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Why is the USGP at Indy?

Discussion in 'F1' started by Doody, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

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    tifosi12 tangentially brought this up in the French GP thread http://ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?p=20533#post20533 but i've always wondered this, so thought i'd ask.

    why is the USGP run at Indy?

    isn't the goal to get as many US folks interested in F1 racing as possible? if so, why Indiana?

    i assume it has some stellar infrastructure given the NASCAR presence, but is that the only reason?

    doody.
     
  2. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Unfortunately there were some good reasons for why the chose Indy:

    - Safety: The newly built track meets the modern safety requirements. Enough run off area etc. Not like Road America or the Glenn.

    - Infrastructure: It would be hard to cram 100,000 people into Road America. You can pile easily a quarter million into the Indy GP setting.

    - Surrounding infrastructure: With a big town like Indianapolis nearby you have all the hotels and an airport you need.

    - Central location, about even distance from West and East coast.

    - Fame: Indianapolis goes over really well in Europe. Has about as much charisma as Monaco. Nobody ever heard of Laguna Seca.

    - Tony George willing to finance the construction and pay Bernie what he wanted. All the city GPs (Houston, Dallas, Vegas, Phoenix, Long Beach) didn't bring the cash revenue so the mayors couldn't just hand it over to the FIA.

    I hate to say this, but Indy is the obvious and currently right choice.
    :(

    What is really needed though would be some investors who build up the Glenn and Seca to today's standards with run off areas, modern pit lanes and hotels. Then each coast has its GP. THAT would help the sport. Actually Bernie sees it that way too. In an interview last year he did say a GP on each coast would be best. However there aren't that many Tony Georges around to tackle it (and I don't even like the guy for what he did with IRL).
     
  3. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

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    Very thorough. Funny, though, I think Bernie would have settled for IRP so long as Tony financed it.
     
  4. BartonWorkman

    BartonWorkman F1 Veteran
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    Not only does Bernie see two viable American venues for F-1 but so do some of the major American investors in F-1 which are based in San Francisco.

    They dearly want a date in their area and this could only be at Laguna Seca. The Laguna Seca facility will have to make continued improvments
    and they are working on it with an all new pit complex and safety standards fit for F-1.

    With all of the major World Championship events Laguna Seca hosts (World Super Bike, FIA-GT, CART, ALMS, etc.) this should not be too much of a stretch and it would give America an outstanding venue to
    host F-1 as it seems the international perception still is that America
    is an oval-only country.

    It all comes down to money now but if Bahrain can host an F-1 event, it
    cant be out of the question that Laguna Seca could do likewise.

    BHW
     
  5. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    True, it all boils down to money. The problem in this country is, that there is too much competition from other sports. Malaysia, Bahrain or China don't have too many other ways to get their name on the map in say motorsports. So the government supports the construction of these great new tracks and their infrastructure.

    Here the investors have to do it all themselves. Or do you think George W even knows what a F1 car is?
     
  6. FerrariFrank1

    FerrariFrank1 F1 Rookie

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    Yes,I used to enjoy watching those" through the city" GP's. Always thought that one along L.S.D. would have been cool. The long strataways,some "Chicanes" made out of off and on ramps.(For instance,at Montrose. Get off,go down,left under the Viaduct,a qiuck left back up the On ramp,another long straight),slow down at the big "S" curves, then,arond that big block,Monroe to Columbus,down to Balbo,back over to the Drive. Or,go even further,and make some turn arounds down by the Museum and Soldier Field. Beautiful scenery,and some great ,Worldly "Tourism" publicity for the city. Plenty of room for drive offs,( watch the curbs,though...maybe,temporary asphalt?) Or utilizing the On/Off ramps along the way. Do it in the Summer when there are all of the boats out on the Lake. ALOT of people could fit in all of the park land along the drive,so having enough room would not be a problem. They could "Picnic" and BBQ. People could see,(and gain interest) from all of the Highrises and Hotels along the way. And from boats on the Lake. A huge Party. We know how much Chicago LOVES to put on the Big Parties on the Lakefront all Summer long! Alot of potential there,and it would also be a beautiful GP along the lines of Monaco,no?
     
  7. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Funny you brought that up Frank. I once had the same idea and almost started programming a track based on the city for Grand Prix 3. But it would have been tons of work given all the buildings downtown. But doable. Did it once for Houston.

    Once I even heard some talk from CART of doing just that, a downtown race in Chicago. Would be great, but I think the city wouldn't do it. Kinda for the same reasons the US has a hard time finding a place for F1: Chicago has too many other things going on, so the relatively small group of F1 nuts couldn't just have the monopoly over it for an entire weekend.
     
