According to news sources in America, Indianapolis will not be hosting the 2008 American Grand Prix after organisers of the race failed to reach a new deal with Bernie Ecclestone.
Tony George, the chairman of the speedway, had set a deadline of this week to finalise a new contract with Ecclestone. However, the two parties were unable to agree on a sanctioning fee and talks ended without a resolution.
The circuit s spokesman Ron Green has confirmed that they will not be hosting the 2008 race although the future of the race after 2008 has yet to be decided.
It is believed that the failure to come to an agreement means that the US will not be hosting a Grand Prix next season as it is unlikely that Ecclestone s talks with other tracks are advanced enough to allow them to host a race next year. According to Reuters, Ecclestone has been quoted as saying, “We didn t reach an agreement let s see if we miss America.â€
After the shock announcement, Tony George explained that he felt Formula 1 bosses have to understand that American needs treating differently to other countries if there is to be a successful race in the future.
“Bernie and I have had several discussions that have led us to the decisions, but we did agree that it would be prudent to leave the door open for the future,â€ George explained. “The near-term communication is that Formula 1 will not be back next year but my sincere hope is that we will have an opportunity to bring it back in the not-to-distant future.
“In the United State, Formula 1 is not perceived quite the way it is around the world. It s a tough dynamic but the future will depend upon recognizing the fact that the United States is a bit different. It s important to figure out how to make it work.â€
George also expressed regret that he was unable to keep the speedway on the F1 calendar. “Obviously I am personally disappointed,â€ he continued. “Eight years ago it was our intent to host this on an annual basis and while I still hold out hope that we will be able to bring it back, it s a tough hiatus like this. I view it as such. I am going to continue to work on this to bring it back to the best of my ability, as soon as possible.â€