No F1 GP at Indianapolis in 2008

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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has announced it will not be holding an F1 Grand Prix in 2008.

The circuit owners had stipulated a deadline of July 9th for confirming a deal to hold the race. But circuit owner Tony George and F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone failed to agree on the fee for the race.

F1 didn’t do itself justice at the spiritual home of American motor racing – farcical events in 2002 and 2005 massively harmed the series’ reputation.

Ecclestone has been talking about arranging a race at Las Vegas based on the streets around the famous neon-lit strip. If he has a deal lined up to race there it’s possible that he refused to give George a favourable deal even in the light of the ’02 and ’05 races.

IMS had agreed to just a one-year contract extension in 2006

There had also been talk of changes to the circuit to accommodate a forthcoming Moto GP race which would have altered the configuration of the F1 road circuit.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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18 comments on “No F1 GP at Indianapolis in 2008”

  1. Simon Stiel
    12th July 2007, 19:56

    It’s a pity about 2008 but Las Vegas need not to be the alternative. As you’ve mentioned before, Watkins Glen hosted an Indycars round. F1 should be feasible there.

    Another idea would be one that someone who lives locally to me is working on. The Alabama Motorsports Park hopes to offer what the architect Clive Bowen called a “European style of racing challenge”. A spokeswoman stated that “We’re interested in Indy of Formula 1 type races”.

    Kind regards.

  2. oh man… if the high rollers of F1 hated Indianapolis… What are they going to think of Mobile, Alabama! LOL

    no way…

  3. Simon Stiel
    12th July 2007, 21:43

    With all due respect, Mobile is undergoing significant economic growth. The FIA may not hate it and in the hands of Clive Bowen, who designed the Dubai circuit for A1 Grand Prix and the Iceland Motopark, it could be ideal.

    Nevertheless, Watkins Glen should be the No.1 venue if Indianapolis cannot return.

    Kind regards.

  4. The reason Las Vegas is mentioned is because although the race eventually became ChampCar’s opening round this year, the group that set up the race were originally trying to negotiate an F1 round.

    The only problem I envision is that while the Las Vegas layout was good by ChampCar standards, it’s a bit ugly by the standards of Formula 1. (The curb chicane in the back stretches will have to go; all it did was prevent the straight from becoming an overtaking zone, as cars did not really have to steer to avoid the curbs if lined up in single file.) Like pondering Long Beach, I think there would have to be a lot of renovation to smooth out the bumps before FIA will consider.

    Since both F1’s brass and Tony George are famous for making strong bluffs in negotiations, I’ll consider the debate over when either a new venue is announced, or an official calendar lacking a USA date is printed.

  5. I live in Indy and went to the race. What a shame.

  6. it is a mix of money and politics. for any track F1 goes to the F1 weekend is THE highlight of the year. it was not so at Indy and that is difficult to digest for Bernie. On the other hand he has so many other tracks backed with governement and other money knocking on his door … if he as a Brit would not mind to drop British GP can’t expect him to shed a tear if US GP goes …

    I always enjoyed the Indy F1 GP (except the Ferrari/Jordan/Minardi one), it was intereseting to see once a year F1 cars racing flat out on the part of the oval track …

    but… all they announced so far is that there will be no US GP in 2008 … There was no Spa in 2006, we have it back in 2007 …

  7. Ben Goldberg
    13th July 2007, 7:07

    If they have the USGP in Las Vegas in June/July like they have for the past few years, it’ll likely be over 110 degrees which would be interesting. They wouldn’t have a race in those kind of conditions though, would they?

  8. That’s 43C – not dissimilar to the kind of conditions they run in at Malaysia, which has the added bonus of oppressive humidity as well…

  9. Malaysia GP condition is 43C? I wouldn’t want to know how it feels like to be the F1 driver!

  10. Perhaps I’m exaggerating a little, but high 30s is not uncommon at Sepang during the race.

  11. They ran a race in Germany 2002 that was around 50 degrees Celcius, if the race report in F1 Magazine is to be believed…

    As for the US GP, this is a classic example of Bernie wanting too much money for a race that F1 never seemed to treat with as much respect as some of the government-backed venues. He needs to remember that other businesses must make a profit if his is to function properly…

  12. I went to Sepang 3 times, there are only 2 kinds of weather there – extremely hot and humid, or heavy heavy rain … As a spectator you can survive, if you drink a lot (water or beer both in plentiful supply) and if your seat is at of the covered grandstands. I really can’t imagine spending 3 days on one of those hillside stands …

    How the drivers manage to last the race in those conditions… I heard Pedro de la Rosa talking about that over there in McLaren stand. He said something like – Lots of fluid, and then you eventually have to pee in the car…

    In Vegas they at least they pretty much know what weather they can expect …

  13. Las Vegas would be good – DC and Webber could take a little bag of coins with them and play the slots on their way back to the pits after their gearbox breaks yet again… ;o)

  14. If formula one is going to come back to Vegas I hope they design the circuit to incorporate the strip and maybe make it a night race or something. Las Vegas, especially downtown where they had the champ car race, is ugly and not a part of Vegas you’d particularly want to visit. Vegas just doesn’t have glamor unless you do it at night. Plus that would help with the heat

  15. I’m not happy about the news from Indy! F1 needs to be in the US in my opinion. Sadly the majority of american racing fans like NASCAR. let’s all get drunk and watch a little here and a little there over the next 3-4 hours, watch a few crashes and go home. It’s like baseball, you don’t have to pay attention to what’s going on half the time. As for an alternative track; Vegas? Are you kidding me? That’s just what F1 needs. A damn street course winding thru downtown. Watkins Glen would never work due to the same issues that Indy struggled with and that’s the fees. NASCAR owns the Glen, they would never pay Bernie for a race. The real alternative would be Daytona, as if we need more racing from there but I doubt they would pay the fees. Bring it back to Indy!

    16th July 2007, 1:24


  17. Can’t they just race in Laguna Seca?

  18. What Eccelstone needs to think about with regards to the USGP is, where are the fans of F1 in the US?
    They are not in:
    -not in the south, with the exception of south Florida. (no offense to southerners, I am one.)
    What does that leave?
    Northeast- New York
    East coast-Miami
    West Coast- Long Beach
    Find the fan base and grow it.

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