F1 fight affects Speedway future

June 19, 2009
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georgeYou can bet the folks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are watching closely at the family fight taking place within Formula One.

They might even be wondering if F1 teams and officials recall what happened to American open-wheel racing following the Indy Racing League-Champ Car split. F1 seems to be going down the same path paved by IRL and Champ Car in 1996.

Formula One’s future was in turmoil today after Ferrari, McLaren and six other teams announced plans for a rival series following the collapse of hostile negotiations with the sport’s organizers over a budget cap for next season.

The FIA, F1’s governing body, accused the Formula One Teams Association of trying to dictate the rules of motorsport and intentionally triggering the biggest crisis to engulf F1 since the championship began in 1950.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

“I think it's back to the future,” Bernie Ecclestone said Friday after arriving at Silverstone, site of Sunday's British Grand Prix.

Did he really say that? Wow, that’s pretty ironic.

Negotiations between FOTA and the FIA stalled over plans for a voluntary $60 million budget cap for next season. The FOTA teams lodged entries for 2010 on the condition there would be changes to the budget cap provisions, but the FIA wouldn't budge, saying the sport can’t survive in difficult economic times without spending caps.

Ferrari has participated since that inaugural series, but is now set to break away along with current championship leader Brawn GP, McLaren, Renault, Toyota, BMW Sauber, Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso.

Ecclestone, who owns F1's commercial rights, said he is unsure whether FIA president Max Mosley can resolve his dispute with the rebel teams.

It’s difficult to say where the Indianapolis Motor Speedway would land in all of this. It’s no secret IMS boss Tony George still has thoughts of bringing F1 back to the Brickyard—if the financial formula is workable.

So, would George make a play for the new series to come to Indy? That’s anyone’s guess. But having two F1-type series to play against each other in a competitive bidding situation might make for a better deal for the Speedway. If FOTA has Ferrari and the other big-name teams, that would appear to be the series to go with.

There’s also the scenario that George decides to fold the unprofitable IRL at some point, and this new series might actually include the Indianapolis 500 on its schedule. I’m sure that scenario would worry even the iron-fisted Ecclestone. After all, the Indianapolis 500 is still a crown jewel in the world of open-wheel.

But by tying its fortunes to another newly split open-wheel series, would George’s empire be in any better shape than he is now?

Back to the future, indeed. You said it, Bernie, not me.
  • One of the quotes I read from FOTA said they want to make the races more affordable for fans, partners, promoters, etc. which would lead me to believe a lower sanctioning fee (since Bernie isn't pocketing most of it anymore). Since the sanctioning fee was one of the biggest holdups to continuing the races, I'm curious if it will now pave the way for its return with FOTA.

    On a separate note, I don't think they will see the same deja vu as the CART/IRL split. Bernie and the FIA don't have an ace in the hole like IMS was in the split. If the teams want to start a new league and set agreements to race at the same venues, they are more than capable. The drivers and sponsors will follow the big names too.
  • If the Indy 500 becomes a de facto F1 race or whatever the series would be called, then say goodbye to the 500 and virtually any American drivers and the end of its run as a great American insitution.

    Really, the entire sport of major league professional auto racing is, in my opinion, a thing of the past by 2025 akin more the the level of interest and fame as say the Rolex 24 or Sebring. A curiosity sport of semi-professional status. And that includes NASCAR.

    Racing has had a good one hundred-plus year run, and will sneak out another 10 to 15 years before going away altogether as we know it.
  • Bernie's back to the future comment I think was in reference to the FISA/FOCA war which saw Bernie and Max leading the FOCA (F1 Constructors Association) to wrest control of the commercial side of the sport and some of the rules making away from FISA (a subcommittee of the FIA).

    FOCA won that round and Max became the FIA president and Bernie took over the commercial side of the sport. Now the teams are up in arms again at Max and Bernie's rule of the series. Back to the future!

