Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti, IndyCar, Texas Motor Speedway, 2020

Penske plans bigger IndyCar calendar, F1 at Indianapolis possible next year

IndyCar

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IndyCar owner Roger Penske intends to add more races to the championship’s schedule and could bring F1 back to Indianapolis Motor Speedway as early as next year.

However Penske confirmed he intends to maintain IndyCar’s balance between races on street, road and oval circuits.

“We want to add more races to the schedule,” Penske told Sirius XM. “I think we have a balance between ovals and also permanent road courses [and] temporary like Detroit, like Long Beach, like Toronto, places like that.”

He will also consider whether there is “an opportunity for a Formula 1 race [in] ’21, ’22 or ’23” at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. F1 last raced at the home of the Indianapolis 500 in 2007 on its grand prix circuit.

Penske is determined the postponed Indianapolis 500 will go ahead per its new schedule. “We’re going to run the Indy 500 in 2020,” he said. “We’re looking at all the aspects of that.

“We think our timetable was smart to move it out. The good news is, as we see the Covid numbers coming down, we watch it every day in the state of Indiana, I think it’s positive. So we will have an Indy 500 in August.”

The plight of Indy Lights, which has cancelled its 2020 season following the disruption caused by the pandemic, will receive swift attention, Penske added.

“As you know, we decided not to run the Indy Lights this year,” he said. “We really only had six or seven cars that we thought might compete and we can’t be putting on a series with six or seven cars. I think that’s a detriment to the brand.”

Penske will “look at maybe a new rule package for even for ’21 that we can maybe bring Indy Lights where each [IndyCar] team that’s registered as a Leader Circle team will provide at least one entry so we can bring that back and that’ll be a key part of our ladder series to bring these guys up the ladder into the Indy 500.”

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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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  • 13 comments on “Penske plans bigger IndyCar calendar, F1 at Indianapolis possible next year”

      1. Interesting idea. 👍

      2. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk I think that’s actually a great idea. The oval straights, some fast sweepers and chicanes—it looks far better to me than the actual road course layout. Nobody really cares about the infield section anyway, and it’s far more visually appealing to see the cars on as much of the oval as possible.

      3. That’s a cool layout but the F1 guys don’t have the stones for it. Too fast and too oval-like.

    1. Atmosphere may be better at Indy ( if they all forgot / forgive what happened in 2005 ) , but as a F1 race track COTA is better and please stay there.

    2. I’d happily see a return to the Brickyard for F1 as an iconic heritage venue, but hopefully not at the sacrifice of Circuit Of The Americas. It’d be good to recontextualise F1 at Indianapolis for a new generation, especially after the ’05 farce.

    3. Courtney Ives
      9th June 2020, 11:26

      In a calendar of 22+ races, if F1 were to return to Indy, one race of the season on an oval would add a great bit of variety. Something truly different from the rest of the increasingly homologated calendar.

      1. Would be cool but I don’t think the cars are suitable for ovals. (both safety and certain car parts) And of course there is the tyre issue. And drivers are not qualified for ovals either.

        It’d be good if one banking remained for F1. (not going to happen…)

        1. The banking is no longer a problem. The banking at Zandvoort is steeper than the one at Indy and Pirelli has said the tires will withstand the loads.

    4. F1 at Indianapolis possible next year

      We really only had six or seven cars that we thought might compete and we can’t be putting on a series with six or seven cars. I think that’s a detriment to the brand

      Hahaha

      1. pastaman (@)
        10th June 2020, 0:57

        I see what you did there :)

        Also, I was at that ill-fated race :(

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