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. John Chester said on 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

  2. Gman said on 28th April 2008, 4:40

    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!

  3. the limit said on 3rd May 2008, 23:32

    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.

  4. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd May 2008, 23:49

    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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