    If anything, this mess seems to more resemble the CART/USAC split than it does the CART/IRL split. But that is just splitting hairs. Without Ferrari, there will be no F1 next year.
  • Combining the Indy Car league series with the break away Ferrari, McLaren and six other teams racing series in some fashion is VERY interesting.

    This could bring more manufacturers, sponsors, and international exposure back to the United States and Indianapolis.

    Good luck to Tony George on capitalising upon this opportunity.
  • I wouldn't think it even necessary for FOTA to run at the same tracks as the current F1. Hasn't F1 been dropping several of their historic tracks in recent years to pursue higher sanctioning fees in developing markets? I would think a return to their historic tracks would bring even more attention to FOTA than some random country half a world away who was willing to pony up some cash in search of
  • there will not be a combined IRL/FOTA series ...FOTA is fighting to not have a 60 million dollar hard cap per team...in some one educated (maybe inside ..please chime in ) view ...how many teams budgets in the IRL ADDED UP TOGETHER would be at the 60 million dollar level.

    I also agree Bernie was talking about the split within F1 when he took over in the 70's ...he has spent about as much time thinking about the IRL as our state politicians think about working together to really help the states problems.....ummm common thread ...POLITICS AND percieved POWER ....
  • This reminds me of cart/IRL from the aspect of one side looking at trying to control costs in an era where money is tight, and one side that ones to spend like there is no tomorrow. We saw where that strategy landed cart.

    I would love to see F1 get rid of Bernie. He is the cog that damages the machine. His greed and pride has been ruining F1 for years.

    I do not see F1 becoming the new 500, because F1 will not run on ovals, and the 500 is an oval. I would love to see FOCA/F1 come back and this split may be that leverage. Still a lot of time to go before they split, but this has been coming forever.
  • For those who don't know....The Indy 500 WAS an F1 points paying event back in the 60's. It could be again, but would be difficult because the chassis are not designed to take the high speed impacts on such an oval.
  • THEy need to get TOney GORge to fix the F1. HE mergered CCArt right out of egistance. hahahahahaha HE could do the same thing for F1. TOney fixed open wheel in AMErica and he can fix it in EUrope to.
  • Racing sucks, but I make big bucks.
  • This reminds me of cart/IRL from the aspect of one side looking at trying to control costs in an era where money is tight, and one side that ones to spend like there is no tomorrow. We saw where that strategy landed cart.

    'We' do? Why don't you, without Hulmanista fiction or your usual outright lies, explain to us how the earl has been so profitable by trying to be a cheap imitation of those mean, nasty Cart people you're so obsessed with?


    On second thought, just stop lying and trying to insinuate things that are completely untrue, no matter how bad you want them to be.
  • That's a grate pic of the gomer lord and savior, that effer of all effers TG. You very few fans of that abortion of his should be embarrassed, yet it's clear that y'all just aren't even smart enough to do that.

    Anton the stupid needs to fold the 'league' regardless of what is going on with this F1 deal. If he isn't smart enough to do it, the IRS should shut it down for him. 14 years of losses makes it a hobby, not a viable, operational business.
  • Stans back. What I can show you is what happened to cart. Three bankruptcies in less than 15 years. No need for any spin, just a fact.

    Why would the IRS shut down the IRL? Wow, the TG/IRL haters have lost it. stan you either want a police state or are just desperate to see the IRL shut down like your dear cart.
  • So you can't answer. Of course that was obvious. Keep obsessing over Cart, loser. That rotten 'league' you pathetically try to shill for will never be close to what Cart was. And you cheap, lame, shoddy imitation fi-hunnerd isn't even enough to prop up Anton's folly. :lol:

