Race Preview: Indianapolis

About the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
History: Developed from the vision of one of the founders, Carl G. Fisher, Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built in 1909 as an automobile testing ground to support the area's growing automotive industry. The first competitive event to take place at the facility was actually a gas-filled balloon race June 5, 1909. Motorized racing wasn't far behind. The first land-based vehicle race was a motorcycle event Aug. 14, 1909 and the first automobile race at the Speedway took place five days later. Formula One came to the Speedway in 2000 after a 2.605-mile road circuit incorporating part of the world-famous oval was built.
Track Length: 2.605 miles/4.192 kilometers
Race Distance: 73 Laps
Number of Turns: 13 (9 right, 4 left)
Seating Capacity: Approx. 250,000 spectators
Number of Grand Prix’s Hosted: 7
Fastest Lap: Rubens Barrichello set by 1:10.399 in 2004
2006 Polesitter: Michael Schumacher
2006 Podium: Michael Schumacher (winner), Felipe Massa (2nd), Giancarlo Fisichella (3rd)
Championship Standings: Click here

What happened in 2006?
On a day that saw a multi car accident on lap 1, a slew of retirements throughout and side-by-side action around the track, Michael Schumacher proved once again that it doesn’t matter how many drivers take the green flag at the United States Grand Prix – he is the dominant force at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – winning the event for the fifth time in seven seasons.
  • For complete results, click here
  • For a complete recap of last year’s event, click here

The United States Grand Prix has taken place at seven different tracks, Sebring, Riverside, Watkins Glen, Long Beach, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix before relocating to Indianapolis in 2000 after a gap from the calendar of nine years.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the oldest motor racing circuit still in use today.

For the Indianapolis 500, cars race on the oval in a counter-clockwise direction. Formula One, on the other hand, runs clockwise and uses only part of the oval. This particular section forms a 1,860-metre full-throttle stint which contrasts with the twisty infield section of the circuit specially built for the debut appearance of Formula One in 2000.

Overtaking is much easier at Indianapolis than at most tracks, with clear passing opportunities into turns one and eight, both second-gear corners proceeded by long straights. The slowest part of the track is the 40mph turn eight, the first part of an extremely tight S-bend, while the fastest is turn thirteen. This is the first corner of the oval and is taken flat-out at 185mph in an F1 car.

What they are Saying
"It still hasn’t really sunk in that I have won my first race, it was an amazing weekend for me and it is fantastic that we are racing again already this weekend. The Motor Speedway is another tough circuit on the cars, I hope we are as competitive, but until we get out on the circuit on Friday we can’t really predict how it is going to go. I am really excited to be racing at Indianapolis. It is such a legendary venue, you can’t escape the history here and I am looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere for the first time. The track has the unique characteristic of the banking, but from what I hear it doesn’t have a massive impact on the cars, but it will be pretty cool! To be going into race seven of the Championship in the position I am in is amazing; however it is still early days. This will be my seventh race and I am very much still learning. There are 11 more this season including Indy and that is a long way to go with a lot of hard work ahead. I have enjoyed the season so far, but am aware racing isn’t predicable and anything could happen at the next race."
--Lewis Hamilton, driver of the No. 2 MP4-22 for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

"I would really like to win in Indianapolis. The last three races have not been what I expected. We will do our best to get back to the level of the first three races. I really want to win, because that would help us a lot. It’s difficult to say what we expect from IMS. I enjoy the circuit, and it has always been a good circuit for Ferrari. There is a very long straight, where you need to have a good speed, but at the same moment the infield section is very tight and there are some corners you have to take with the smallest gears. Fortunately, you are able to overtake at the end of the straight."
--Kimi Raikkonen, driver of the No. 6 F2007 for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

"The circuit at Indianapolis is quite unique and the venue usually puts on a great show over the race weekend, which makes it a lot of fun for everyone. Although the track is not particularly challenging and actually very slow with the tight in-field section, it is a lot of fun, particularly driving the first corner of the oval banking flat out. It’s always a good race for the fans because you can overtake at Indianapolis. It’s a long way from the grid down to the first corner so that is a good opportunity or at the end of the back straight."
--Rubens Barrichello, driver of the No. 8 RA107 for Honda Racing

"The Indianapolis Speedway is fundamentally different from the circuit at Montreal, yet both tracks demand a medium downforce level. In Indy that is the result of a tricky compromise. On the oval section you have a 1,860-metre full-throttle section - the longest flat-out stretch to date on the whole F1 calendar. To achieve maximum top speed, you would want to take the Indy oval with a very low wing setting and minimal drag. But with a low-downforce package of the kind we use in Monza, there wouldn't be nearly enough downforce for the 11 turns in the Indianapolis infield section. If you haven't got sufficient braking stability and traction in these corners, you lose more time than can be gained on the straights. In the infield, where you shift down all the way to first, you want the maximum possible downforce, similar to Monaco or Budapest."
--Willy Rampf, Technical Director for BMW Sauber F1 Team

"As the home of American motor racing, Indianapolis is a special venue and it has a special atmosphere to go with it. Unfortunately it has never been a very lucky track for me and I have had a couple of incidents that I would prefer to forget. Now I will look to put those behind me with a more positive visit to the venue. The main challenge of the Speedway’s F1 circuit is to balance the set-up of the car. We have to reach a good top speed along the banked start-finish straight into the first corner while keeping the car stable through the slow and twisty infield section. This season has been a struggle for me but I remain confident that we can turn our form around. We scored a point at Montreal and Toyota has a strong record from its races at Indianapolis so we will hope to give the team a boost with a good result on Sunday."
--Ralf Schumacher, driver of the No. 11 TF107 for Panasonic Toyota Racing

"Coming to Indy is special as it is a race track which has a significant place in motor racing history, in fact, what a name - 'Indianapolis'. I am really looking forward to the race and of course I come here feeling very positive after scoring some more points in Canada, but of course the US GP is another clean sheet and a new game. My goal is to ensure I qualify in the top ten and of course fight hard for some points in the race itself. The set-up for the race is quite similar to Canada, yet there are some subtle differences in the details, for instance the tire compound is one step on in terms of hardness, so we will definitely have to do quite a lot of set-up work on the car to find its balance on this track."
--Alexander Wurz, driver of the No. 17 FW29 for AT&T WilliamsF1 Team

"Last year when I was Indy, I had a huge reception. I definitely feel very welcome here in North America. I am looking forward to Indy. I am really excited to go back there. Any time I can go back to America and enjoy all the idiosyncrasies that I love in my own country like Starbucks, it makes my time a little bit more enjoyable off the track."
--Scott Speed, driver of the No. 19 STR2 for Scuderia Toro Rosso and the sole American in the field

"I think that (this weekend’s aim) is very obvious, to get two cars to the finish without making any mistakes. We never forget that we are not here to lap around at the back, we do want to move forward, but the only way we can move forward is to set good foundations and build on them."
--Colin Kolles, Team Principal and Managing Director of Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team

Schedule of Events
Friday, June 15
  • Practice 1: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. (ET)
  • Practice 2: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. (ET)

Saturday, June 16
  • Practice 3: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. (ET)
  • Qualifying: 1:00 p.m. (ET)

Sunday, June 17
  • Race: 1:00 p.m. (ET)

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@ Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sunday, November 24, 2013

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