  8. FerrariFrank1

    FerrariFrank1 F1 Rookie

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    Yes,that is true. Maybe if and when F1 ever really gains more popularity here in the U.S.,then it could be done. I think that,if the City was to gain alot of Free world covered Publicity,( potential Tourism dollars. Show the WORLD how Beautiful and clean that Chicago is! And they will come!) then Minimal money would be needed for extra Police,traffic diversion,etc... City workers installing that Orange,plastic,"temporay fencing" so that only the people that paid a nominal fee,could get in and see the race up close and personal. (naturally,they couldn't do that Everywhere along the route. Maybe,just in some "key areas".) Hey,if they could do it in downtown Detroit,they can DEFINITELY do it here. Same goes for closing down the Drive for the weekend. They shut down all of those streets for The Taste,for well over a week. And,they shut it down for all of those Marathons all of the time. I would venture to say that there are at least as many,if not more,people that are interested in Auto racing,than there are who don't mind that they close down the roads for a couple thousand people who just want to impress themselves,and others,that they can run in a Marathon. :) Most everyone that I know,( fat,out of shape,Beer drinking,food lovin' types) get ANNOYED when they shut down the streets for the Running and Bike Marathons. :( AND :) BTW. As we "speak",Junior is making a little GrandPrix track,out of his double wide Hotwheels track. "AND",he tells me,"JUST FOR (his Hotwheels) FERRARI'S!. (he has a couple dozen exclusively Ferrari.) Thats my boy!!! :)
     
  9. Gary(SF)

    Gary(SF) F1 Rookie

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    It's my understanding that Laguna lengthened the track and made many pit area improvements specifically to compete for an F1 date. It would be a terrific venue, altho I actually prefer the old track layout as a driver. It was too short for F1, however.

    Gary
     
  10. Challenge

    Challenge Formula 3

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    An F1 race on each coast is a great idea. It seems that's where 3/4 of your fans are, too.

    I don't think F1 will ever *really* catch on here in the US. Until there are some Americans out there driving and winning races, the bulk of the country doesn't know a thing about F1...and they don't want to. I hate saying this, but NASCAR's model makes more sense under current conditions: widespread availability of tracks, a grid full of redblooded Americans, and a WWF-style continuing soap opera. This soap opera is fueled primarily by crashes and personalities. Whereas I don't think NASCAR wants anyone to get hurt it wants/needs drivers like "The Intimidator" who bump others at 180mph. This drama gives the non-car enthusiast (most women for example) a reason to follow and theoretically doubles their market.

    The barriers to entry are high; most kids don't grow up driving racecars-they grow up playing ball sports. Any kid can own a baseball and a glove. Not many have parents that can start them on the racing path, providing driving school, buying shifter karts and transporting the whole entourage(sp) to various tracks each weekend.

    I've never seen an F1 race or an F1 car since I have never been to Indy. But I enjoy the sport. I'd be one of the ones attending an F1 race at the Glen if it ever materialized. But are there enough people out there like me?
     
  11. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Challenge, do yourself a favor and attend a GP. Just once. I guarantee you you'll be blown away by the sheer noise these cars make. It isn't anything like on TV. Especially in a "closed" environment like the s/f grandstands at Indy. UNBELIEVABLE!

    I think it was that impression that turned several casual American observers into F1 fans. But you have to see it in person to experience it.
     
  12. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    The " other" GP for North America is MEXICO per Bernie, last weeK.

    Concrete is a LOT CHEAPER there. LOL!

    I'd like to see your work on the Houston track, having driven the CART event (support race) all four years. Did the programming get used the game? I'll have my son "Lil' Bull" look for it. PM me the details!

    Thanks ya'll. Happy holidays!

    We're starting with the Wild Turkey today!
     
  13. tatcat

    tatcat F1 Veteran
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    having been to indy for the race you get a great sense of the history of racing there. there is no were else in the u.s. that you can achieve that level of classic race atmosphere. the facility is as user friendly as could be asked for. reasonable hotel and restaurants prices, lots of pre and post race activities( indoor kart racing, woo-hoo). who could ask for more. if we only can have one race it most definetly should be at indy. i'd like to see a 12 or 24 hour le mans race there as well. as for street races i think this is where CART drops the ball. they should forget the ovals and add as many city run races as possible. this would most definetly increase the popularity of open wheel racing to john q public. it's kind of hard to ignore twenty screaming machines roaring down main street. can the us support two gps? i think we need to fill the IMS regulary before we can lobby for another gp. do your part. go this year but don't sit in sec. H, as i haven't got MY tickets yet
     
  14. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Agree with all you said tatcat. Especially the CART part.

    Indy wouldn't be so bad, if they had actually done a nicer job with the track. It is the dull infield that sucks. Get rid of the golf course and use all the inside terrain for a track with less mickey mouse turns and with at least one other passing under breaking opportunity. Add some elevation changes and add some grandstands inside of Indy turn 3 and you actually might end up with a good track. Not a great one, but not a bad one either.
     
