New reports suggesting Long Beach could return to F1’s annual calendar have emerged.
Last year, bosses of the iconic US street race denied reports F1 figures had expressed interest in snapping up a deal when Indycar’s contract expires in 2015.
Race president Jim Michaelian said then: “The race isn’t for sale and there’s been no contact between anyone and (owner) Kevin (Kalkhoven) about a sale.”
But the Long Beach Press Telegram is now reporting that, at a meeting on Tuesday, the city council will discuss the issue of the race lease, claiming F1 bosses “want the city to open up the bidding process”.
“We just want a fair process where qualified people can bid on it,” confirmed Chris Pook, F1’s original Long Beach pioneer who is now working closely with Bernie Ecclestone.
“We would like to be one of those entities,” he confirmed.
The Long Beach Press Telegram revealed that, in a letter to mayor Bob Foster last May, Ecclestone expressed interest in taking F1 back to the streets.
“If you and the city council so determine, the opportunity to operate an automobile race through the city streets of Long Beach can be put out to open bid,” he wrote.
“Please be advised that formula one is interested in returning to your city, and we will consider the appropriate entity to make such a bid if you decide to permit such a process,” Ecclestone added.