. Nico, your comments above sum up my point almost exactly.

  16. You know … I’d quite like to see F1 race the oval. We don’t have any oval circuits on the calendar … it may pull in more sponsorship/ fans from the US … and it is something a little different.

    Why not?

  17. You’re talking my language John.

    I’d love to see them race on the oval. I mean, they’d have to make some changes to the cars, and a 22-car field would look a bit pathetic (not that it doesn’t in Shanghai or Sepang), but I’d love to see oval racing in F1, and where better than Indianapolis?

  18. Interesting. Oval racing. There’ll be a lot of potential for overtaking. However, F1 is supposed to be more than going around in circles. Yes, oval racing also requires skill, but, in my opinion, F1 circuits generally, ahem… including even the Indy circuit) are fairly more challenging than an oval. Yes it is different, but not just as challenging.

  19. An oval would help to make it more of a complete world championship, win on the track, win on the road, win on the oval, the last thing we want is every circuit being from vaguely the same cookie cutter.

    Finally, Sri based on my experience playing F1 and Daytona on Playstation 2 I would argue that there is a ton of skill involved in both…..

    :)

  20. As much as I would like to see an oval race, it will never happen in F1. If it went ahead the FIA, or maybe the drivers, would demand \ require each team to pass an "oval" safety test on their car, that would require a redesign.
    Those teams with a large enough budget would probably design components specifically for the oval. Hence they would have virtually two cars, one oval and one circuit.
    I know you can have one car that does both as it’s being done by Indycar and by the former Champcars, but all the development in F1 has been non-oval and refined specifically for that field.
    The extra cost involved would not be welcomed by the smaller teams, as many discussions in the past have been looking towards how to cut costs.
    BTW – I’m no expert on the FIA rules. How much can you change on a F1 car once the season starts? It seems aero developments are going on all the time.

  21. Ovals? No thank you. We have Nascar for that rubbish.

    Surely the real reason why Laguna Seca can’t be used as an F1 track — as wonderful as that would be — is that it simply does not reach the safety standards required. The corkscrew would have to be neutered, immediately eliminating one of the major reasons to go there and ruining the circuit for everyone else. There was a post here about it not too long ago…

  22. Lap record at Laguna seca is held by Zonta in a Toyota F1….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_bWOdY6mbU&feature=related

    Manhattan. State of the roads. needs money, road closures, expensive. Beyond even F1, I’m afraid.

    My dream, would be a"tour of Manhattan" round the FDR
    and riverside. Like the long Nurnberg-ring with skyscrapers.
    (spelling?).

    Anway, a 26 mile lap would be cool. More scope for errors, overtaking etc… I’d love see a return of the really long circuit,
    but again safety upgrade cost is proportional to the length of
    the track :(.

    Oh well… back to lurking…

  23. Mark: " … based on my experience playing F1 and Daytona on Playstation 2 I would argue that there is a ton of skill involved in both….."

    :D… well i ain’t denying it mate. Frankly speaking, i’m not cut out for either. However. On an oval, you accelerate, you overtake, turn ever so slightly and try not to collide. On any other regular F1 circuit, you accelerate, you brake, turn, try not to collide get in line to take corners like Eau-Rogue, Turn 7 & 8 at Turkey, 6,7, 8 & 9 at Malaysia, Copse, Becketts & Bridge  at silverstone and many more(in Suzuka, Bahrain, Imola, Monza etc) at great speeds with precision that mostly has all of us admiring the talent behind the wheels.

  24. Actually Peter Sebastien Bourdais beat Zonta’s time in a Champ Car last year.

    Nice to see a lurker emerge from the shadows though!

  25. The oval race might be fun, but I am not sure if we would be able to take 1 and half hour of it :-) especially if half the field would get sucked to the walls in first few laps :-) I think that half oval with one banked corner we had was just about fine. Unfortunately the infield section was not exactly exciting ..

