US GP Williams preview

The BMW WilliamsF1 Team obviously goes to Indianapolis on a high after Juan Pablo Montoya's debut win in Monza and Ralf Schumacher's third place. Although it did not do well in the USA last year, WilliamsF1 has five wins to its name and BMW one on...

The BMW WilliamsF1 Team obviously goes to Indianapolis on a high after Juan Pablo Montoya's debut win in Monza and Ralf Schumacher's third place. Although it did not do well in the USA last year, WilliamsF1 has five wins to its name and BMW one on other tracks in the country, and no one is discounting Juan Pablo pulling off the double by adding a victory in the Grand Prix to his 2000 Indy 500 win. Everyone is aware although the Grand Prix is only in its second year, there is a great deal of motorsport history associated with this track.

Ralf Schumacher
"We should be quite well prepared for Indianapolis and even though Michelin have not been there with Formula 1 before I am sure they will have done their homework.The organisers have done a good job with the circuit, but last year everybody was excited about the high-speed corner from the oval and I found the exciting part of this was the fact you don't have a runoff area, only a wall! The infield is very tight and a challenge to drive. There were a lot of spectators last year, but unfortunately they are a long way from the track so as a driver you don't feel the atmosphere that much."

Juan Pablo Montoya
"It should be an interesting track because it is a bit of a compromise between high and low downforce, so we could be quite quick there. It is all about trying to find the best solution for it. We may be competitive there because it is only when it is maximum downforce that we tend to struggle."

Sam Michael, Chief Operations Engineer
"Indianapolis is completely different to any of the other circuits on the Formula 1 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 1 circuit uses two corners from the oval track, but they are full throttle so are considered part of the straight. The set-up needs to be geared towards good traction because of all the slow-speed exit conditions. After discussions with Michelin we are confident they are taking a construction and compound that matches the requirements of the circuit. We are confident they will be competitive even though they have not tested here before. With the circuit layout demanding 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. There will be a mix of different strategies at this year's race due to changes in the pitlane and a lack of historical data for the circuit."

Gerhard Berger, BMW Motorsport Director
"Following the tragic events in America this Grand Prix has been the subject of lots of discussions, but from our point of view now the most important thing is for everyone to concentrate on their targets for the race and do the best job possible.The circuit is not tailor-made for us like Monza or Hockenheim, but it has a long, full-throttle sector that should suit us. Ralf has a score to settle here as he retired last year when in a strong position to finish second. For Juan Pablo the venue, where he won the Indy 500 in 2000, has a special meaning for him, and the victory in Monza will have made him even stronger. We are looking forward to the race and are putting highest priority on technical reliability, and if we achieve this we have a good chance of scoring some more points this season."


This will be the second United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis circuit, but not the first Grand Prix held in the town in Indiana as from 1950 to 1960 there were 11 held at the oval, which is more famous as being the home of the Indy 500.

These were not surprisingly all won by American drivers with names such as Vukovich, Rathman and Sweikert in cars with names such as Fuel Injection Specials, Ken Pauls and John Zink Specials. The first race with the title of the USA Grand Prix was held in Sebring in 1959, and since then the race has had a further eight homes. The current circuit, that incorporates part of the oval, is 2.605 miles (4.192 km) long and the 73-lap race will be 190.190 miles (306.016 km) long.One big difference between the oval and the road course is they go in opposite directions so turn six would usually be turn one. While the fans were waiting to see cars go the wrong way round their track last year, they were also waiting to see a car drive there for the first time in the rain.The weather duly obliged and the opening laps of the race were on a damp circuit.The race will start at 13.00 local time (18.00 GMT) on Sunday, 30th September.The lap record was established last year by fifth-placed David Coulthard in his McLaren with a time of 1m 14.711s (125.513mph/201.994km/h), while the race was won by Michael Schumacher in his Ferrari.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams