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Long Beach opts to keep IndyCar despite Formula 1 proposal

Scott Dixon, Ganassi, Long Beach IndyCar 2014

IndyCar's future in Long Beach has been secured at least until 2018 after the city's council unanimously to extend the current contract earlier this week, despite a Formula 1 proposal.

The iconic southern Californian street circuit had been the subject of an approach from a group led by event founder Chris Pook for F1 to return to the venue when the current deal expires in 2015.

That was quashed when the council voted 8-0 to extend the current deal for three years, with two additional one-year options.

While the deal means that F1 will not return to Long Beach in the short term, the council has left a possible avenue open for the future by instructing city officials to request proposals to investigate a possible switch to an alternative championship after 2018.

F1-turned-IndyCar drivers Takuma Sato and Justin Wilson told AUTOSPORT in Long Beach that they were sceptical that the world championship would ever return to the venue.

They felt the immense amount of work and associated costs that would be required to bring the track up to grand prix standard would prove prohibitive.

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