2010 United States Grand Prix rumoured

American crowds could see F1 in 2010 - but probably not at Indianapolis

American crowds could see F1 in 2010 - but probably not at Indianapolis

F1 team bosses have put more pressure on Bernie Ecclestone to put the United States Grand Prix back on the calendar in 2010.

However the venue for the race may not be the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the race was last held from 2000-2007.

The teams have made it clear they want a USA Grand Prix on the calendar. Nick Fry, who’s spoken in favour of the US Grand Prix before, told Autosport.com:

This is supposed to be a world championship and a large part of it is made up of North America, so we should be going back there.

The North American market is absolutely vital to us, and for all the luxury car makers especially it is key. It is a market Honda is successful in, with Honda and Acura, and we would like to get back there as soon as possible.

But Mario Theissen explained why a return to Indianapolis may be avoided:

If I look at where we sell our cars it is certainly on the east coast and the west coast, so from that perspective [Indianapols] is not the ideal venue.

If not Indianapolis, then where?

Indianapolis has been modified since it held its final United States Grand Prix last year and if it was used would likely be run in the opposite direction without using the oval turn.

America has dozens of racing tracks and some of them, like Elkhart Lake and Laguna Seca, would be stunning places to watch F1 cars race. But they are likely a long way away from F1’s expectations of safety standards and paddock facilities.

A street track might be a better option. America has many street circuits and could take advantage of the new fashion for street racing in F1. F1’s experience of racing on American street has been variously good (Long Beach), bad (Pheonix) and ugly (Las Vegas).

But it’s been said time and again on this blog that F1 must have an American round. The small but passionate F1 following in America too often gets overlooked by those who think motor racing in the USA begins and ends with NASCAR. A United States Grand Prix in 2010 would be two years too late but still very welcome. Still, let’s not get too excited – we’ve heard these rumours before.

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47 comments on 2010 United States Grand Prix rumoured

  1. To follow up, I meant to say “Keith” when referring to our esteemed editor- sorry on that one!

    In terms of building a new track, it would be fantastic to see a new circuit developed somewhere in the U.S.- the places mentioned earlier are all great and will continue to be, but I would love to see America have a new complex on par with places like Istambul and Shanghai. To that end, the best possibility I have heard came from a friend of a friend who has connections to a development group in the New York area- this bunch apparently wants to build an F1-spec track in the New York city area. As such, the most likley location would be at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey- just miles outside of the city and within clear view of the Manhattan skyline.

    If there is some truth to this, there are a number of issues that would need to be sorted out, but it would be great if it worked- I know you’re all thinking of a GP in California, but there are many F1 fans out here on the east coast as well :) According to my friend, the main hurdle for the developers is that they will only launch the project if they can get both F1 and NASCAR to come to the facility on an annual basis. And as some of you may know, getting a slot on the NASCAR schedule is darned near impossible, even when compared with F1- much of this being due to many tracks having two races a year, leaving next to no room for expansion.

    In my book, any return to the U.S. for F1 is a good one, so we’ll see what happens. And for all we know, Bernie could have an entirely new card up his sleeve that none of us know about, so keep an eye out for anything!

  2. Missouri Mike said on 10th September 2008, 20:26

    They can build a track in my back yard, I’m not doing anything with it anyway. I’ll sell them the land for cheap if they’ll let me run my car on the track whenever I want after its built. What say, Bernie?

  3. donwatters said on 10th September 2008, 21:56

    Gman: Been to the F1 Indy event twice. Yes, the tickets are very affordable…but the hotels are a huge ripoff. While I understand that doesn’t bother B. Eccelestone, I think he has a problem with the ambiance of Indiana not being up to F1 standards he expects. Having also been to the race in Monaco, he does have a point.

  4. I was hoping they would consider Road Atlanta but,it is kinda in the middle of nowhere.Not enough lodging either.(I would love to see F1 cars coming downhill into turns 10A and 10B,good overtaking spot)But,it is in my backyard so,I suppose it is wishfull thinking.Laguna Seca is an awesome track,lets have it there or,Watkins Glen,Sebring, Missouri Mike’s backyard,hell I don’t care,JUST BRING IT BACK!!

  5. Mahir C said on 11th September 2008, 3:19

    @gman
    facilities in Istanbul are far from great from a viewers perspective and it is a hell of a job to get to the circuit. I think future US gp organizers should have the new circuit-if they build it- somewhere closer to the city centers.
    I would like to see the race in Road America, with some upgraded pits it will be great.

  6. The only best circuit for f1 in the states is laguna seca or maybe infineon raceway if they get the paddoks setup for it. What we really need is a F1 built track on the west coast asap.

