US GP McLaren preview

Indianapolis, one of the most famous racing venues in the world, is to host the first US Grand Prix for nine years. The West McLaren Mercedes team looks forward to competing at the purpose-built Formula One circuit, which contains segments of the...

Indianapolis, one of the most famous racing venues in the world, is to host the first US Grand Prix for nine years. The West McLaren Mercedes team looks forward to competing at the purpose-built Formula One circuit, which contains segments of the renowned oval.

The SAP United States Grand Prix will be the 55th Formula One event to take place in the US, which will count towards the Formula One World Championship. The famous Indianapolis 500 race was part of the Formula One World Championship from 1950 to 1960 and the first official United States Grand Prix took place in 1959 at Sebring. The winner of that race was one Bruce McLaren -- four years before he formed the McLaren race team.

McLaren has been the most successful Formula One constructor in America since entering the sport, winning nine races since 1966. While former Formula One team Lotus has the highest number of Formula One race wins in America with 11, they had raced in the US for seven more years than McLaren. McLaren has won the last four United States Grand Prix, including three consecutive wins on the streets of Phoenix from 1989 until the last Formula One race to be staged in America in 1991.

Indianapolis is also special to the team as McLaren has won the famous Indianapolis 500 three times; in 1972 with Mark Donohue and 1974 and 1976 with Johnny Rutherford.

The new Indianapolis Formula One track starts from the front stretch of the Speedway and the Formula One cars will run in the opposite direction to usual heading into a tight right-left before twisting around the infield golf course. The course then opens out into two faster corners, the second of which is turn one on the oval, sweeping back out onto the front straightaway. The combination of the quick final corner, the long, wide front straight and the tight first corner should provide plenty of opportunities for overtaking. There will be few more spectacular sights in motor racing than that of a Formula One car accelerating around this banked corner surrounded by the high grandstands of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Mika Hakkinen:
'I look forward to returning to the US as I made my Formula One debut at Phoenix in 1991. Obviously it's a brand new circuit, which is always a challenge, but we are determined to put on a good show for the American public. The engineers will already have a good idea about set-up for the car but I have to learn what line to take into a corner and where the braking points are. I will not know for sure until I do my first lap in the car Friday morning.'

David Coulthard:
'I have studied footage of the track and it seems challenging and technically demanding and I'm looking forward to familiarising myself with the different corners and straights. The banked corner is definitely not something we normally encounter at a Formula One track. It will be great to race in front of an American crowd - the atmosphere will be very special.

Ron Dennis:
'McLaren has an illustrious history in America. We are the most successful Formula One Constructor in the US, having won the last four Formula One races held in the States, and dominated the CAN-AM Championship in the late 60's. We are aiming to continue our success at this year's SAP United States Grand Prix.'

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Bruce McLaren , Mark Donohue , Johnny Rutherford
Teams Mercedes , McLaren