Americans question F1 deal for 2006

Reports from the Associated Press suggest that it is not a foregone conclusion that there will be a United States Grand Prix in 2006. The speedway made a huge investment to get an F1 race and has to decide whether it is going to write this off and give up on F1. One year remains on the current contract between Indianapolis and the F1 authorities and Bernie Ecclestone he is negotiating a new five year deal beyond that.

The Speedway has to take into account the damage that dropping the race would do for the city but as the city does not pay for the race this must be seen as a minor question. It seems that the important thing will be whether or not the fans want to come back.

At the same time Indianapolis has submitted plans to the city to develop a multi-storey hotel complex across the road from the track on what is currently car parking space. The Speedway is also asking the city to move Georgetown Road to the west so that the grandstands on the main straight can be replaced with new facilities. The Speedway already owns the land to the west of the current Georgetown Road.

Perhaps the Grand Prix can be a useful negotiating tool with the city over the planned changes.

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