Ross Brawn has revealed that Formula 1 is open to collaboration with IndyCar to allow more F1 drivers a chance to compete in the Indy 500.
For the first time since 2003, the Indy 500 did not clash with an F1 race weekend. The landmark event typically clashes with the equally iconic Monaco Grand Prix and prevents F1 drivers from crossing the Atlantic to compete.
F1’s managing director of motorsports, Ross Brawn, told Racer.com that the sport is open to rescheduling the Monaco weekend in the future, especially if the move would benefit 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,” said Brawn.
“‘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 believes that Roger Penske’s purchase of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 race and IndyCar itself will likely make talks easier.
“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.”