F1 Still on Agenda – Indianapolis president Joie Chitwood has admitted that he wants Formula One to return to the track in the future, as he made it clear Grand Prix racing should be back in the United States.
Just a few weeks after Tony George said that F1 would only return to the circuit if the track could find the right sponsors to support it, Chitwood has said that the track has gone out of its way to ensure there were no other hurdles for a return.
And that meant getting an F1 sign-off for the track reconfiguration that has been necessary for the inaugural MotoGP event, and ensuring a mid-season calendar slot has been left open.
At a press conference discussing the events at Indy this year, Chitwood made it clear that F1 remained very much on Indy’s agenda for the future. “One thing I want to make sure is clear, motorcycles didn’t replace F1,” said Chitwood. “If you look at the way we scheduled our calendar, we had hoped that F1 would come back and it would have maintained that June date after the Montreal event, and that’s why you saw the motorcycle event in September.
“Now, if we had that four-race schedule, we would have been hard after it. We would have been oval, road course, oval, road course. So right now we’ve got two oval events and the road course. So the timing is a little bit better, there’s not as much pressure and stress.”
Chitwood said that the revisions made to the Indianapolis road course for MotoGP have already been approved for F1 use. “One of the things that we did do with the design of this motorcycle course, which they will run the same direction as the oval, is that every change we made was also inspected and approved by the FIA,” he explained.
“Should F1 come back, they can run this course, they can run it the same direction, they can run it the other direction, they can run the four-turn chicane in Turn One or not. “We did not want to make any changes that would preclude us in the future from hosting F1. I know that Tony (George) has said it, I’ve said it: The door is open. “We think that (F1) is a phenomenal racing series; we think it should be back in America. So the door is open. Maybe it can come back some day.”