US GP: Williams preview

After demonstrating unrealised potential in Monza, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team expects to do justice to its competitiveness in the USA. The penultimate race in the FIA Formula One World Championship takes the BMW WilliamsF1 Team to one the spiritual...

After demonstrating unrealised potential in Monza, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team expects to do justice to its competitiveness in the USA. The penultimate race in the FIA Formula One World Championship takes the BMW WilliamsF1 Team to one the spiritual homes of international motorsport, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It could be said that the Indianapolis circuit is one of the crown jewels in the international motorsport calendar alongside Le Mans and Monaco. It is a unique circuit incorporating long straights, as well as the distinctive characteristics of an oval in places. Juan Pablo Montoya is well acquainted with the circuit and set the lap record of 1m14.448s last year, and has previously in the 2000 CART series as the youngest driver to win the Indy 500.

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"I am pleased to race at Indianapolis again. From a technical perspective, the Brickyard is a circuit that has got a lot of rhythm and so an important key to performing well in Indy is to have a well balanced car. The Speedway is also a good competitive circuit as it is very fast and strategy can come into play in the race outcome. I think it is probably one of the best circuits for overtaking, having such a long straight and turn one into the oval is an especially good place for passing. The trick is to get fairly close to the car in front of you by the end of the straight before trying to pass."

"The circuit also holds sentimental value for me as when I raced in CART my team was based here. I have good memories from then, as well as of course winning the Indy 500. I'm probably going to see all my 'old' friends out there, and we'll be sure to make it as entertaining as possible! It's going to be an interesting weekend for us. No doubt about it."

Ralf Schumacher:

"Some people said that Monza was going to be our last chance for a victory this season, but in my opinion our car will also suit the Indy track. After both Juan and I didn't finish in Italy, our performance in the US will be even more carefully scrutinised and we will be looking for a better result. The long full-throttle sector in the parabolic corner suits our engine, but it will be very difficult to find the right compromise with the winding infield. I will fly out to the US a couple of days early in order to be acclimatised, relaxed and fresh. I hope to be able to heal the wound of our poor performance in Monza together with the team."

Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1):

"Indianapolis is completely different to any of the other circuits on the Formula One calendar. It has the longest straight with up to 23 seconds on full throttle, followed by tight and twisty corners, none of them high speed at all. Part of the Formula One circuit uses two corners from the oval track, but they are taken at full throttle, so are considered as part of the straight."

"The set-up of the car needs to be geared towards good traction for the slow speed exits and good braking stability. From a tyre point of view, the Michelin compounds will be competitive. We had strong tyres at Monza and we were disappointed not to capitalise on the advantage they gave us there due to the technical problems we had with our own package. The circuit layout demands maximum downforce for the infield and minimum drag for the straight. We are sure to see a variety of different wing levels tried throughout the weekend. The pit stop strategy should be interesting because there are plenty of overtaking opportunities."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"On the oval part of the Indianapolis circuit, the engines run full throttle for 23 seconds, this represents the longest full-load section of all Formula One circuits. In contrast, there is the narrow infield, which reduces the full throttle percentage of a lap to just over 50%, based on data collected in 2001. The important figure for the engine is the continuous loading on the straight. In Qualifying we will again use our latest engine development which allows us revs over 19,000 per minute. The decision as to whether we run this engine specification in the race will be made after we have completed our endurance runs."

-williams-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Williams