The absence of the US Grand Prix from the Formula 1 calendar is the fault of the sport's teams for demanding too much money to race there – that is the assertion of commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone.
The event was held at Indianapolis from 2000 to 2007, but fell out of favour after Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George and Ecclestone's Formula One Management (FOM) company could not come to a financial agreement to extend the contract.
That prompted outrage from F1 team bosses, with many of the manufacturers seeing America as a key selling market for their cars and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) understood to be pushing hard for a return to the continent. With the Canadian Grand Prix similarly having dropped off the schedule in 2009, this year marks the first in more than half a century that there will be no North American race on the calendar.
Despite the teams' desire to see the grand prix re-instated, however, Ecclestone has pinned the blame for its loss entirely at their door.
“The teams wanted too much money to race there,” the 78-year-old told German news agency SID
. “That was the problem. We are talking, but for the moment the teams do not want any more than 17 races.”
Ecclestone added that whilst discussions regarding a return are ongoing, Indianapolis would not be welcoming the top flight again anytime soon, insisting: “We would go elsewhere.”
The US Grand Prix has previously been held at Phoenix, Watkins Glen, Long Beach and Las Vegas amongst other venues.