IMS boss Roger Penske has ‘cooled’ the chances of Formula 1 revisiting the historic temple of speed that is Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Roger is interested, and so is F1, but there appears some significant barriers remain in the way, a question of money.
“We haven’t talked seriously until now.” says Penske,
“I have spoken to Stefano Domenicali (the head of Formula 1), of course he would very much like to be able to race at Indianapolis. But clearly that’s only possible if it’s something stable and sustainable,” Roger told Indy Star.
Penske was at the Goodwood Festival last weekend. ‘The Captain’ was a guest of honour, his cars were one of the main attractions and he himself, at the age of 84, got behind the wheel of one of the Porsche RS Spyder Prototypes he raced in the United States on behalf of the German marque, in honour of the new agreement with Porsche to race the future Porsche LMDh in the United States and at Le Mans from 2023 onwards.
Penske is thus issuing a serious warning to the heads of Liberty Media: F1 at Indianapolis, yes, but not at the price they are asking for new races, the price they hope to get from Miami or the price Austin pays, and he is pessimistic about the possibility.
“I don’t see F1 in Indianapolis in the near future,” says Penske
“True, if there is an opportunity, it will be welcome. But, after some discussions with Domenicali, it all comes down to money. We have to be stable and sustainable.
“And to organise an F1 Grand Prix you have to invest. It’s not just about getting a sponsor, it’s about agreeing all the details that make up the package,” Penske said.
So for Penske, either F1 is good business for Indianapolis or it’s just not worth it. And with a fixed minimum of 15 to 20 million euros, and all the collateral revenue that is given to the category to the detriment of the Grand Prix organiser, the numbers just don’t add up.
In other words, it is up to F1 to move and make a reasonable offer. Watch this space…