F1 open to avoiding Indy clash so its drivers can compete

Formula 1 managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn says the sport is open to avoiding a clash between the Monaco Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500 in future.

This year was the first time since 2003 that Indy didn’t clash with an F1 race, with Monaco taking place a week before the 500. As the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway always takes place on Memorial Day weekend, it’s likely the timing of Monaco would need to shift slightly and Brawn tells RACER that’s something that would be considered if it’s better for motorsport as a whole.

“Certainly from our perspective — Formula One Management — we embrace all motorsport, because one of my ex-colleagues Sean Bratches used to say that when the tide rises all the boats go up, and we believe that very strongly,” Brawn said. “If you increase the interest in motorsport, more fans get engaged.

“(Netflix series) ‘Drive to Survive’ has been a great success — it’s brought fans into Formula 1; there’s no doubt that those fans will be looking at other forms of motorsport as well because suddenly they’ve found this new world. And we’re the same — we want the Indy 500 to be a huge success so that when we go to America, fans will cross over.

“It’s great that it didn’t clash this weekend — it gave me a chance to watch it as I wasn’t traveling back from Monaco for once! We embrace all forms of motorsport. It’s great a Formula 1 team — McLaren — are involved there now. Formula 1 drivers have always been involved there — it tends to be a follow-on career but maybe if it doesn’t clash, it doesn’t have to be.”

Brawn suggested that Roger Penske’s ownership of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway could help the process of collaboration along.

“We’re totally open. I think our management here, including myself, are completely open to any of those sort of possibilities. First and foremost it has to enhance the sporting spectacle. We don’t want any of this to turn into any sort of false event, but we’re very open to those sort of initiatives.

“And of course Indy on that side of things is being run by an old friend of ours now in Roger Penske — Roger’s always had an interest in Formula 1 and been involved at times in Formula 1 — so there’s very real possibilities for collaborations in the future.”