With the European Grand Prix season concluding at Monza, producing F1's fastest ever race in the process, the paddock entourage now heads Stateside to Indianapolis for the penultimate race of the season, the U.S. Grand Prix. British rookie Justin...
With the European Grand Prix season concluding at Monza, producing F1's fastest ever race in the process, the paddock entourage now heads Stateside to Indianapolis for the penultimate race of the season, the U.S. Grand Prix. British rookie Justin Wilson has already flown to America's racing heartland in preparation for his fourth outing with Jaguar Racing.
Wilson's Italian run was thwarted at the very start of the race as a terminal gear selection problem forced the 25-year-old to retire having completed just two laps. Despite retiring from all three of his starts for Jaguar Racing, Justin remains optimistic ahead of this weekend's U.S. Grand Prix, held at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of America's largest single-day sporting event, the Indy 500.
Justin flew out to America at the weekend to maximise his preparations for Sunday's 73-lap race:
"I'm really looking forward to racing here," remarked Wilson. "I wanted to get here as early as I could to get a feel for the place and learn the track. I've been walking round it and studying the tight twists and turns of the infield section. I have to say, it's a spectacular circuit! I can't imagine what it's like to be here for the Indy 500 when the oval circuit is used and the grandstands all round the track are full! You can't but help get a feel for the history of the place."
"I can't wait to get back into the R4 on Friday morning and see what we can achieve. With the manufacturers points battle, it's important for everyone associated with the team to get both cars to the finish and preferably in points scoring positions! America's an important market for Jaguar and a top eight finish at Indianapolis would be a great result."
'The Brickyard' as the Indianapolis circuit is commonly referred to, courtesy of the circuit's earlier incarnation when it was made entirely from bricks, poses two major challenges to drivers and engineers alike. The infield section is particularly slow, thanks to a series of tight, low gear turns, whereas the final section utilises the famed oval section, running in the opposite direction to the '500' runners. Here the cars can unleash their awesome horsepower, exiting the final turn around 190mph to blast along the start-finish straight, completing the 4.192km lap, before braking sharply for the infield section at Turn 1.
Last year's race ended in controversy as Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, who had easily led throughout, slowed towards the line in an attempted 'photo-finish' with Brazilian team-mate Rubens Barrichello. Having failed to realise the exact finishing line, Schumacher embarrassingly conceded the win as Barrichello nosed ahead to break the timing beam with McLaren's David Coulthard completing the podium.