JUNE 19, 2004
Indianapolis to get contract extension
The Indianapolis Star newspaper is reporting that Bernie Ecclestone and Indianapolis Motor Speedway boss Tony George have agreed to extend the original five year deal for the United States Grand Prix. The original deal expires after Sunday's event but there is a two-year option and Ecclestone says he intends to pick that up, guaranteeing a race at the Brickyard in 2006 and 2007.
"I just said to Tony: "We're happy if you're happy. If you don't want me to pick up the option I won't. If you want to extend the contract beyond the two years I will". We are going to make it work. I am committed. He's happy with it and we should continue with it. I have a big respect for Tony. What we did here for us I don't forget. It was quite a big thing to do. A massive thing. I don't forget people like him and I don't forget the bad people either. It takes time to build an event."
Ecclestone said that moving the race from September to June was going "back to square one" but added that he would like F1 to grow in the United States. He said that he has had preliminary talks with the New York authorities about a race in Manhattan and has also discussed reviving the event in Long Beach for F1.
"We've got to get out to the rest of America," Bernie said. "The other way to do that is with a strong television coverage on one of the networks which we don't have. We're working to get a contract that's good for the networks, good for us and good for Tony."
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