    A police state would be wonderful if vermin like you were the ones being beaten into a coma with flashlights. :D That may be redundant in your case, but it would still be fun to watch.
  • Oh my, Stanley, did you get up on the wrong side of the bed or did you get kicked out for eating crackers? You are so filled with hate and venom that it would seem as if TG gave you his crack pipe when he kicked the habit and it has now blurred your VISION and clear thought. Perhaps you can have illusions of Helio dancing for you - INSERT SMILEY FACE HERE!
  • Oh, hey, I know, Stanley borrowed some VENOM from Marco. Yeah, that's it. Perhaps a little much!!!..............HaHaHaHaHa....I borrowed that from BiGirlFan.
  • F-1 teams to the IRL may be the funniest thing I have ever seen on the internet. From racing in Monaco to Spartucky in one year. LMAO
  • Hey, speaking of Marco Andretti. The kids at the community pool over near the park behind my house are playing Marco Stinko. One shouts Marco! the other shouts Stinko!. I trained them to do it a couple weeks ago as a joke. But, being kids that started doing it. What happens, LITERALLY, as they are chanting this, Marco Stinko wads his Daddy's race car up at Iowa, making a stinko, no doubt, in his Nomex undies.

    The kid sucks. But man, that is funny...hearing them chant that outside while seeing the young turd bust up another race car.
  • Nice. Respectable talk from Count Suckula about someone he would like to be.
  • Berwick Girl,

    I don't want to be Time To Parko Marko. Why?

    1 - I am 6'0 and handsome. He is short and looks like a rodent.

    2 - I don't know who is richer btu who cares? I have a lot of money. Lots.

    3 - I goof around here on the forums but I take personal responsibility for my actions and do not blame others.

    4 - I am smarter, more athletic, and have a more dynamic and outgoing personality.

    5 - I have had MANY women as I am considered ideal in that department. So I don't care abotu Parko's girlfriends, who seem, cheap anyhow.

    6 - I was a smoother race car driver who never came near crashing in the manner this overrated bowl turd does.

    7 - In the end, it is just good not to be that whiny, snively, personality-challenged, scared, modestly-talented, snively little jerk.

    Now those are not made up traits about myself as some have suggested. They are facts. It is just how it is. And internet posters are driven crazy by that as the ones I have met around the race track look like The Cable Guy.

    Good day, BerwickGirl.
  • God I love this place. :)
  • Stan, Jan gets paid to be Jan...gotta love it

    Push to pass is back and Danicles nails another pit crew member

    Tony is taking his mindyCART league overseas

    the more things change
  • well, well, well...it looks like TOney might get what he started out to accomplish...the total destruction and elimination of American open wheel racing. and the buttsecks gomerati get what they always wanted...an international road racing series with no 'Muricans and no ovals.
  • Someone help me out here...did CART condense the month of May or did Tony George do that?
  • what makes Nick think anyone in Europe wants anything to do with the undisputed bottom rung of open wheel racing
  • Rather pathetic that a blogger posing as a team owner finds it necessary to justify his existence. And that he has to attempt to pump himself up by telling us how many cream puffs he dates, how much money he has and how distracted he gets by demeaning race drivers. Seems he has a real self image problem. Perhaps being a Count isn't all it's cracked up to be?
  • Stan,

    I think most have accepted the fact that if not for the IRL, American open wheel would not exist. Of course I think that is what some of you want. Truly sad. The reason I bring up cart is because they had the model for failure and proved it multiple times. You can keep spouting how cart has nothing to do with the argument, but it has everything to do with it.
  • and indyman counts Tony's 600 million dollar spending spree a success
  • Hey Truth Man, you make a point, however all of those $$ you cite were not attributable to the IRL. Perhaps most to the Speedway directly. I'm not saying this as justification, only that you can't make a broad assumption of where those $$ went since we really don't know. How wise the expenditures were, well....that's another story. That's TG's story and he's sticking to it. (dragging along his sisty uglers and his momma kicking and screaming)
  • Truth, when did I ever say that? For one, that number is attributable to Robin Miller, and we know how reliable his info is. Second, the number I have read and I think Anthony reported it as well is more like $200 to $300 million, which is like $15 to $20 million a year. A loss on the series not unheard of in the sporting world. Ask many professional sports owners.

