Indycar Warns F1 Over Trademark Breaches

2022 United States Grand Prix Saturday - Valtteri Bottas
2022 United States Grand Prix Saturday - Valtteri Bottas

The owner of the US-based Indycar series has hit out at Formula 1 for repeated alleged trademark breaches.

Earlier, F1’s official Twitter account captioned a promotional video for the inaugural Las Vegas GP with the moniker: “The greatest racing spectacle on the planet”.

Following that, Indycar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Mark Miles wrote a letter of informal complaint to F1, the Indianapolis Star newspaper reveals.

“They said, ‘We don’t mean to be doing that to you’,” Miles confirmed.

However, Miles admits he was then dismayed when he heard LL Cool J use the phrase “the greatest spectacle in motorsports” during the controversial F1 driver introductions ahead of the Miami GP.

A 1985 filing protects Indycar’s ownership of the phrase “the greatest spectacle in racing”.

“I heard that,” Miles said when asked about LL Cool J’s use of the term.

“My reaction was ‘I’ll bet you race fans know that’s a crock of sh*t’. And I don’t expect it to continue.

“We had a little conversation with them when it was popping up around Vegas, and it was very informal and quick, so I was surprised. But I don’t think that’s their general MO.”

Miles insisted that he doesn’t believe F1’s use of the disputed term would have come from “as high up as Stefano Domenicali”.

But Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles said executives will probably reach out to Formula 1 yet again in a “polite” way.

“Look, we want you to be successful, and we’re excited you’re here in the US,” Boles said. “But these are our marks, clearly.

“Go build your own.

“The challenge with IP law is that if you don’t aggressively protect your marks, you lose the ability to protect it in situations where it really is important.”

F1 legend Gerhard Berger, meanwhile, warned the sport’s owner Liberty Media to be careful about how Americanised it intends to make Formula 1 going forward.

“With Liberty at the helm, we have finally managed to get America behind Formula 1,” the Austrian told Servus TV. “So I’m happy for Formula 1.

“But I would say that Formula 1 basically has a European culture, and it must not be distorted.

“Personally, I don’t like this distinctive show component of the Americans, which sometimes dilutes the whole thing a little – including the Netflix documentary,” Berger added.


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