July 12, 2007

Son of a BEECHMARTIN!

Say goodbye to the USGP at Indianapolis.

According to Tony George, Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO, he and Darth Ecclestone have mutually agreed to not schedule a Grand Prix at Indy in 2008.

"After several discussions, Bernie Ecclestone and I were unable to agree how to keep Formula 1 in Indianapolis for the near term. However, we have agreed to leave the door open for a potential future date. It has been a pleasure having the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis, and I hope that as we approach our Centennial Era at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, an opportunity might present itself that would allow its return."

The fees charged to allow a F1 race to be run at a location are prohibitive; almost all F1 races are subsidized by the national governments. The two that are not are British and the USGP. Well, the one that isn't; the USGP is dead now... and Darth Ecclestone has been trying to kill Silverstone for years.

Of course, Ecclestone has repeatedly stated that "F1 doesn't need America." Guess he'll find out just how correct his statement is now, won't he?

SONOFABEECHMARTIN!!!

Frickin' moron. He'd be happy with karts going around the block and calling it F1, if it'd bring him more cash.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 02:17 PM | Comments (28) | Add Comment
Post contains 213 words, total size 1 kb.

1 So that makes twice now that the USGP has died. Is there a chance they'll find a suitable venue in time for next season, or this stuff already supposed to be mostly worked out by now?

Posted by: Will at July 12, 2007 02:21 PM (olS40)

2 Damned if we need yet another sports enterprise sucking at the taxdollar teat IMHO. The tax subsidy for football and basketball is way too much as it is.

Maybe they'll go back to Long Beach. Whaddye say?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 12, 2007 02:28 PM (+rSRq)

3 No chance at all. It's not a scheduling thing at the moment (for example, the French GP doesn't have a track for 2008 yet).

It's entirely due to Ecclestone's antipathy towards racing in the US. There are more suitable tracks for a F1 race in America than there are in the rest of the world combined (just off the top of my head: RoadAmerica, Watkins Glen, Laguna Seca, Mid-Ohio, Sebring, Sears Point, hell, even Road Atlanta, not to mention the places that have ALREADY held the USGP, like Las Vegas, Detroit, etc etc etc); he just doesn't want to have one here.

It's a moot point, really. If someone doesn't step up with the megabucks immediately, there's no chance in hell a race could possibly happen in 2008... not that there's a chance in hell of that happening anyway.

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 12, 2007 02:31 PM (A5s0y)

4 No disagreement, Steven. I'm not suggesting the NATIONAL government foot the bill for a F1 race (like happens just about everywhere else). I was pointing out that the fees for such a race are very high, and other races DO get Federal subsidies (as opposed to local, like football or baseball).

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 12, 2007 02:34 PM (A5s0y)

5 Ecclestone would have all the races in the Middle-East, with sponsorship solely from tobacco companies if he could. On soulless tracks in various deserts. I wish he'd go off and have his own racing series, and leave F1 well alone.

Posted by: flotsky at July 12, 2007 07:45 PM (6T2ID)

6 F1 doesn't need the America. What a lovely sentiment from Bernie. Grrrrrrrrr.

You'd think he'd at least be interested in Sears Point--snooty wine country and all.

One of my favorite things about F1--aside from the racing--is seeing the different countries.

This is really disappointing news.

Posted by: Mallory at July 13, 2007 12:53 AM (KJzva)

7 How old is Bernie, anyways? When he retires (which should be soon, I would think), who's in line to take over? Hopefully it'll be someone who isn't as stupid or as arrogant as Bernie is.

As for the Indy F1 track, I was never a big fan of it, or of hybrid "roval" tracks in general. I'd vote for Laguna Seca for the new home of the USGP, if only to see F1 cars tackle the Corkscrew.

Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at July 13, 2007 04:34 AM (DbCFV)

8 Peter, Bernie Ecclestone is undead. He's over 2000 years old, and will never die until a sitting F1 driver puts a carbon fibre stake through his heart.

(note: he was born in Oct. 29, 1930, so he's actually 76... he claims.)

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 13, 2007 09:19 AM (A5s0y)

9

Well if you look at it from a British perspective F1 doesn't REALLY need a GP in the US. Most of the sponsors are trying to appeal to the rest of the world, not America. Put simply its why Red Bull set up a NASCAR team. Unless the race was switched to a night race the broadcast times for Europe are odd to say the least which results in lower viewing figures, and lets be honest the ratings are bigger this side of the pond than on your's.