    That all said, at least any loss in the IRL is family money, unlike cart which was investor money. How many mom and pops put money into the IPO hoping for a good investment and instead lost their shirts because of a poorly managed, poorly run series. But I guess it is not a big deal to you TG/IRL haters.
  • Josie and the Sisters know
  • When Roger and the boys take over TOneys version of CARt, and the Family sells the Speedway, this will all be mute
  • What did iman do for all those Moms and Pops he feels so sorry for? Nothing but come here and use them to make an irrelevant point. Just wait till you no longer have TOney to lean on. Your blathering will be moot, but we will still enjoy it none the less
  • SSD,

    Not to be the grammar cops, but it is moot. Sorry, that word is a pet peave. Of course you did get it right in the second post.

    I didn't screw the mom and pops like cart did. What was I supposed to do for them? I am not involved in any of it. So we are not supposed to discuss the failures of cart? Because they screwed these poor people, then they should be swept under the rug so you feel better about it?
  • CART was before my time; you'll need to blame someone else.

    Would someone please tell me what this CART is that Indyman always drags up to defend the failure of his benefactor? Are there any fans of the CART business here? How long has it been since CART existed? what does it have to do with the lowest TV ratings in indycar and IMS history?
  • Gee, Davey, you mentioned CARt in your post calling the IRL, TONy's version of CARt. Guess you know more than you like to admit or vice versa. Dang, now I'm confused. But I think CARt was that DOG that preceded the Lame Duck (we'll call it that for now unless someone else comes up with something better).
  • What did CART do that made Tony condense the month of May? What did CART do that causes 100,000 people to not show up for pole day. What did CART do to bring about those exciting 33 rows of 1 single file 1 wide starts at the 500?
  • Well berwick, indyman makes those CART guys sound really evil. I hope those evil CART people are no longer in racing because if they were they sound like the kind of people who would probably conspire to fix it so that almost nobody else could ever win again. I'm happy for you guys that you have TOney George who would never allow anything like that to happen.
  • So SSD gets caught playing dumb and then tries to play it off. Strange how someone would claim not to know cart, but yet they post about it. I find it hard to believe someone would post about things they do not know.

    Are you really telling me that you have missed every post on these boards that goes into the whole cart IRL thing ad naseum? I will not go into it, but read up on your recent history, within the last month I posted about a dozen points that led to the breakup which most cart'ers refused to reply to.

    But to answer up couple of your questions, Cart owners told TG and the racing world that Indy should be no more than a week long like every other race in the series. It was one of their attempts to try to control TG and the IMS. Another was refusing to allow him to have a say on the cart board even though he represented by far the most important race in the series. Equivalent to telling the owners of Daytona they have no say in NASCAR and oh by the way, forget speed week, the Bud Shootout and the twin 125's, we are just giving you a Friday, Saturday, Sunday slot. Unfortunately TG had to cut a week out of the schedule, but I would rather have three weeks than a weekend deal like cart wanted.

    cart did everything they could to kill Indy after the split. He made sure none of the IRL races fell on cart weekends and kept the same cars and basically the same rules to allow cart drivers to run both series. cart went through and made sure they ran a race on every weekend an IRL race was scheduled and threatened strong action against any of its stars and cars if they wanted to run an IRL race. That is what caused the animosity and started the decline of things like Pole Day. Of course even if everything was hunky dory, Pole Day would not be still 100,000. Too many other things for people to do. Most tracks have had a decline in attendance at races but also at qualifying. This started well before the recession.

    The single file start sucked, nothing cart did, they were long dead. More of an issue with Barnhart not cracking the whip the second time. Something tells me the drivers will be warned about serious sanctions like starting at the back of the pack if they do not single file next year. That said, did not really effect the race, it was still a good time. If that is your biggest complaint about this year, then the boys did not do too bad of a job.
  • TOney wouldn't allow a company owned by one of those evil CART guys to build all his race engines for him would he?
  • I will not go into it - FALSE.

    Cart owners told TG and the racing world that Indy should be no more than a week long - FALSE.

    It was one of their attempts to try to control TG and the IMS. - FALSE.

    Another was refusing to allow him to have a say on the cart board - FALSE.

