US GP: McLaren preview

The world-renowned Indianapolis Motor Speedway plays host to the 2005 United States Grand Prix, the second race of the North American double header following the Canadian race last weekend, which saw Kimi's third race win of the season. The result...

The world-renowned Indianapolis Motor Speedway plays host to the 2005 United States Grand Prix, the second race of the North American double header following the Canadian race last weekend, which saw Kimi's third race win of the season. The result in Montreal saw Kimi close the gap in the Drivers' standings by ten points to current leader Fernando Alonso.

The Finn is second with 37 points and team mate Juan Pablo Montoya lies in 11th with 16 points. West McLaren Mercedes remains in second position in the Constructors' Championship with 63 points.

The 2005 event will be the 60th race in America that will have counted towards the Formula One World Championship. The first official United States Grand Prix, which took place in 1959 at Sebring was won by Bruce McLaren, four years before he formed the McLaren team. Before the inaugural race, the Indy 500 was included in the Formula One World Championship for several years in the 1950s.

Kimi Raikkonen:

"It was a great result for me in Montreal last weekend, and I am looking forward to continuing the Championship battle this weekend in Indianapolis. The Motor Speedway is legendary and it is one of the places that every driver would like to win at, like Monaco and Spa. The circuit is a fast track like Montreal, with a top speed of 335km/h along the main straight. It is the longest time of full throttle we have all year, as we are flat out along the oval part of the track for 1.7kms."

"The other section of the track is the slow, winding infield, with tight corners and hairpins and as a result we will use a medium-low downforce set-up to have good cornering and the power we need on the straight. The weather can be unpredictable at Indy, and can go from one extreme to the other, which means our tyre selection with Michelin will need to make sure we have a tyre that operates well under a wide temperature range."

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"After the end to my race in Canada, all you can do is move on to the next event, and where better to go than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is one of those venues that has something a bit special about it and has some great memories for me, from CART and the Indy 500, which I won in 2000, and the crowds are always so supportive and enthusiastic. It is like a home race for me, with all the Colombian flags in the grandstands. I enjoy competing at the track and hopefully will achieve a podium finish this time."

"The two contrasting elements of the Speedway, the tight, twisting infield and fast, banked section of the oval, means we have a unique challenge for the whole package. There is very high loading on our Michelins through the banked section for example, and we need to find a compromise to have the durability to take these loadings whilst also providing the low speed grip that is required to be quick in the infield section."

Pedro de la Rosa:

"The set-up for the cars at the United States Grand Prix is similar to the one used in Canada. We must run a low downforce set-up to be quick in the long straight, without losing too much time in the slow infield.  We were very competitive in Canada with this configuration, therefore hopefully we should also be strong here."

Marti Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One, West McLaren Mercedes:

"Kimi's victory at Montreal sees us arrive in Indianapolis with an exciting battle forming at the top of the Championship and hopefully the American fans, who are genuine racing enthusiasts, will get to watch another entertaining race."

"It was of course a bittersweet event for the team, however Juan Pablo demonstrated his very competitive pace with MP4-20 and we are looking forward to getting him back on track at a circuit that he particularly enjoys. There was an issue with the steering column in Kimi's car at Canada, but it was relatively minor and it has been resolved."

Norbert Haug, Vice president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"After Kimi's victory in Montreal we are now looking forward to the second race within one week, the United States Grand Prix. The combination of the 1.7 kilometres long oval section with the slow and tricky infield makes the Indianapolis Grand Prix circuit quite a challenge for the chassis, the engine and the tyres. One unique feature of the track lay out is its long high-speed part of 23 seconds of uninterrupted full throttle. In total more than 55 per cent of the lap is run on full throttle."

"During this season so far Kimi has been in the lead for 224 from 505 laps in total, which is 40 per cent of all race laps. Juan Pablo showed last weekend that he has got the pace, and the team will give him its full support to get him into the position he has been in at Canada, and this time ideally until the finish line."


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Mercedes , McLaren