Is Formula One set for a return to the streets of Long Beach?

Is Formula One set for a return to the streets of Long Beach?

Formula One could be set for a return to the streets of Long Beach in the future, with city officials set to decide on Tuesday whether to open bidding to host the famed race in Southern California.

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Seven F1 grand prix were held in Long Beach from 1976 to 1983, before the event switched to CART, and then later to IndyCar, with whom the current deal stands.

With this deal set to expire in 2015, Bernie Ecclestone made an approach to the Mayor of Long Beach Bob Foster last year, stating Formula One’s interest in acquiring the lease to the race.

“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,” read part of Ecclestone’s letter to Foster.

While it is expected that Formula One would triple the economic impact of the race on the city, the hosting fee would be far higher than the $2 million paid to IndyCar.

Mario Andretti, Gilles Villeneuve and Niki Lauda are just some of the legends of the sport to win in Long Beach, with John Watson famously taking victory from 22nd on the grid for McLaren in the final running of the race in 1983.

The 40th running of the Long Beach Grand Prix is set to take place next month.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Dan Paddock

Dan Paddock

Dan Paddock is an FIA accredited freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist and the recently appointed Grand Prix Editor of Richland F1. Dan joined the site in July of last year as a Staff Writer, fresh off the back of completing a master’s degree in journalism. He has since gone on to represent Richland F1 at the 2014 British Grand Prix, his debut in the Formula 1 paddock. Aside from Richland F1, Dan also writes for Rumble Strip News, as well as maintaing his own modest blog.