Indianapolis still hopeful of 2009 F1 race

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

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51 comments on Indianapolis still hopeful of 2009 F1 race

  1. 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?

  2. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th April 2008, 8:35

    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?

  3. Sri said on 11th April 2008, 9:04

    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.

  4. Mark said on 11th April 2008, 9:34

    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…..


  5. Chalky said on 11th April 2008, 10:20

    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.

  6. 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…

  7. Peter Boyle said on 11th April 2008, 11:57

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

    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.

    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…

  8. 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.

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th April 2008, 12:01

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

    Nice to see a lurker emerge from the shadows though!

  10. 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 ..


  11. 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…

  12. Scott Joslin said on 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th April 2008, 14:27

    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?

  15. Kathryn S said on 11th April 2008, 14:27

    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.

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