If Formula One returns to the United States, it could be on the streets of New York rather than at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway if Bernie Ecclestone has his way.
Having recently admitted that taking F1 to the Brickyard had had its flaws [see story here
], Ecclestone has revealed that he is in negotiation to take the sport to the heart of New York City, possibly as soon as 2012.
"I'm trying for 2012, opposite Manhattan in New Jersey, with skyscrapers in the background," he revealed in an interview with Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport
, "Fifteen minutes from the centre of New York to the circuit - [it would be] a wonder."
F1 hasn't graced the United States since 2007, after which Ecclestone and then Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Tony George failed to agree on a fee to return. That played into the hands of aspiring F1 hosts, with the schedule now taking in the likes of Abu Dhabi and Korea instead of the USA. Ecclestone is also hopeful of adding both India and a street race in Rome - to run alongside the existing Italian GP at Monza - to the calendar, which he says could expand to 20 or more races in coming years.
Street circuits have played a major role in the history of the USGP, with Long Beach, Detroit and, infamously, Dallas and Phoenix all having staged an F1 event over the years, but the return to Indianapolis was widely believed to have been in the best interests of the sport. Even though Ecclestone appears opposed to a return, the famous circuit insists that it has not turned its back on F1.
“We continue to have dialogue with F1, and we've long maintained we're interested in hosting their events,” IMS spokesman Chris Schwantz told the Indianapolis Business Journal
, “2011 would be a long shot, though. Obviously, there's a lot to consider.”