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Goodbye USGP

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Bubbler, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member


    I'm a big F1 fan and I've covered the USGP so I'm bummed right now.

    That article takes a few historical liberties. Watkins Glen left the F1 calendar because of track financial problems and an inability to upgrade for safety, it drew pretty well in the 70s. Long Beach's date (since then a CART/Champ Car race) was lured away by Dallas, which was a disaster.

    Not mentioned was Detroit's Grand Prix, which was boring, but was a relative success. They tried to move it to Belle Isle (where CART later raced and the IRL will race this year), but couldn't work out a deal and the race moved to Phoenix, which was a resounding flop as the article stated.
  2. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    The tire debacle really sealed the deal on this race not coming back. I hope the USGP comes back, but if it's not going to work in Indy, I can't imagine where it will. With Bernie sniffing he doesn't need the U.S., the USGP only comes back if Vegas or someone wants to throw him buckets of money, which apparently Tony George didn't do.

    The attendance was down, but the USGP was still one of Formula One's biggest live crowds of the circuit, no?
  3. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    As the story said, that's a big blow for the city of Indianapolis. There was a study done on the per-person spending by USGP, Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 fans, I forget the numbers but the USGP fans were way out front. The overseas crowd (and wannabes) has no qualms about paying sky-high room rates and running up huge restaurant tabs.
  4. ThomsonONE

    ThomsonONE Member

    Indy was a crap circuit, no great loss there. Bernie is always looking to maximize revenue, and places like India are willing to pay much larger fees for a race. I can't say I'm unhappy about seeing Tony George come out of this empty handed.

    If you want to see F1 live, go to Montreal. A weekend in Montreal doesn't compare with one in Indianapolis.

    Bernie is correct in saying he doesn't need the US. The sport is massively popular in the rest of the world, Indy won't be missed.
  5. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Bernie is an arrogant clown. Ferrari sells more cars in the U.S. than anywhere else, and BMW and Mercedes do pretty darn well too. HE might not need the U.S., but a lot of companies that do business with F1 appreciate being here.

    Agreed, the Indy racecourse was nothing to write home about. There have been talks about tweaking it, but on the other hand it's not like that would spur better racing out of F1. It's a first-man-through-the-first-turn-wins league.
  6. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    I see your point play, but Ferrari, BMW and Mercedes are going to sell just as many cars in the U.S. whether there's a race here or not.

    I don't think people translate a C-Class, 5 Series or a GTB Fiorano to the vehicles that race in F1 as NASCAR fans do with a Camry, Fusion or Charger.
  7. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Bernie is a jackass.

    I'm pretty bummed about this. I'll probably go to Canada instead next season, but I'll miss Indy.

    It was kind of a dopey circuit as the drivers are concerned but it's terrific from a fan's standpoint. And the dopeyness had nothing to do with losing the race; it's purely a matter of Bernie figuring he can get more cash out of a government somewhere. As long as it meets the basic safety standard the quality of the race circuit is not even a consideration.

    The only way it returns to the US is if Steve Wynn gets interested again and plops a circuit down in his parking lot in Vegas. Anyone who remembers the layout for Vegas will hope they can come up with a better one next time.

    An absurd sidenote - Indy drew bigger crowds than Silverstone, despite Lewismania in England.

    And it's not true to say Indy won't be missed. Everyone involved supposedly loves the North American swing. F1 will miss the US. This is purely an issue of Bernie's income.
  8. ThomsonONE

    ThomsonONE Member

    PC - Whether the teams like the US weekend isn't relevant. Bernie controls the commercial rights to F1 on a 99 year lease, he does what he wants, to hell with everyone else. Out of any sport, Bernie has by far the most dictatorial commercial powers. In other sports the comissioner can eventually be fired by the owners, but Bernie IS the owner, he can never be fired.

    Since I've never been to Indy for the F1 race, I won't miss it. It was a horrible circuit for watching on TV.
  9. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    That's true, but it doesn't mean Indy won't be missed. It won't be missed by Bernie. It will be missed by the manufacturers and sponsors who like reaching the American audience.
  10. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    I'll miss it ... from both a fan and media standpoint. I'll miss it on the simple level that it was our race and I liked having a place to go to fulfill my F1 jones.

    I know I never covered anything more unique or been exposed to so many different types of media and people. I met a lot of good folks from over the pond in the races I covered, most notably a lot of cool Brits. I also got to find out firsthand what a dickhead Scott Speed is too!

    The '05 race -- debacle though it was -- was probably the most compelling and fluid news/sports event I've ever covered. The paddock was tense that morning with rumors starting and flaming out within minutes, people running all over the paddock trying to track down those in the know, with no one knowing for sure until the cars pulled off exactly what was going to happen. I've never had a more fascinating day of journalism in my career. I've never been near physically sick as I was when I watched the fans on the front straightaway find out what I already knew behind the scenes ... that the race was going to be a farce.

    The course was definitely not the best, but it's not the worst either. I prefer Indy over Hungary, Magny-Cours (also gone next year), Catalunya and most of the new Tilke tracks (though not Turkey, which is awesome). The set-up compromises that had to made for the track would create some oddball grids and oddball final results. And the F1 drivers have never really mastered the entrance to Turn 1 off the start, which has created havoc.

    I got to see Minardi score points in two different races, which makes up for me having never seen a baseball no-hitter!

    I hope it will be back in '09, but I doubt it. Looks like I better start focusing on MotoGP.
  11. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    As Bubbler says, USGP 05 was fascinating. At lunch, the Brit reporters were 50-50 about whether there would be a race at all, but nobody expected the pull-in by the Bridgestone crowd once they took the pace/formation/parade lap. Fans went from disbelieving to ticked to either livid or sad, but those who didn't walk out in the early laps eventually were pleased that someone was running.
    I remember Chris Economaki saying on the radio, "This could be the end of Formula One in the United States." Two years later, he's right. It was the final straw. Attendance was down in 07 from the freebie GP of 06, and, Montoya fan absence aside, mostly because of 05.
  12. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Good thing Tony George made all the modifications to the IMS to satisfy the F! assclowns...
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