Today, one week after the Canadian Grand Prix, should be the United States Grand Prix. But the race fell off the calendar this year after Bernie Ecclestone and Indianapolis circuit owner Tony George failed to agree terms.
American fans make up the second-largest group of F1 Fanatic readers by nation (16% in May) and many of them have voiced their displeasure at the loss of the race here. And lots of non-American fans want to see F1 back at Indianapolis because a world championship should have an American round.
Today at F1 Fanatic we’ll have a mini-series of posts with a distinctly American theme…
Earlier this year there were rumours that $10m was the difference between Ecclestone and George on negotiating a new Grand Prix contact.
F1 sponsors want the race back in America and the six car manufacturers that compete will surely want to be represented in the world’s largest car market.
If F1 does go back to Indianapolis it will probably be to a revised circuit. The Indianapolis road course has been changed to accommodate Moto GP bikes, which cannot run on the oval corners (diagram here).
Yesterday it emerged that the Australian Grand Prix may have kept its place on the calendar without having to concede to Bernie Ecclestone’s demand that the race be held at night.
He is not making the same request of the American Grand Prix organisers (a midday start in the States makes for an evening television viewing slot in Europe) but it may indicate that Ecclestone is will to compromise. Perhaps he is a little anxious to keep the car manufacturers onside in the wake of the fall-out over the Max Mosley scandal.
A few weeks ago the chances of a United States Grand Prix being on the calendar in 2009 were described as 50-50. Fingers crossed for good news soon.