Long Beach rules out F1 race until 2019

Saturday 26th April 2014, 11:26 by Ryan Wood 

Sauber Motorsport AG

Formula 1 will not return to Long Beach in the short-term after the city council chose to extend IndyCar's exclusive deal for three years until 2018.

F1's Bernie Ecclestone had written to the council to show an interest in taking over the event from F1's American rival. The events founder, Chris Pook, was put in charge of evaluating the possibility of a return and estimated it would cost £6 million ($10m) to bring the street circuit up to modern F1 standards.

Whilst IndyCar will remain until at least 2018, the council voted to but the event out to bid once the extension had expired, which is potentially good news for F1.

"The fact that it is going to bid is the important thing, isn't it?" Pook said on Thursday. "We would have liked to have seen the RFP (request for proposal) done in a shorter time, but we'll see what it is and move forward."

The decision means a proposal can be submitted within 18-20 months. It will then be evaluated and a final decision announced ahead of 2018 to ensure enough notice is given to upgrade the circuit should it be needed.

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