The track is also wrong and doesn't suit F1 cars and their aero/suspension packages and no other track in States except possibly Daytona has the name or prestige.

Erm.. there is one more point which is that "Road Couses" are not the dominant form of racing in the States. Which probably explains why F1 has never taken off and why  conversley NASCAR doesn't work over here when you consider there are only two ovals in Europe that anyone has ever remotley heard of.

Anyway just felt the need to redress the balance a little. All the best for 2008.

Posted by: Le Reve at December 28, 2007 10:48 PM (WOOdT)

10

Le Reve, there are quite a few road courses here in the States that would be able to handle a F1 race quite handily, including some that have both the name AND the prestige.

Or, perhaps, you don't think the names Laguna Seca or Watkins Glen are prestigious enough?  Bringing the pits up to F1 specs would be a trivial exercise.  Road America in Wisconsin would be suitable as well, though it'd need more work than the other two. 

And that's just off the top of my head, from personal experience.  I gather Road Atlanta could work, Daytona has a road course that the ALMS uses... the list goes on and on.

By leaving the US, Bernie has completely shut F1 from a gigantic market.  There are many, MANY ways to market the sport to US race fans... and don't forget that the USGP routinely had the largest attendance figures of any F1 race.  Yes, the Indy F1 layout wasn't good, granted, but it was at least as good (excitement-wise) as Monaco or that travesty in France.

Believe me, if F1 put any effort into promoting itself here in the US, they'd clean up, bigtime.  Instead, Darth Bernie and the Emperor Mosely put their efforts into violating their own rulebook and selling their souls to Bahrain...

 

Posted by: Wonderduck at December 29, 2007 02:41 AM (UdB9M)

11

Well Watkins Glen was used by F1 in the 70's I think admittedly don't know too much about Laguna Seca so don't know if that would work. As for Daytona that wouldn't work as F1 cars struggle with the banking at Indy (seee the USGP 2005 for that one) then there is no way they could work on the even steeper Daytona banks.

As for whether F1 does need America or not really comes down to sponsors and TV. Most of F1's main sponsors are either European (Vodafone, ING, Red Bull) or trying to expand into Europe (AT&T) and Europe is the backbone of the TV audience. Whilst I accept your point that Indy was the best attended race on the calendar that could be put down to, could it not, that Indy simply has a bigger capacity and all things considered it was never anywhere near to its capacity unlike the European Races (neither is Malayasia either but thats a different arguement).

As for the quality of the track it is fabulous but Indianapolis (sp?)as a city isn't exactly the best in the world and the F1 people complain constantly about the Airport. One theory being bandied round is that Las Vegas could be the home of the USGP but Bernie wants a race down the Strip not through the backstreets and that could prove its undoing.

A further point could be that at the time the story broke there was a lot of talk that F1's parent company was putting together a bid for NASCAR. A major promotinal and advertising campaign could have undermined such a bid and resulted in a reduced bargaining position. That would also have resulted in F1 abandoning America all together and leaving it to the subsidiary to sort out.

As a final point the fact that F1 has failed to suceed in America but has in the rest of the world could be similar to the fact that gridiron doesn't work outside of America but football doesn't work in America. The fact that both NASCAR and gridiron are both so entrenched in the America culture could make it near impossible for F1 to ever make it's mark.

Posted by: Le Reve at December 31, 2007 10:37 PM (2NRBS)

12

To counter the "gridiron and NASCAR" point, baseball is somewhat successful worldwide, neh?

Trust me, Laguna Seca would work just fine.  I suspect that Infineon/Sears Point raceway would be good, too, but I'm not positive.  NASCAR has one of their road races there, so it's certainly wide enough.

Sponsors... you'd think that companies like RedBull or IMG would kill to have US dollars coming in, wouldn't you?  Well, RedBull does already (they sponsor so many teams in the US in SO many series that it's ridiculous), but you know what I mean. 

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 01, 2008 12:09 AM (DcSb+)

13

Baseball is successfull in certain areas where cricket isn't established but yes you are right in a sorta way...but anyway to the business at hand. Yes the sponsors would love to advertise in America but there's no point in trying to do that through F1. Put simply it doesn't have the reach or the impact to make it worthwhile and it is more cost effective to buy a NASCAR team to do that (Team Red Bull would be the case in point) whereas in Europe it's better to be in F1 (Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Toro Rosso) which while a hell of a lot more expensive gives better reach to the rest of the world.

