Another year for Indianapolis

Another year for Indianapolis

Formula One will return to Indianapolis for the US Grand Prix in 2007 but Speedway CEO Tony George is not yet ready to commit beyond next season. A new one year deal will carry Indy through to the end of the current Concorde Agreement, F1's ...

Formula One will return to Indianapolis for the US Grand Prix in 2007 but Speedway CEO Tony George is not yet ready to commit beyond next season. A new one year deal will carry Indy through to the end of the current Concorde Agreement, F1's commercial and organizational structure which is not yet finalized for 2008 and beyond.

The paddock.
Photo by xpb.cc.

"It seemed appropriate to see how things shake out and see what the lay of the land is," George said, according to the Indy Star. "There are too many unanswered questions to commit any longer than that." He added that the general intention was to stay in F1 for the long-term future.

The relationship between F1 and Indianapolis went sour in 2005 when the Michelin teams withdrew from the race due to safety issues with the tyres, with the result that only the six Bridgestone cars competed. Disgusted fans threw objects onto the track and many left before the 'race' was over, vowing not to return.

It was uncertain if F1 would be back at Indy this year but Michelin compensated fans with around 20,000 free tickets and the race went ahead reportedly with similar crowd numbers as previously. A provisional date of June 17th has been pencilled in for Indy in 2007 and details of ticket sales are expected in the coming weeks.

"It was important for us to reach an agreement quickly so we can begin notifying fans that Formula One will again be racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2007," said IMS president Joie Chitwood. "Though this contract is for only one year, it is still our goal to make the Speedway the longtime home of the United States Grand Prix."

Indianapolis has hosted the US Grand Prix since 2000 and Ferrari has won every year bar 2001, when the victory went to McLaren's Mika Hakkinen. Michael Schumacher has won there five times since 2000 and then-teammate Rubens Barrichello once, in 2002.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Mika Hakkinen , Tony George
Teams Ferrari , McLaren