  15. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

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    i haven't been to the indy gp, but from the coverage i've infered the size of the venue with respect to appropriate facilities, and, in my opinon, indy is the only track that comes close.
    having driven laguna seca, and having attended a number of races there, i can tell you that it would be very , very difficult to host an event the size of a gp at laguna seca. not only is the track very small , physically, but it's tight to go three wide into T2 and i couldn't imagine 3 f1 cars diving in for position -- i know cart cars do, but it almost always turns into a giant lap 1 dust cloud down there.
    there's only one, windy , inlet road for the public. there's only dirt parking. small grandstands, etc. it would be a very intimate venue for the fans, but the b/c of the size of the track,and the surrounding grounds, i don't think it would provide the degree of privacy that f1 teams want/are used to/etc. the paddock area is very fan friendly , and small; there would be nowhere to walk around if it was all blocked off by security gates, etc.
    i've been to the monaco gp, and while it appears like a small , tight venue it is, in all actuality, a huge space. it's an entire city converted into an f1 playground. there's no parallel b/w the space constraints of monaco v. laguna seca.
    lastly, lodging is not all that abundant in monterey, salinas, etc. that surrounds the weekend, and it's not cheap to stay in that part of town.
    i'd love to see the f1 cars romp down corkscrew, but i think it's unlikely unless someone drops a lot of money on re-developing the place.
     
  16. Boxer12

    Boxer12 Formula 3

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    My 2c:
    I will try not to repeat what has already been said, and add to the list...Lets see, seating capacity for 400,000, Suites, airport, motor-racing friendly environment (no eco freaks raising hell about emissions, noise, etc).

    Indy has infrastructure in the form of race car job shops all over the freakin place. Its probably the only locale that could build a car from scratch piece by piece, using venders within a few miles from the track. Not just NASCAR...ever hear of Indy 500?

    The main straight at Indy is 1 mile long! Walk from 16th to 30th street if you ever attend the race and you will get a feel for the size of the place.

    The infield area, tricky as it is, is the most popular place to watch the race (meaning the 1st turn onward) among many fans. The jumbotrons don't hurt either. There are places where you can sit on a grassy knoll and watch the cars go by at nice pace, even passing (Schumi made a pass at turn 10 that wasn't on TV last year).

    Guys, I was at the Glenn when they had F1, and it is a slow track. It is good for spectating only in the sense that the cars are nearly stopped when they corner, and they are always turning. L.S. looks like a go-cart track to me. Montreal is on the East Coast, so that is covered, eh? Its a hell of a race forum.

    No way anybody can compete with Indy as a venue in US. (OK, maybe Disneyworld could mock up a good track.) What doesn't it have?
     
  17. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Or in more practical terms: Elevation changes and a second good passing opportunity.

    I agree with all you said, except for the track layout. The infield is horrible and lacks any kind of character. Just one turn after another.
     
  18. Boxer12

    Boxer12 Formula 3

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    OK, you have a point on elevation change, unless you count running up the banking. J.V. had not trouble passing on main straight in '02, and M.S. passed on final turn. There are more than two passing locations, just that the drivers haven't figured it out yet. Wait till you get some more former Indy 500 guys in the show. The racing will only improve with age. :)
     
  19. tatcat

    tatcat F1 Veteran
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    get rid of the golf course??!!! blasphemer!!! destroy a pete dye design like the brickyard crossing???!!! it's the only time i spend $ 100 bucks to torture myself a year. elevation changes? how about a loop-de-loop ala hot wheels. the cars can certainly handle it with all their downforce or maybe a figure eight like japan only they actually cross. that should liven things up. i guess things like strategy and finesse are too subtle for the masses. anytime i can get close to the cars, like on the back straight i'm happy. sitting on the hill at the 7th hole par 3 193 yards looking across the track is almost as much fun as leaning on the fence in the la raccasse restaurant in monaco, another berated course that i love.
     
  20. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

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    that's where i was this year, unbelievable... no ear plugs.
     
  21. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Tatcat, I take it that was a tongue in cheek response.

    I would actually one day like to see a loop the loop demonstration. Or at least an upside drive. The cars could do it physically. So I'm looking for the next Evil Knievel with deep pockets to buy a real F1 car, build an upside down straight with two ramps and try it.

    Probably would need some special fuel tank for all that fuel sloshing when upside down, but probably nothing that acrobatic pilots aren't already using.
     
  22. tatcat

    tatcat F1 Veteran
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    just kidding t12. can't figure out how to insert those little faces. i think the centrifical force would keep the fuel in place. maybe johnny knoxville will try it on jackass. hubert, you go boy! actually it was brutally loud leaning out the upstairs window on the exit side of the turn. the sound just slams you echoing off the shipping co. building across the street.
     
  23. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

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    when 2/3 cars would come slamming into the hairpin i could feel the concussions from the downshifts in my chest. no better pain. i found the f1 cars to be MUCH quieter than the panoz LMP car --- that thing is painfully loud.
     
  24. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Tatcat, making smilies is easiest the gool ol' way:

    One of these :

    plus one of these )

    and you get this ":)", which FChat turns into

    :)
     
  25. dwhite

    dwhite F1 Rookie

    As said earlier. F1 is all about the money. If Canada is still on for 04 go there. Much better event, circuit, women, exchange rate. In 87, last time I was there, you could still sneek into the paddock(was on a budget). I have been to Indy, the place is gigantic, but a what terrible F1 layout.
     

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