While I would say, from a fans point of view it would be nice to have a USGP, F1 from a commercial viewpoint doesn't NEED it.

Posted by: Le Reve at January 01, 2008 12:30 AM (2NRBS)

14

"...where cricket isn't established..."

*raised eyebrow*  Is it THAT hard to admit that baseball, an American game, is played worldwide, and is more popular than cricket?

Regarding the "commercial viewpoint", I'm sure the Canadian GP doesn't bring in scads of money, either... so why isn't that one off the calendar, too?

Answer: because it doesn't take place in the US.

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 01, 2008 01:21 AM (DcSb+)

15

Erm.. ok so the fact that theres a cricket World Cup and a twenty20 World Chapionships. As opposed to the nature of a tournament where the competitors from just two countries take part and then laughingly call it "The World Series." But to be honest which is more popular depends on where you happen to live. If you'd have said basketball you'd have more of a point though.

Your right the Canadian race doesn't make a huge amount of money but at he same time unlike the USGP it does pay a full sanctioning fee and doesn't complain about it. whereas the American Race pays a ten percent fee and was due to go to a full fee next season. I really cant see how F1 needs the US which is really the point here if it does surely the teams and sponsors would be falling over themslves to support it but they haven't said a word about it. That, to me, says a lot about how much F1 needs America. 

Posted by: Le Reve at January 01, 2008 10:54 AM (2NRBS)

16

Right, just the teams think that F1 needs to be in the US... heck, some of them thought there should have been TWO races in the US.

When was the last time cricket was in the Olympics, he asks innocently?

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 01, 2008 02:16 PM (UdB9M)

17 Who is this person?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 01, 2008 02:51 PM (+rSRq)

18

You got me hoppin', Steven.  Never commented here before that I can find...

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 01, 2008 03:34 PM (UdB9M)

19

It never has been, but then again, why was baseball dropped for 2012?

Right which team(s) wanted a second USGP? Why would they want to add yet another fly-away race to the calendar? There used to be two US races, East and West but that was back before the calendar expanded to 17/ 18 races per year.

 

I'm just going to say this once more, from a fans point of view it is good to have a USGP, but F1 as a sport doesn't need a race in America. There simply isn't any commercial value in it being there while NASCAR is totally dominant in the marketplace.

Posted by: Le Reve at January 03, 2008 03:09 AM (7ghbN)

20 The auto manufacturers believe there is commercial value in F1 in the US. BMW, Mercedes Benz and Ferrari all find the US market to be extremely important. As far as other venues in the US go... Laguna Seca is an FIA spec. track. They upgraded it a number of years back for an FIA Sports Car event and an FIA Motorcycle event. Sears Point (Infineon Raceway) hosts a round of the ALMS series, so the course is sound, but the problem these two venues have is the amenities. Garages, grandstands, etc. Infineon in particular (which is only 10 miles from my house) would be completely restricted from constructing anything else. And the surrounding residents would throw a fit about the number of people attending. There's also only two "two lane" roads in or out of the area. NASCAR draws over 100,000 fans for their Infineon race, and last time it took me 4 hours to drive the 10 miles home. Laguna would be a gorgeous venue, but again, the amenities that F1 is used to just aren't there.

Posted by: madmike at January 03, 2008 08:39 AM (xwTH1)

21

Which teams?  How about Honda, BMW and McLaren-Mercedes?

Honda's Nick Fry said: "It's important for there to be a race in America, and we'd like more than one."

Mercedes sports chief Norbert Haug agreed, adding: "I would like to have at least two races in America."

BMW-Sauber chief Mario Theissen also wants Ecclestone to resurrect plans to add a second US race, possibly in Las Vegas.  Theissen said: "The US is the only big country where Formula One does not play a predominant role in motorsport.  It is important for manufacturers. We should not give up on this."

As far as it being another flyaway race, no, not really.  They'd already be HERE.  If they did a USGP #1, Canadian GP, USGP #2 cycle, that's one trip, three races... which, coincidentally, would mean a nice long stay in North America, and LESS travel for the teams.

