Formula One To Return to US in 2012?

Gareth Llewellyn-StevensCorrespondent IMay 21, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - JUNE 17:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren Mercedes races during the F1 Grand Prix of USA at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on June 17, 2007 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Formula One could be returning to the US, as rumours of a deal are confirmed by a New York motor club.

Several news outlets in the UK have spoken to the Monticello Motor Club in New York on the back of a letter from its President Ari Strauss appearing in American publication Autoweek.

Ecclestone infamously pulled F1 from the states after failing to agree to terms with Indianapolis Motor Speedway beyond 2007, ending a seven-year return to F1 in the states. 

Ecclestone has warmed to the idea of returning, albeit not to Indiana.

Speculation about a return to the US has increased in recent weeks, with a possible street race in New Jersey being suggested, before it fell through.

Ecclestone is keen on a street race in a big city, but that appears to be increasingly likely in New York.

Strauss, who met Ecclestone last year, said in his letter:

"A few months ago, [MMC chairman] Bill McMichael and I met with Bernie Ecclestone, President/CEO of Formula One Management (FOM), and discussed the terms for an exclusive 10-year United States Grand Prix to be hosted at MMC. Shortly thereafter, Hermann Tilke, the chief engineer and circuit designer for F1, spent time at MMC and confirmed that our track and surrounding properties, with some expansion and minor track modifications, is an excellent location for a Grand Prix.

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"Since receiving a letter of understanding from FOM confirming their hope to bring the U.S. Grand Prix to Monticello, Bill and I have continued to secure the backing and support of local, state, and federal politicians and organizations."

The MMC circuit is the closest to New York, with New York City just 90 miles southwest of the foot of the Catskills at Monticello, and has been described as the "country club" for car enthusiasts.

Sounds perfect for F1 if you've got a bit of money—membership starts at $125,000, before the annual fee.

Being a modern 4.1km circuit and being close to New York will give its chances some weight.

Ecclestone likes to attract the rich and famous to his races. With its proximity to Manhattan, and many high-profile names already members of the MMC, the track looks like a possibility.

Indeed, the club's Web site, which is currently down, describes it as "a luxury automotive lifestyle resort and track located 90 minutes from Manhattan in beautiful Monticello, New York."

There will be other contenders over the coming months, both in New York state, and further field, but what is clear is that the US wants to be back on the F1 calendar, and F1 wants to go back sooner rather than later.

Hopefully, Ecclestone can get his act together, agree on a circuit, and let the preparations begin.

It would appear Monticello has the support and the money to be able to accommodate the sport's demands.

If there are no other realistic bids, award it to MMC, and let's go for 2012 in New York.

Are there other circuits you'd prefer to see host F1 in the US? Let us know in the comments below.

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