An Ominous Indy
By: Jeremy McMullen
blog comments powered by Disqus
By: Jeremy McMullen
|For decades the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been breaking hearts of teams and drivers. With the waving of the checkered flag after the United States Grand Prix, the Speedway may have broken the heart of Formula One's attempt at a competitive drive in the United States. Fingers have been pointed, and Formula One and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are in jeopardy of not coming to an agreement. But beyond all of the problems, everything needed for success is already there.
The story for the past couple of years has been turn 13. Last year it was the tire and race fiasco. This year the concern was still present and even included Bridgestone in the worries, according to the German publication Auto Motor Und Sport. The trouble it has caused may force strained relationships to be beyond repair. Ironically, it was turn 13 that was to be the basis for Formula One's success in America. Now it may help undo everything. When the track layout at Indy was announced much was made of turn 13. For one thing it was part of the oval (turn 1), and for another thing, it was thought that the speeds, the banking, and the mere history of the track, as well as, the image of Ferraris and McLarens flashing through the corner would make for a truly awe-inspiring sight to behold. Initially it was a beautiful sight, but that was exactly all it ended up being—a unique photo opportunity. From a driver's standpoint it was even less inspiring. During the inaugural event, David Coulthard wrote next to turn 13 on his track map the word 'boring'. Of course turn 13 is anything but 'boring' now. Anymore, it's almost frightening.
However, turn 13 could also be the messenger carrying with it important secrets to F1's success at the Speedway and the United States. And as Tony George is in London discussing a contract extension, it would be helpful if the secret could be realized by both sides during the negotiations.
While using nearly 50 percent of the ominous oval, the current track design for Formula One is anything but similar in reputation. Instead of a course based upon courage and bravery, if not a little fear, the current design F1 uses appears more like a mere parade route for F1's elite. The race provides nothing more than a unique setting by which to watch the royal parade of pomp and circumstance that is Formula One today. Of course to bring Formula One back after an absence of nearly ten years with any chance of success meant coming to such a venue as Indy. Unfortunately, however, the track design is not conducive to making the USGP a jewel in F1's crown or in anyone's crown. But it was the idea that worked for Formula One.