     

  26. The most important thing is that F1 gets its USGP back – we can argue over venues once that is achieved.  Indy has been good enough for several years but who says the States should have only one GP?  There is clearly a case for the US having one in the west as well as Indy and then we could start dreaming of Watkins Glen again.  Or anywhere…

  27. Scott Joslin
    11th April 2008, 12:29

    I can’t help but feel that new configuration will do nothing to improve the racing at Indy. Infact it might make it worse. The Banked corner before Turn 1 meant that drivers could follow in the slipstream of over cars. Now there is no banking there is just a bland track, that resembles one of the old car park tracks from the 80′!

    I am fine wilth returning to the USA, but please, on a circuit that demands a real challenge for the drivers.

  28. No less a light than Schumy stated he thought oval racing was insanity, with constant speeds running near 200 mph wheel to wheel. The drivers would definitely not care for it. I don’t know if the engines/gear boxes would last at those prolonged top end speeds.

    Besides, if I want to watch former F1 drivers go in circles there’s JPM and JV in NASTYCAR.

  29. Well Schumacher isn’t in F1 any more and I don’t think he as much of an idea or interest about what’s good for F1 as a sport – he didn’t want traction control banning either. Open wheelers race on ovals in American at 200mph plus – Sebastien Bourdais has won on ovals and raced the Indy oval.

    The way I see it there are road courses, which F1 has plenty of, and street courses, which F1 has a few more of this year. Why not add oval courses into the mix?

  30. If you check F1 history you’ll see that the Indy 500 used to be part of the F1 calendar…and was an officially sanctioned race for about 10 years.  Can’t say that I want that again, but I certainly hope for the return of the USGP…and I’m happy with Indianapolis.

  31. theRoswellite
    11th April 2008, 15:30

    Hey, I got it…………

    We get Honda or Toyota to build a large track, within an hours drive east of LA.  They can use it for "testing" most of the time.

     It can be sculpted to use huge mounds of earth as "natural" seating…creating some of the amphitheater effects seen, to a lesser extent, on the PGA tour.  It would be able to handle huge crowds, look relatively appealing when not in use, and be able to host, among other things, the USGP on a world class track.
    And, I agree with Peter Boyle, we need some length…..say, at least 14 miles, with the longest strait in anyones memory.

    On a more realistic note…..Keith is right, America is known (unfortunately) for its ovals.  One real oval race a year in F1 would be VERY interesting, read different.  Let Indy be what it is, the cars can handle it, and the drivers can certainly handle it.  The only real question is………can we, the F1 fans, handle it.

  32. The oval would definitely be fun in a gimmicky kind of way… unfortunately I don’t see it ever happening.  There’s just too many safety concerns (much higher speeds – will wings break, will tires hold up, will monocoupes handle crashes), budget concerns (although essentially Monza’s setup… on steroids), and ego concerns (that’s for them there NASCAR folks).

    The Manhattan race would be great (just imagine the sound echoing off the buildings)… but the track would likely be a dull combination of 90* bends.  Ever look at a road map of Manhattan?  It’s a perfect grid (except Broadway – maybe we can have a few non 90* turns, but not many).  GT4 tried a Manhattan course, but even for being pretty creative, it’s still mostly 90* bends – no real fast corners.  That’s not even to mention the budgetary and logistical challenges.

    Vegas – been done, sucked, won’t be back.

    Laguna Seca – a viable option, but would need major upgrades.  Also not as ‘great’ as people have made it out to be.  While it’s a great ‘drivers’ course (lots of high speed bends + the corkscrew), it’s nearly impossible to overtake on.

    Watkins Glen – perfect option.  Why?  it’s only an hour from me & I get to race on it quite a bit.  Ok, maybe I’m biased.  Seriously though… it’s a great track to drive (the ‘chute’ has more elevation change than the corkscrew @ laguna seca), and has good overtaking spots.  Just needs some safety upgrades, but it has been holding major events for a LONG time, so it’s not far off.

  33. Thanks for the link Keith – as well as the new lap record
    for Laguna Seca, it coincidentally had the top article
    on a Heidfeld attempt on Nurburgring!

    Know how it turned out?

