Ecclestone mulling F1 return to Indy | UPDATE (GMM) A spokesman for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway admits it is possible formula one could return to the famous venue.
The US grand prix was held at Indianapolis between 2000 and 2007, after which organizers and Bernie Ecclestone were not able to amicably agree a new deal.
But as the 2010 season began in Bahrain last weekend, F1 chief executive Ecclestone said a return to Indianapolis is a possibility.
"Nothing worked there really, we'd have to have a big change round. But we'd like to get back there," he said, hinting that "the wrong people" had formerly been in charge of the event.
A spokesman for Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is no longer headed by Tony George, confirmed: "We continue to have dialogue with formula one, and we've long maintained we're interested in hosting their events.
"2011 would be a long shot," spokesman Chris Schwartz is quoted as saying by the Indianapolis Business Journal. "Obviously, there's a lot to consider."
He said he did not fully understand Ecclestone's comments, although it is true that the 79-year-old was critical of organizers’ marketing efforts towards the end of the last contract.
03/14/10 Indianapolis is still a logical venue for a U.S. Formula One Grand Prix and an eventual return is on the cards, commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said.
"It is. It's only the fact that it's all the wrong crowd and the wrong people ... nothing worked there really, we'd have to have a big change round," the Briton told Reuters at Sunday's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix. "But we'd like to get back there."
Asked whether the United States could be back on the calendar as early as next year, the 79-year-old replied: "We can have a look. Twenty one races, no problem." zzzz
The calendar currently stands at an unprecedented 19 races, after a previous 17, with Ecclestone committed to India hosting a grand prix for the first time next year. That makes 20 races a possibility.
"It's a round number and easy to remember, I get muddled up now with 19 or 17," he said.
American great Mario Andretti, the 1978 world champion, told reporters at Sakhir, where he is attending a reunion of champions for the 60th anniversary of the sport, that Formula One needed to be in the United States.
"I can't write the check, all I can do is support it in every possible way that makes sense because I believe in it so much," Andretti said of a U.S. Grand Prix.
"I was just talking to Bernie and he is well aware of that need. He is pretty switched on, he's just got to figure out a way," added the 70-year-old.
"Indy was to me the proper infrastructure and place to host that and that's probably where it needs to be unless we find some magic investors that could put on something else somewhere else." More at Reuters