US GP return on cards for 2010, but what race can it replace ?

United States Grand Prix

United States Grand Prix

The Belgian GP follow up was all about the last 3 laps of the race and the Lewis Hamilton (non)win. However there were other things going on behind the scenes.

Failure of Bernie Ecclestone and Tony George to find some common ground lead to US GP elimination from the F1 calendar. We had no US GP this year, there is no US GP featuring on 2009 provisional race calendar. It looks like last weekend in Belgium some first steps were taken to bring the US GP back, perhaps as early as in 2010. Bernie Ecclestone held talks with team principals and the topic was the return of F1 race to United States. There is hardly any team principal happy with the current sitaution and it looks like the F1 team bosses made this clear (yet again) to Bernie. I am not sure if the current economic climate has anything to with it, but this time Bernie seems to be listening.

“Bernie is very good at understanding the market and what the manufacturers want. He does realise the importance of this and we know he is doing his best to fix the problem, and we will give him all the support we can. We are all aligned on the importance of America.” – Nick Fry

According to Autosport the return of US GP in 2010 seems likely, however it may not be to Indianapolis. From commercial and marketing reasons it looks like the teams would prefer a location on either Pacific of Atlantic cost, with Las Vegas also a posibility.

Well while I am not sure I would want to see F1 back in Las Vegas I do hope some deal will be done and Formula 1 racing can return to the United States. What I wonder again is, what race will have to make a way. The vacancy created by missing UP GP has been more than filled up with already with Valencia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Now it gets even more crowded since British, Australian and Hungarian GPs have recently got their new contracts. We have 18 races this year, 19 next year (addition of Abu Dhabi), India and South Korea coming and US GP hopefuly returning in 2010. That makes it already 22 candidates for 20 slots.

Who is there to make way ? Is there actually any race on current calendar without a contract for 2010 (except French GP perhaps) ?

Photo: Renault/LAT

14 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Unfortunately, most of us in the UK are extremely sceptical that Donington Park will be fit to host a Grand Prix by the summer of 2010, although we really hope it can, because the people mainly losing out from its failure will be us fans.

    Bernie Ecclestone has said twice within the last couple of weeks that it’s Donington or nowhere – so unfortunately you could probably pencil the US race where the British one used to be…

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      it is a possibility but I doubt that such a swicth is what the team bosses have in mind when asking for US GP to return …

    • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

      I think Donington deserves a try, the track is a very traditional place for motor racing. I do like the fast turns in the hills, in a narrow track within the country fields, although the driving should be extreme when the track gets wet :-)

      Why not a British GP in there? I have never been in that track, just seen at TV and it’s much more exciting than Silverstone can be. Hopefully the new pit lane in Silverstone gets real and the race goes back there someday, it’s much more enjoyable for the spectators switching places every season as in Germany happens.

      • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

        I think the problem is that Donnington is far from ready to host F1 GP. Many British fans doubt the owners will be able to get all the permits and finish the track upgrade or renovation on time for 2010 race. But let’s see

        • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

          Aha, but Valencian city showed us that it is possible, and Singapore hopefully. But British may know better how is the situation, of course Donington Park looks a national race track, not much good for an F1 race (null paddock, little pit lane and boxes, few grandstands ). Yeah! The update is far away for a F1 grand prix.

  2. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    Its my understanding that only Indianapolis has the facility to host an F1 event at this time. No other road course except Daytona can handle the crowds, and Daytona does not have the appropriate run off areas as required for F1.

    I have heard a lot of rumors about Las Vegas, and they certainly have the money to build a track. I do worry that Vegas is already too crowded to host an additional 150,000 people.

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      maybe now only Indaianpolis is ready. but the talk is about 2010. a year ago there was nothing in Singapore, in 3 weeks there will be Formula 1 race, Valencia is similar example. I think when they are thinking about the best location these days, they not care whether there is a track or tradition …

    • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

      Are the gigantic Hotels there really full??? I’m amazed!

      • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

        Well depends on time. When I go to vegas it is always a trade show time and getting a hotel room is not easy…

  3. Victor LemoineNo Gravatar says:

    US GP 2010 in Miami, FL
    Following the success from the Valencia circuit, Miami is getting some attention. Miami has the infrastructure (hotels, airports, etc.) to handle an event of this caliber. They already handle the American Super Bowl of american football. The city is right on the coast and population is definetely international. The only set back would be the poiliticians which will probably demand some money up front to develop the right street circuit right along the water. The original Miami Grand Prix used to be raced in the street so they have done this before. Only time will tell.

    • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

      The problems in Miami: are they really that big for being considered?

      – Miami suffers the beginning of the Hurricane season at the dates which the USGP used to take part. It would risk an event which needs of months of preparation, loosing lots and lots of money.

      – Aren’t the Florida laws too much strict? What if happens some accident and the security fails? I heard that there even still exists the death sentence.

      – About politicians I’m sure it would happen, I’m not US citizen or even live close, but it would happen anyway in any country over the world. But I do believe that especially in the USA.

      Kotenoks last blog post..Ferrari_Alex

  4. Jose ArellanoNo Gravatar says:

    i really like long beach track

  5. Paul JonesNo Gravatar says:

    Seems a shame they’re not coming back to Indy for Formula 1. No track in the U.S. has the tradition that Indy has, and the infrastructure is all there, plus the fan base was getting to the point it was pretty educated on F1. This is important, because without better advertising or something, F1 is a tough sell in the U.S. And the Indy fans stuck it out through the tire fiasco, so it was a pretty loyal base. Certainly the new airport opening in November will help, and the Indy 500 gets 2-3X the number of fans, so the hotel and other aspects are all there. Spanish population is up, so relatives from Sount America might come up, etc. Plus a very nice Race Car museum, if you have an extra day. Las Vegas is Las Vegas, F1’s been-there, done-that, didn’t work well. Too hot, too much else going on. And if you end up on the coasts, well, the prices will double. You do have Daytona in Florida, a race track almost as legendary as Indy, but also home of NASCAR, and what a NASCAR fan thinks of F1, well, “elite” is not necessarily a good thing. Indy is much nearer the car manufacturing base in the U.S., which helps it get fans. Wouldn’t mind a street race back in Detroit, but it wouldn’t be Indy. I think F1’s best bet would be to just go back, stop dorking around, build the base, maybe tell them to straigten/widen out Micky’n’Mouse, work so that passing is easier here and there, and get on with it.

  6. F1naticNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s my rundown of possible venues

    1. Indy –
    Pro: Well known track, good facilities, recent (somewhat dubious) F1 experience,
    – Greedy/Poor promoters,
    – un-remarkable venue(contrast Shanghi, Valencia),
    – No investment from GVT or Commercial sectors.
    – low expectation of market penetration

    2. Laguna Seca – Corkscrew makes it impossible.

    3. Long Beach.
    Pro: established street course, glamorous location, possible investment from Govt or Commercial sectors, Higher expectation of racing market penetration
    Cons: conflicting and binding contracts with other Racing organizations(Indycar)?
    Another unknown street circut for teams to cope with. (valencia, Singapore)
    Long distance for F1 teams to travel for just one race. .

    4. Las Vegas
    Pro: Tremendous Glamor. Huge potential investment from Commercial sector. Sufficient transport and hoteling infrastructure. Higher expectation of market penetration
    Con:NO F1 racing facilities to speak of.
    Long distance for F1 teams to travel for just one race. .

    5. Watkins Glen, NY
    Pro: Ancient F1 History.
    Con: too far gone for F1. too far off the radar low expectation of market penetration

    6. LimeRock Conn
    Pro: NYC proximity, Decent road course.
    Cons: Facility upgrade, no Govt investment, low expectation of market penetration

    7. Road America
    Pro: Superb track
    Cons: Terrible location (MooseFart WI) No investment from local gvt or commerce. Poor Hoteling/nite life.

    My Assessment says Las Vegas. It ticks more of the boxes of what Bernie seems to be doing…. Glitzy/International venues, deep market penetration against few competitors, Temporary street courses are not taboo. Huge monitary assistance from local goverments and/or Commercial interests
    Just get a few million $$ from the casino association and tell Hermann Tilke to deploy another of his prefabricated facilities.

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