Todt eyeing Indianapolis return?


Like F1, IndyCar bosses have been forced to do some serious reshuffling of the calendar courtesy of the global pandemic, and as a result, as we come towards the end of August, today sees the 104th running of the legendary Indy 500, the event usually held in May.

Visiting the event, which like all the Grands Prix thus far this year will be held behind closed doors, is FIA president, Jean Todt.

The 'Brickyard' hosted 8 rounds of the Formula One World Championship between 2000 and 2007, and while there were issues, not least in terms of the layout and, of course, the infamous event of 2005, in the years that followed there has been talk of F1 returning.

This year's running marks the first time the legendary race has been held since the Indianapolis facility and indeed IndyCar itself was purchased by Roger Penske, and an intriguing visitor to the event is FIA president, Jean Todt.

While the pandemic has seen Liberty's hopes of a Miami F1 race put on the back burner, Penske has admitted that he would be more than happy to welcome the sport back, and it would appear he has an ally in Todt.

Asked if the FIA would sanction a return to Indianapolis, the Frenchman said: "As you know the responsibility of the calendar is with the commercial rights holder, but clearly Indianapolis has all the ingredients of a Formula 1 venue, all the facilities.

"Roger and his group have taken the lead, and I was very impressed with what I saw this morning," he continued. "All the improvements have been done in a very short time. Roger has already achieved quite a lot with facilities that were already very impressive.

"Indianapolis is a kind of Silicon Valley of motor racing in the US so of course if the Formula 1 commission proposed to have a race at Indianapolis it would be very good for Formula 1."

A familiar face for Todt on the grid today is two-time world champion, Fernando Alonso, who returns to the sport next season, following today's (third) attempt to win the Indy 500 and thereby achieve motor sport's triple-crown, a feat only previously achieved by Graham Hill.

Despite the lack of fans in the stands, Todt paid tribute to motor sport as it continues to adapt to the highly unusual circumstances surrounding the pandemic.

"I think it's remarkable and commendable to see all the efforts that have been done in different championships, in Formula 1, in Formula E, in endurance, in IndyCar and all motorsport categories, to make motor racing alive again at this time," he said.

"The easy solution would be to wait until life is back to normal, but we don't know when it will be. So it is essential to restart and I commend all the work that has been done, including of course at Indianapolis."

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Published: 23/08/2020
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