F1 could be set to return to America for the first time since 2007 should Bernie Ecclestone successfully get his way – but rather than going back to its most recent home of Indianapolis, the race might be held around the streets of the only city so famous they had to name it twice, New York.
The top flight last visited the United States two years ago, but following a failure to agree contract terms between Ecclestone's Formula One Management (FOM) company and Indianapolis Motor Speedway owners, the event fell off the annual calendar.
Whilst Indy never managed to attract particularly large crowds – particularly in the wake of the controversial and highly-damaging 2005 race, when only six of the 20 cars took the start due to safety fears over Michelin's tyres for the weekend and intransigence on the part of the FIA – both Ecclestone and the car manufacturers in particular are keen to return to what is inarguably the largest automotive marketplace in the world.
Now, it appears the sport's influential commercial rights-holder is eyeing the construction of a new circuit either on a vacant industrial site on Staten Island or else around the iconic streets of Manhattan.
“In 2010 we are going to Korea and the year after to India,” the 78-year-old told Italian newspaper La Stampa
. “We are also trying to organise a grand prix in New York.”
Aside from Indianapolis – which welcomed F1 from 2000 until 2007 – grands prix have also been held over the years in Detroit, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Dallas, Long Beach and Watkins Glen in upstate New York, though the latter would reportedly need millions of dollars of investment and improvements to be able to reclaim its place on the schedule.
After similarly being dropped for the 2009 campaign, the Canadian Grand Prix
around Montreal's Iconic Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
has tentatively been re-instated for 2010, making the re-appearance of a US Grand Prix the next logical step, given that the two races have traditionally run back-to-back given their relative geographical proximity to one another.