Recently, American businessman and entrepreneur, Roger Penske completed a takeover of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In addition to that, he even bought the IndyCAR series from Hulman & Company. Now, Penske has revealed that he is not averse to bringing back Formula One to the venue.
The last time Formula One raced at the circuit, was in 2007 before the US Grand Prix was dropped altogether. Then, after a five-year absence, the US Grand Prix returned, but it was at the Circuit of the Americas, in Texas.
Speaking about his plans for the ISM, Penske said. “What can we use this for?. Can we run a 24-hour race here? Can we run a Formula 1 race here? What are the things we can do?
“This is a great asset. Once the tradition had been broken in adding the NASCAR race, which obviously we’re going to get behind in a big way because for 27 years they’ve run here. So I look at all of these across the board to see what can we do.”
Formula One actually has quite a checkered history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 2002 Michael Schumacher attempted to co-ordinate a ‘photo finish’ with teammate Rubens Barrichello. However, he inadvertently conceded victory to the Brazilian at the finish line.
However, 2005 was the kicker and a one of the most farcical days in Formula One history. 14 of the 20 cars withdrew from the race on the formation lap due to concerns over tyre safety. All 14 were using Michelin tyres, which were incompatible with the track surface. the remaining six cars, were all on Bridgestone tyres
The track’s centrepiece race, the Indianapolis 500, also counted towards the world championship between 1950 and 1960, despite not being run to F1 rules.
F1 owners Liberty Media are keen to add a second American round to the championship. An agreement in principle is in place for a race in Miami in 2021, and they have also explored the possibility of adding a round in Las Vegas.