  34. I’m afraid he wasn’t really pushing, Peter – here’s the video: Nick Heidfeld on the Nurburgring Nordschleife

  35. As for Indy, I’m not to keen on that new layout. If they’re not going to incorporate at least one of the banked turns, why race at Indy at all? All they really need to do is fix that stupid double hairpin and the course should be fine. If anything they should include more of the oval, not less.

  36. Actually having thought about this a little more I came up with two more tracks that haven’t even entered discussion. I will be honest and say now that I don’t know the reasons why they cannot be used as F1 tracks. They are Sebring and Watkins Glen International

  37. The main "issues" with WGI is that:
    1) Safety – this is the main reason they left initially.  I’m kinda stuck actually thinking of any specific reasons which still exist today, but I’m sure there will be a few.
    2) The course – it’s probably got too much elevation change for F1 (WAY more than is allowed ‘by the book’, but not too much for safety in my opinion.  It’s also probably a little narrow in spots (although still much wider than Monaco.
    3) Location – It’s actually quite remote.  Nearest ‘city’ with a ‘hotel’ (singular) is about 45-60 minutes away.  Note… that’s Horseheads… if you want a
    decent sized city with an international airport, you’re looking to Syracuse, more than 2 hours away.  Also figure that the ‘town’ of Watkins Glen contains approximately 2 roads in & out – traffic is unbearable for NASCAR weekend, for an F1 race it would be impossible.
    4) Location (x2) – Maybe traffic won’t be a problem as there’s no major city’s with ‘fans’ to draw from.  I guess you could say NYC is ‘close’, but is 6+ hours ‘close’?
    5) $$$ – always an issue in F1.  WGI went bankrupt in the late 80’s, and is now currently financed by a glass museum, not exactly ‘high rollers’.

  38. I really think there should be a US GP these days certainly but I don’t like the Indianapolis track – it’s just like the Le Mans Bugatti in that’s it’s a mickey-mouse loop in a great venue.(BTW I think they certainly should make F1 cars race round the Circuit De La Sarthe , on the full Mulsanne Straight at that – just make qualifying a bit longer).

    This layout barely improves matters – we really need a high-speed and low-downforce layout for a bit of variety , and where better for that than Indianapolis.No , I don’t want the cars turning left all the time either :)

  39. I’ve been thinking about this since I left work.

    Champ car beats and F1 car round Laguna Seca, which
    is no oval. F1 no longer seems the pinnacle of technology
    I thought. Have the regulations hamstrung F1 performance
    that much?

  40. Not quite – I think it was a 2007 spec Champ Car versus a 2004 or 2005 spec F1 car. Zonta would have been using Bridgestone’s ‘demonstration’ tyres which are rock-solid and nothing like as grippy as their race tyres.

    And perhaps most importantly, the times weren’t set on the same day. Bourdais presumably did his time when the track was heavily rubbered in. Zonta was at some kind of festival/demonstration thing, so there might have been all kinds of rubbish on the track. To say nothing of differences in climactic conditions.

    However, F1 cars certainly aren’t getting quicker year-on-year at the rate they used to, and it’s entirely because of the regulations as you suspect.

  41. Watkins Glen- Great course, absolutely in the middle of no where. Two roads in and out. We went to the Bud at the Glen NASCAR race several years ago, it took 3 hours to exit the parking lot, and another 2 to reach an interstate. Not to mention spartan paddock facilities.

    If there were an F1 race at The Glen would I go? In a heartbeat! Will it ever come back as an F1 venue? Unlikely.

  42. Rick DeNatale
    12th April 2008, 20:03

    I’d love to see a USGP back at the Glen, even though I no longer live anywhere near.

    It’s got nearly three times as much tradition of hosting F1 with 20 USGPs held there, Indy and Long Beach are next with 8 each,  then Detroit with 7.  Other big cities haven’t worked out very well Vegas only had 2, Dallas and Phoenix one each.

    The Glen is a great venue for spectators once you get there.

    The thing which did it in was definitely the remoteness, and lack of deluxe accommodations for the F1 jet set.

