Following Bernie Ecclestone's comments at the weekend, a spokesman for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) has revealed that whilst there are presently 'no negotiations' taking place regarding the re-instatement of a US Grand Prix on the annual F1 calendar, the circuit 'would love' to welcome the top flight again in the not-too distant future.
In Bahrain for the curtain-raising F1 2010 outing, the sport's hugely influential commercial rights-holder Ecclestone conceded that 'we'd like to get back' to the States [see separate story – click here
], pinning the blame on 'the wrong crowd and the wrong people' for 'nothing working' and the American round having fallen off the schedule three years ago.
By that, it is widely understood that the Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive was referring primarily to former 'Brickyard' boss Tony George, with whom he was unable to come to financial terms – meaning the event disappeared for 2008 and has yet to return, despite the support of many of the teams.
Whilst 2011 appears unlikely in the extreme with 20 grands prix already looking to be assured of slots, IMS spokesman Chris Schwantz admitted to the Indianapolis Business Journal
that moves are afoot to reach an agreement between the two hitherto distant parties.
“We continue to have dialogue with Formula 1, and we've long maintained we're interested in hosting their events,” he expressed. “2011 would be a long shot, though. Obviously, there's a lot to consider.”
“In terms of negotiations, nothing is happening at this time,” added fellow spokesman Eric Powell, speaking to the Indy Star
. “We would love to have Formula 1 in Indianapolis. We feel this is the best venue for Formula 1 in the United States.”
Indy staged the US Grand Prix on eight occasions between 2000 and 2007, though the sport's reputation across the other side of the Pond was tarnished somewhat by the Michelin tyre débâcle
of 2005, when the FIA's intransigence with regard to the regulations led to only six cars starting what turned into a farcical race due to safety fears – and left fans in the grandstands disgusted. Many never went back.