No deal yet for US GP in 2008 UPDATE #2 "They haven't done anything to really get behind it have they?" Bernie Ecclestone told Reuters on Saturday when asked if he was satisfied with the race at the Brickyard.
"We arrive in town, what do we get? We get banners saying the Indy 500. Not really the way to promote Formula One," added the Briton. "They haven't got behind it, full stop."
06/16/07 After a series of conversations between Formula One Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone and Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Tony George about the future of the United States Grand Prix, IMS President and COO Joie Chitwood said both parties are working toward an agreement for 2008 and beyond.
“Tony has stressed to Bernie in these meetings that we want to continue the event, and we believe he feels the same,” Chitwood said. “With eight years experience with the USGP, both Tony and Bernie know what the challenges are. They are exploring ways to get to a long-term agreement, and we expect to make an announcement no later than July 12.
“If we are going to have a USGP in 2008, we know that we need to make the announcement and start working on the event by the second week of July.”
Chitwood said he continues to be optimistic about the future of the event.
“With the Indianapolis 500, we annually present the world’s largest sporting event and also play host to the largest-attended NASCAR race with the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard,” Chitwood said. “We just need to continue to work with the Formula One community and find the right business model to make this event successful for all involved. That is our goal.”
06/16/07 (GMM) Meetings between US grand prix promoter Tony George and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone this weekend have so far failed to result in an extension of Indianapolis' expiring contract to host the annual race.
George is understood to be seeking a long term deal to retain the event that has been staged here since 2000, but the face-to-face conversations all ended without agreement on a deal to bring the sport back to Indy in 2008.
The original contract was for seven years, and George only agreed to a one-year extension last season following the fallout from the six-car debacle of 2005.
George and Ecclestone met twice on Friday and again for twenty minutes on Saturday afternoon, and George said after the latter meeting: "Obviously, we would like to be in position to announce something this weekend, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
"It's all about money, promotion and interest. We have to garner more interest," George admitted.
It is understood that Indy pays around $10m per year in promoter's fees to Formula One Administration, which is lower than many of the other venues on the annual calendar.
George added: "All around I think we could do a better job. I think there's a lot of opportunity here. I think (Ecclestone) sees that too. We'll have to see what happens."
Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Joie Chitwood said the matter should be finalized within the next few weeks.
He explained: "If we are going to have a US GP in 2008, we know that we need to make the announcement and start working on the event by the second week of July."