Formula One racing in Europe is over for another year so the teams now head off across the Atlantic for the penultimate round of the 2001 FIA World Championship. Formula One returned to the United States last year for the first time since the ...
Formula One racing in Europe is over for another year so the teams now head off across the Atlantic for the penultimate round of the 2001 FIA World Championship. Formula One returned to the United States last year for the first time since the Phoenix race in 1991. Known worldwide as the home of the Indy 500, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has already made its mark on the F1 calendar.
Indianapolis is a purpose-built F1 track that utilises a large section of the Speedway's banked oval used for the Indy 500. The oval section is run in the opposite direction to the familiar IRL and NASCAR races and is a real test of nerves as the drivers experience a new sensation of vertical g-forces as well as speeds up to 300kph while on the banking. Diving off the oval after turn one (turn four of the Speedway) the drivers hit the infield section, which is specifically designed for F1 cars. The infield section of the track requires sufficient downforce from the set-up without losing speed for the straights. As always, set-up will be a compromise to this effect, but teams will have plenty of data from last year's race to work with, so are able to focus on getting the best from the car. There is also more of a level playing field as nobody can test at Indy before the race weekend.
In 2000, the OrangeArrows team enjoyed a good start to the weekend with Jos qualifying in a creditable 13th place, while Pedro had to settle for 18th. Pedro had a positive start to the race and had made up four places on the first lap, however was later scuppered by a gearbox problem. Jos was also racing superbly, climbing to fourth, but whilst making a move for third, missed his braking point and slid into the gravel. After a strong showing last year and in the last race at Monza, the OrangeArrows team return to Indy with hopes for a positive weekend.
"Indianapolis is a really challenging circuit and I like it very much. Because it uses part of the oval, the banked corners make the track really exciting, as it's something we don't have anywhere else in F1. The bankings create a big vertical downforce, which we're not really used to so its quite strange, but the corner itself is really nice. Its good for overtaking on at high speed so should make the racing really interesting. I was having a great race there last year when I was chasing Frentzen for third but I made a mistake in the end unfortunately. It was a strong race for us though and I'm looking forward to racing there again!"
"I've never raced at Indy before but I hear it's a great circuit. The track looks really exciting to drive and I can't wait to get started. It's got a good mix of straights and fast corners on the oval section, but the infield is quite twisty so it looks an interesting one. I'm not sure about the bankings, that will be quite an odd feeling I think!"
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director
"Indianapolis is a medium to low downforce circuit which is quite similar in that respect to Canada, though far less hard on the brakes. In that sense, it should suit the A22 better than the high downforce circuits. Jos really likes the track and had a good race last year where he was running strongly in fourth, but Enrique has never been there before so he will need to learn the circuit relatively quickly."