INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2000 -- The new 13-turn, 2.606-mile (4.195-mile) road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, site of Michael Schumacher's historic win in the inaugural SAP United States Grand Prix on Sunday, should keep its ...
INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2000 -- The new 13-turn, 2.606-mile (4.195-mile) road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, site of Michael Schumacher's historic win in the inaugural SAP United States Grand Prix on Sunday, should keep its current layout, according to the top three finishers in the race.
"We have found here quite an interesting race circuit, very tricky," Schumacher said. "There is no particular point which I would really change." Schumacher's Ferrari teammate, Rubens Barrichello, agreed.
"The track," said Barrichello, "I thought was just great."
Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who finished third in his Benson & Hedges Jordan-Mugen-Honda said he enjoyed the challenge of the dual nature of the circuit.
"This combined track here of a twisty infield and long straight is unique in Formula One," he said. "Our Formula One cars do not suit an oval racing. I think they have made a perfect solution and combined solution for everything."
Historic win: Michael Schumacher's name will go down in the record books as the first driver to win the SAP United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis. "Being here on the podium and the first Formula One driver winning the race in the States in 10 years and sharing all that, it means quite a lot to me," Schumacher said. "I was going around the last couple of laps and thinking about that, that I am in the books after 10 years, or that this the first time I will be the winner in Indy, and that is quite impressive."
Historic photo: The 22 F1 drivers competing in the inaugural SAP United States Grand Prix posed on the main straightaway of the track for a photograph along with Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chairman Mari Hulman George and Bernie Ecclestone.
Happy Birthday: World Championship contenders Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher posed in front of a birthday cake at the start-finish line with Laura George, wife of Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George, who celebrated her birthday on Sept. 24.
Race procedure changes: Because the drivers expressed concern about wheelspin at the start due to the yard of bricks at the start-finish line, pole position was moved back 16 meters (17.5 yards), and the entire grid was moved back accordingly. Due to concerns about the high speeds at pit entry, the speed limit line was moved back 330 meters (1,082 feet) between Turns 12 and 13. The pit lane speed limit was increased from 49.7 mph (80 kph) to 74.6 mph (120 kph) for the warm-up and the race.
Testing continues: The F1 cars and equipment will remain at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for several days while the crews prepare them for the next race. Everything will then be flown directly to Japan for that country's Grand Prix, which takes place Oct. 8.
During the short break between the two races, however, many of the teams will continue to test in Europe using their spare test cars.
"I'm going back to Europe," Michael Schumacher said, "and I will test most likely Thursday, Friday. We start already on Tuesday with our test driver, Luca (Badoer), who has done a great job for us this year; he has done many tests. We will even test between Japan and Malaysia."