Roger Penske has said he will consider bringing Formula 1 back to Indianapolis Motor Speedway after completing his takeover of the circuit.
F1 last raced at the circuit in 2007 before the venue was dropped. The championship was absent from the USA for five years before returning at the Circuit of the Americas, a new purpose-built venue in Texas.
The Penske Corporation is purchasing Hulman and Company which owns the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as well as the IndyCar series. As well as the annual Indianapolis 500 on the 110-year-old oval, IndyCar also holds a race on the 3.9-kilometre road course F1 previously raced on.
Asked about his plans for the speedway, Penske said he could consider F1 and other forms of racing at the track.
“What can we use this for?” he said. “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 1 raced on the grand prix circuit at Indianapolis between 2000 and 2007. It did not have a happy tenure at the track. In 2002 Michael Schumacher attempted to co-ordinate a ‘dead heat’ with Rubens Barrichello, and inadvertently handed victory to his Ferrari team mate at the finish.
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Worse followed three years later when 14 of the 20 entrants withdrew from the race on the formation lap due to concerns over tyre safety.
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.
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