    Some of the Glen traditions, such as "The Bog" are more questionable.

  43. John Chester
    15th April 2008, 7:54

    Hi, all. Seems the presence of turns 12-14 several years back might have meant a full grid instead of six cars participating. However, this is in NO WAY intended to absolve Michelin of blame. The tire was a safety hazard. Michelin’s teams paid the peanlty and did not race. I’m a Ferrari fan!

    As far as where should the USGP be held, let me first say I am an American fan of F1 and attended four of the races at Indianapolis.

    I was not enamored of the circuit — a high-speed section and a slow infield section. Also, no elevation changes. Not much of a challenge for the drivers although the high- and slow-speed sections makes setting up the car a bit of a pain. Nothing resembling a signature corner.

    Having the USGP in Indianapolis is better than having a USGP in the parking lot of a Las Vegas Casino or on a street circuit in Detroit.  But unfortuantely, I don’t think the location I’m seeking exists now. It would have to be built.

    I’d be able to live with the USGP taking place at Indianapolis until a new location was ready to come on line. I’d like the race to take place on a road course that is akin to a F1 circuit in Europe, Asia or South America. And I’d like the race to take place in a city that has a more international feel or one that also is a vacation destination.
     
    In the cities I’ll mention, seems that a road or street course would have to be built there.

    A city with an international feel would be New Orleans. Hosting a F1 race would bring in $ that hopefully could somewhat ease the hardship still being endured by some following Hurricane Katrina.

    The two cities that are tourist destinations would be Miami and San Diego. 

    Indianapolis is a nice city. Don’t get me wrong. As I said earlier, I’ve been to four races there. But it just doesn’t seem to me to be an appropriate F1 venue.  The lone North American venue that now host a F1 race — Montreal — does have an international feel, I think.

    The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has history. But it doesn’t have F1 HISTORY like a Spa-Francorchamps or a Monza.

    I don’t think upgrading an existing road course such as Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen or Road America to F1 specs is the way to go. Also, these tracks are a bit remote in terms of major airports, kinda like wonderful — NOT — Magny-Cours.

    I’d love to see the USGP return, but only to Indianapolis until a more suitable location was ready. However, due to the fact that F1 is not at the top of the auto racing food chain in the United States, such a location may never be built.

    In nations where F1 is at the top of the food chain, no problem getting a new track built. These nations include Malaysia, Bahrain, Turkey, etc.

    But if a day arrived when Hermann Tilke was to scope out a new circuit in the United States, I’d be very happy.

    Just one man’s opinion. Would love to hear what others think.

    Best regards.

    John Chester
    Trenton, NJ USA

  44. John,

    Great to see another F1 fan in the Mid-Atlantic region on here! You make some very good points about the layout at Indy and it’s shortfalls compared to some of the other spots on the schedule. I’ve yet to attend my first GP, so I can’t offer much for discussion, but i’d also love to see a true F1-spec track with those features exist some somewhere here in the US.

    Unfortunetly, finding someone to put up the money for that would not be easy. Even if funding came online right now, you’re looking at a few years at least to build the track. While Indy may not be the top choice, I believe it is the best option for getting the USGP back on the schedule as soon as possible. If all of us in the states want to see F1 back here, it needs to come back soon, given all the news GPs popping up in new places.

    Thanks for the commentary, and hopefully i’ll see you and many of the bunch from this site at Indy in the near future!

  45. John Chester
    16th April 2008, 7:11

    Hi, Gman. Always great to meet a fellow F1 fan, especially one who is nearby. My lone friend is nearby who also is a F1 fan is in Wilmington, DE, about 90 minutes to the south. He and I travelled to races in both Montreal and Indianapolis. I guess we US F1 fans are like the US Marines, the few, the proud.

    I agree that getting a US Grand Prix, even if it is at Indy, back on the calendar is the way to go. But my only fear is that the same problems will recur. 

    Not enough fan support to make the race a financial success for all parties concerned. Most racing fans in the US view F1 as a "foreign" series.
     