  7. Chalky said on 11th September 2008, 9:13

    Gman – “Meadowlands Sports Complex”
    Now a fancy new F1 track there would certainly be impressive. You have all the transportation links in and only a stones throw from Manhattan.
    I guess with the cost of building it, you’d need a Nascar + F1 event each year to make it work. But then you’d think they could charge all those stockbrokers plenty of money for some weekend fun?

  8. Matt, a night race in Las Vegas would be absolutely amazing!!

    they couldn’t have it there in the day though, becase the last F1 race in Las Vegas resulted in poor attendance and racers being extremely dehydrated from the heat (desert heat is much harsher then say humid heat). Why not Los Angeles?

  9. Areez- While a night race with the casinos all lit up may make for a great spectacle, it would never fly as long as Bernie is in charge. As Chalky points out in post 7, Bernie strives to make sure GP start times line up as best they can for the European viewing audiences- therefore allowing his companies to charge the max rates for advertising. A night race in Vegas- even if started around 8 PM local time- would be in the wee early morning in Europe, and that would never fly with Mr. E.

    Chalky- Indeed, a track at the Meadowlands would be more than fantastic- all the perks and pomp of NYC just across the river, and within driving range for tens of millions of Americans. If the teams are looking for an ideal spot from a marketing standpoint, they won’t get a better one than New York. Finally, from a personal standpoint, it would be less than two hours from my home and would be just next to the brand-new stadium for my beloved New York Giants of the NFL- I coulden’t ask for anything better!!

  10. In browsing around for a bit more news on this topic, I’ve discovered another fantastic venue….New Jersey Motorsports Park, brand-new facility located in Southern New Jersey. If it’s up to F1-spec, it could be the PERFECT venue for the USGP!! It’s very close to Atlantic City, so Bernie and everyone can have all the fun of Vegas, and the teams can still go racing at a proper circuit. And it’s right here on the East Coast, very close to Philidelphia and just a few hours from New York.

    Take a look at the link and see what you all think-has anyone on this site been there before or know if it would mee F1 sregulations?

    http://www.njmotorsportspark.com/

    • Evan said on 16th May 2010, 16:13

      Atlantic City Casinos are know to be huge dives, attracting impoverished gamblers on regional buses…not high stakes camblers on private planes.

  11. I used to live in Indianapolis and went to every race. Don’t knock Indy – there is nowhere in the world that compares to it. It’s just unfortunate that they didn’t come up with a better road course.

    Unfortunately, track owner Tony George said in an interview with the Indianapolis newspaper that talks had broken off.
    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080908/SPORTS0107/809080352/1052/SPORTS01

    Long Beach may not be too big of a stretch. I think that the race there is owned by George’s arch-enemy Kalkhoven, who’s Champ Car was driven into bankruptcy by the IRL. It is quite possible that Kalkhoven would love to stick it to George by snatching the USGP.

  12. Gman:

    That Thunderbolt raceway circuit layout reminds me somewhat of Brands Hatch. A tight wiggly bit out on a limb, attached to a fast, square-shaped section.

    Looks a if it’s not quite built yet though.

  13. James Fair said on 27th October 2008, 2:08

    Why not return to the glorious 50’s (when the Indy 500 was included in the Championship points) and include a US oval in with the mix of road courses? As a pure speed event, it would be fascinating to see what would happen. Maybe even NASCAR-ites would take a peek.

  14. Hmm…a United States Grand Prix…at the Meadowlands? Am I the only living person that remembers the Indy Car race by that name in the ’80s, on a street course within the Meadowlands complex? It seems even here in North Jersey no one remembers it but me, and it was reasonably well attended so that’s baffling. Major renovations there (new Giants Stadium going up and the old one still standing until spring 2010 at least, and construction of the Xanadu shopping complex) would make a street circuit difficult to lay out and a permanent one all but impossible, but I’d sure enjoy a 10-minute trip to an F1 race, so it sounds nice to me. Don’t hold your breath for NASCAR to come to town under such circumstances either…once International Speedway Corp (NASCAR’s even eviler track-owning twin, which is mainly in the business of running race tracks out of business) was rebuffed in an attempt to construct an oval in Staten Island, I think NASCAR got the hint that cracking this market would be harder than they’d anticipated and decided to give up.

    By the way, the CART “USGP Meadowlands” does have a Bernie connection…Bernie had hoped to hold an F1 race at Flushing Meadows in Queens, also on a street circuit, but when that proved impractical, the Meadowlands option surfaced…ultimately, though, Bernie lost interest and it was only ever run as a CART Indy car race.

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