MARCH 19, 2008

Indianapolis chases sponsor for US Grand Prix in 2009

Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and CEO Tony George is planning to bring Formula 1 back to the Speedway in the summer of 2009. The race was lost this year because George and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone could not agree terms for a new deal, with a rumoured $7m difference between what George was willing to pay and what Ecclestone was hoping to get.

In recent days, however, the Indiana-based marketing firm Just Marketing has been hired by the IMS to help sign a title sponsor for the F1 race. There are rumoured to have been talks between the F1 authorities and the cities of Las Vegas and Miami, but Indianapolis remains the only purpose-built track in the United States that is suited to F1, without the need for major upgrading work. A deal thus can be done quickly and so there is potential to put the race back on the calendar in 2009.