Please also note that on the 2008 calendar, eight of the 18 races scheduled are "fly-away", and one could even argue that nine of them are, considering the trip to Turkey.

So much for that. Your hat, let me hand it to you.

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 03, 2008 10:11 PM (AW3EJ)

22 Ah, Mr. Duck, but Ferrarri didn't say that, and they're the only team that matter donchaknow...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 03, 2008 10:42 PM (+rSRq)

23 By the way, anyone who thinks that NASCAR dominates motor sports in the US <a href="http://www.nhra.com/">is an idiot</a>.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 03, 2008 10:45 PM (+rSRq)

24 And so am I, for forgetting which comment entry system I'm using.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 03, 2008 10:45 PM (+rSRq)

25

Honda's Nick Fry said: "It's important for there to be a race in America, and we'd like more than one."

Mercedes sports chief Norbert Haug agreed, adding: "I would like to have at least two races in America."

BMW-Sauber chief Mario Theissen also wants Ecclestone to resurrect plans to add a second US race, possibly in Las Vegas.  Theissen said: "The US is the only big country where Formula One does not play a predominant role in motorsport.  It is important for manufacturers. We should not give up on this."

Not sure if you noticed this but the story is 18 months old. Also did Ferrari, Renault, Red Bull, Toyota, Jordan/Midland/Spyker/Force (Which ever one it is this week),  or Williams comment?

Erm.. as for Turkey being a fly-away no not really as most teams take their full commercial amenities to the track, in addition to have three consecutive races would... unusual in F1 double headers tend to be the rough limits.

By the way, anyone who thinks that NASCAR dominates motor sports in the US is an idiot.

Not quite sure whether youre saying drag racing is more popular or has more competitors or what? Anyway based on total attendance the BTCC is more popular than F1 but it doesn't hold a candle to it in terms of sponsorship, TV audience or prestige. I think though I'm not sure that NASCAR would  walk all over drag racing on those terms.

As for trying to argue that the F1 teams would alredy be there. That may be true but for the mechanics and lorry drivers etc. it would mean yet another weekend away from home on a different continent. I have also heard rumours in mags over here that occassionally race kit is damaged by US officials as it goes through customs and the teams dislike having their fingerprints taken as if their criminals. There are more issues than solely racing ones here but it is mostly a cultural one. 

Posted by: Le Reve at January 04, 2008 10:03 PM (iWG9N)

26

Yes, I'm aware the article was 18 months old.  But consider Mr. Haug's quote: "We should not give up on this."  Think that means that he's changed his mind? 

You asked which teams said they thought two races in the US was a good idea, I provided.  Since you didn't believe that ANY of them would want two races in the US, don't be moving the goalposts now. 

It's another week away from home, yes.  It's their job... it's not like they're home all that much during the season anyway, if you believe the hype of the teams working 'round the clock getting ready for the next race.

Okay, Turkey isn't a flyaway.  That means that it's only eight out of 18 ARE, just 44% of the season instead of 50%... my point, whatever it was, still remains: F1 ain't as "Eurocentric" as you think it is.

Why, exactly, did you perform necromancy on this thread in the first place, Le Reve? 

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 05, 2008 02:15 AM (UdB9M)

27 >> That may be true but for the mechanics and lorry drivers etc. it would mean yet another weekend away from home on a different continent. I have also heard rumours in mags over here that occassionally race kit is damaged by US officials as it goes through customs and the teams dislike having their fingerprints taken as if their criminals. There are more issues than solely racing ones here but it is mostly a cultural one. << I've spent many an evening in Indianapolis on race weekend talking to Mechanics and Team Members at various restaurants or "Watering Holes"... and they've expressed nothing but pleasure at being here. And I didn't read that in a magazine. I've never understood why we don't see a part of the season that concentrates specifically on the Americas. You could run Canada, US, Brazil, and if they worked at it could probably drum up a Mexican GP as well. The idea that everyone is away from home for too long is idiotic. When you take a job in F-1, I'm sure you know that it will involve travel. And the travel to various locales is probably one of the attractions to such a job. It's not like there's any shortage of folks who would love to have an "F1-travel-the-world" job.

Posted by: madmike at January 05, 2008 10:45 AM (xwTH1)

28

F1 engines require oxygen to run, Mike... there's no WAY they'd be able to run in Mexico City.

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 05, 2008 03:12 PM (UdB9M)

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