Sato casts doubt on Long Beach race

Friday 25-April-2014 13:02

Former F1 driver turned Indy racer Takuma Sato has ruled out Formula One heading to the Long Beach street circuit.

In recent months there has been talk about Formula One replacing the IndyCar series at the American street race when the current deal expires next season.

However, Sato, who failed to reach the chequered at the recent Long Beach race, has cast doubt over the possibility.

According to the Foyt driver, not only will a lot of work need to be done to bring the venue up to F1 standards but the cars would not cope with the incredibly bumpy surface.

"I don't know if current F1 cars could absorb the conditions of the track surface here or not," he told Autosport. "I pretty much think they can't.

"They'd have to resurface like they do in Monte Carlo - they resurface that every year.

"And the rest of the track is semi-permanent, so they have a very smooth surface.

"But it is a real street course. Even we [in IndyCar] have a lot of bouncing. So there'd be a lot of work to be done."

However, he's not the only former F1 driver who feels that way.

Justin Wilson, who crashed out of this year's Long Beach race after a late restart, said: "We love going there because it's Long Beach, it's a lot of fun, and it's so raw.

"But an F1 car won't go around there. They'd be complaining about the bumps - they'd have to resurface the entire place, after they'd ground the entire place.

"I saw that story [about an F1 return] and chuckled.

"There's no way an F1 race could happen around here anymore.

"In the 1980s you could do that, but now it doesn't any sense.

"It's a great event; we love it. But Monaco is as smooth as the Indy 500, to give you a point of reference.

"If they came to Long Beach, they'd be shocked."

© 2014 - 365 Media Group

Any reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of 365 Media Group is strictly forbidden.