    Equivalent to telling the owners of Daytona they have no say in NASCAR - FALSE.

    TG had to cut a week out of the schedule - FALSE.

    cart did everything they could to kill Indy after the split. - FALSE.

    He made sure none of the IRL races fell on cart weekends and kept the same cars and basically the same rules to allow cart drivers to run both series. - FALSE.

    cart went through and made sure they ran a race on every weekend an IRL race was scheduled and threatened strong action against any of its “stars and cars” if they wanted to run an IRL race. - FALSE.

    That is what caused the animosity and started the decline of things like Pole Day. - FALSE.

    Of course even if everything was hunky dory, Pole Day would not be still 100,000. - CONJECTURE

    Something tells me the drivers will be warned about serious sanctions like starting at the back of the pack if they do not single file next year. - The voices in your head are amusing. Keep it up.
  • What does CART have to do with these numbers?


    Ratings continue to drop for the IRL on ABC. The IRL Corn Indy 250 drew a 0.8 overnight rating on ABC Sunday afternoon, down 27% from a 1.1 for last year's comparable race. So far this season, three IRL telecasts on ABC have averaged a 1.9 overnight rating on ABC, down 17% from a 2.3 last year. Excluding the Indy 500, ABC has averaged a 0.7 overnight, down 30% from a 1.0 last year.
  • Stan: do you think that could be Fred's voice in the back of his head
  • Not to be the grammar cops, but it is moot. Sorry, that word is a pet peave.

    Too bad you didn't spell it right, must not be too much of one. It's pet peeve, genius.
  • Touche Brett. Obviously peeve is not one of my pet peeves. Of course I never claimed to be a genius, unlike many here.
  • Stan,

    As usual good job on refuting my points. No facts, no cites. You really need to work on your debate skills. But why change now, right?
  • indyman thinks it took a genius to be able to foresee the destruction Tony George would bring upon open wheel racing
  • good job on refuting my points

    You didn't make any 'points', you just spouted a pile of complete fiction, a fecal fountain of Hulmanista rubbish, as usual.

    When you are capable of presenting some actual facts, there could possibly be some difference in the discourse. Or not. As it is, there is only noting the rambling delusional filth from a disgusting, pathetic, scotchygen-addled lunatic.

    That lunatic would be you.
  • Indyman,

    Perhaps you should proceed your post points by numbers so Stanley doesn't get lost. He gets so pissed when he gets confused and that just happens over and over. And, then he starts repeating himself. And those names he repeats over and over as well.

    Hey, perhaps someone erected a burning fecal fountain on his porch once so now he thinks that's cool. Nonetheless, Indyman do you think you come across as a lunatic? Wow, that's pretty nasty, Stanley, even for you.
  • BG, you should go back to being an earl/T effin G fan, since you are still a fan of chronic Hulmanista liars like earlman.

    You are the confused one if you think any of that garbage he posted was valid. Does it hurt to be so stupid?
  • Stanley, not really saying anything about the validity of your point was I. It's just so nasty. Perhaps you could cool your rhetoric just a wee bit. I do wonder about the lunatic label however. Even in disagreeing with Indyman, I would never call him a lunatic. You can say misinformed perhaps.

    The other issue is that some of us try to see the positives in some of the competitors of the IRL no matter how sordid TG or his product is. Afterall, what choice do they have at this point? So I don't want to put a rap on Scott Dixon or TK, for example, for running the series.

    Do I agree that the product is bad, yes. Do I agree that TG is the wrong guy for the responsibilities he assumes and carries, yes? But I also agree that every member of Congress needs to be thrown under the same bus as TG. Unfortunately, neither you nor I have much say in either. I try to hold out hope that somehow the better people will rise to the top, in open wheel, someone like Tony Cotman. But until that happens, we continue to see a sub par product run by sub par people.

    I also know that you hold out extreme dislike for people like Penske, Ganassi, and Andretti. Nonetheless, these guys know how to attract $$ and how to make $$. I don't fault them for that nor do I fault them for their successes. They way they go about it, well that's another story.

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