    And since not enough fan support, not enough sponsorship (something Tony George is seeking to address) and likely not much revenue coming from television broadcast rights from either Speed Channel or a network.

    I’ve always felt that F1 doesn’t need the US to be successful. And that F1 shouldn’t bend over backwards if US fans "don’t get it."

    If US fans are going to be content to watch dogs chase their tails (spend money to watch stock of Indy cars race primarily on oval tracks), there are other nations CLAMORING for a spot on the F1 calendar.

    I saw recently where another GP is set to debut in the Middle East in 2009. Competition continues to intensify for the precious few spots on the F1 calendar.

    Indianapolis has to take a cold, hard look at the USGP from a business perspective. Does it make $ after covering expenses, including however much goes to Bernie. If it doesn’t, then I can’t blame Tony George for saying, "Thanks, but no thanks." 

    If that is the case, I’ll be sad, but will live with it. I can still easily go to Montreal. And there are a handful of international venues I want to visit, basing a vacation around a F1 race.
     
    I’m glad to send along my E-mail to you if doing so is allowed by the site. In addition to my friend in Delaware, I have only three other acquaintances who are F1 fans. They are in California.

    Best regards.

    John Chester
    Trenton, NJ USA

  46. John,

    Thnaks for your opinion and insight! I will contact Keith and see if he can forward my email along to you- while this appears to be a fantastic group of people posting here, I do not want to post my email for obvious reasons.

    I do know a handful of F1 fans around my area. The interesting thing about most them is that they don’t ust follow F1, but also are avid followers of NASCAR, IndyCar and even NHRA racing! It was my previous idea that F1 fans were not very interested in those other series and vice versa, but these people are very enthusiastic about F1 and yet follow many other forms of the sport- quite an interesting perspective! I think it gose to show that many people in America can and will develop an interest in the sport if it continues to grow here.

    On the subject of races in the other nations, I also hope to visit some other venues to see F1. However, i’ll always pull for F1 to have a presence in America and will always try to make sure I can attend that race before any other. For example I hope to visit the Canadain GP in the next few years, after i’ve completed grad school and have a permenent job that I can take some vacation time from to see both races of the North American doubleheader because I woulden’t want to miss the American leg of it as well.

    I must admit that a good part of my reason for wanting the USGP to return is me just being a proud American- I want to be able to see my nation’s name among the other great countries of the world on the GP schedule. It dose indeed need to make some financial profit, but I think that can be done. I recently wrote an article on the subject for my campus newspaper that you can check out at the link below. It’s nothing that you probably don’t already know, but you may recognise the expert source i’ve used!
    http://media.www.wilkesbeacon.com/media/storage/paper533/news/2008/04/20/Sports/Will-Formula.1.Return.To.America-3336330.shtml

    Best regards!

  47. Personally, I can’t see why F1 can’t race full oval tracks? It is a little embarrassing trying to get Americans to watch F1, when they are used to watching Indycars tearing around the Brickyard at 215mph.
    The middle section of Indianapolis used in the F1 races is horrible, real Micky Mouse chicanes and only one half decent straight. At the end of the day, fans want to see the cars on the ‘ragged edge’ and the drivers pushed to the limit.
    Ofcourse, Ralf Schumacher’s crashes in 2004 and 2005 did raise safety concerns, but in both cases, the cars in question, one a Williams the other a Toyota, both stood up extremely well to the impacts they recieved.
    Going off at the Paribolica backwards is no less dangerous than going off at Indianapolis, or at Eau Rouge.
    This latest reconstruction of the Brickyard, in order to cater for F1, deliberately leaves out the one thing
    this race had going for it, the banking.
    How can F1, and us as its fans, look all those other series in the eye and claim to be superior to them?
    When we don’t even race one race on a track like they do. Instead of testing the cars at Silverstone, try testing one at Rockingham, UK, and gain some feedback?
    If we are prepared to race through Singapore at night under the lights, atleast we could try to race on an oval once in a while.

  48. I’m totally with you on that. I would love to see F1 racing on ovals. Might make a post out of that actually!

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