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United States Grand Prix - facts and figures 24 Sep 2003

Race leader Michael Schumacher (GER), right, and Rubens Barrichello (BRA), left, slowed down to take a Ferrari formation finish at Indy. Barrichello took the chequered flag from Schumacher by 0.01 of a second causing more controversy for the team.
United States Grand Prix, Rd16, Indianapolis, USA., 29 September 2002

• Last year's race at Indianapolis saw the second-closest finish in Formula One racing history. Rubens Barrichello edged out team mate Michael Schumacher by just 0.011 of a second as Ferrari recorded their eighth one-two of the season.

• The Indianapolis Motor Speedway - or 'The Brickyard' as it is affectionately known - dates back to 1909. The first Indianapolis 500 race was staged there in 1911 on a track surface consisting over three million bricks, hence the nickname. Today, only a small strip of bricks (known as the 'yard of bricks') remains, to mark the start-finish line.

• The Indianapolis 500 was part of the Formula One world championship from 1950 to 1960. However, it was virtually unheard of for the regular Formula One teams or drivers to make the trip to the States to compete in what was such a specialised race. Similarly, the American Indy teams and drivers rarely competed in any other round of the Formula One championship.

• Bizarrely, it was only once the 500 had disappeared from the calendar did the Formula One fraternity truly take up the challenge of the great race. Jim Clark finished second in 1963 in a Lotus. Two years later he went one better to take victory, again for Lotus, and in 1966 he followed Graham Hill home in a British one-two.

• No driver has ever won both the Indy 500 and the United Stated Grand Prix at Indianapolis. Juan Pablo Montoya or Jacques Villeneuve could change that this weekend. Montoya won the 500 as reigning CART champion in 2000 before his switch to Formula One racing in 2001. Villeneuve drank the famous winner's milk at Indy in 1995 on his way to that year's IndyCar title.

• The USA has hosted no less than 57 races that have counted towards the Formula One world championship. These include the Indianapolis 500 from 1950 until 1960, plus conventional Grands Prix at Sebring, Riverside, Watkins Glen, Long Beach, Las Vegas, Dallas and Phoenix, as well as at the current Formula One circuit at Indianapolis.

• Only four drivers have won the Indianapolis 500 and a Grand Prix in the USA. Jim Clark was a three-time winner at Watkins Glen in 1962, 1966 and 1967, and triumphed at Indianapolis in 1965. Graham Hill was victorious at the Glen in 1963, 1964 and 1965, before winning the 500 in 1966. Emerson Fittipaldi took a single win at Watkins Glen in 1970, followed by his Indy triumphs in 1989 and 1993. Finally, Mario Andretti took the chequered flag at the Brickyard in 1969 and at Long Beach almost a decade later in 1977.

• The current Formula One circuit incorporates 4.192 km (2.605 miles) of the famous Indianapolis oval. A key difference between the oval and the road course though is that they run in opposite directions. The Formula One cars run clockwise, whereas their American counterparts race counter-clockwise.

• The most successful Grand Prix driver on US soil was Ayrton Senna. The Brazilian took a total of five American victories, on two different circuits and with two different teams. He won with Lotus in Detroit in 1986 and 1987, and then with McLaren in Phoenix in 1990 and 1991.

• The team with the most US wins is Lotus, with 11 victories at four different circuits between 1960 and 1987. Stirling Moss scored their first American triumph at Riverside, and Ayrton Senna their last at Phoenix. However, their record could be matched by McLaren if either Kimi Raikkonen or David Coulthard wins this weekend. Their team's founder, Bruce McLaren, won the first ever United States Grand Prix at Sebring in 1959, driving a Cooper.

• Last year's United States Grand Prix saw the Formula One debut of a new track safety development. The Steel And Foam Energy Reduction Barrier, or SAFER system as it is known, is an energy-absorbing system. It is installed at all four turns of the Indianapolis oval, including turn one, which forms turn 13 of the road course as used by the Formula One cars.

• You may think that the United States' love affair with Formula One racing is only a recent phenomenon. However, in both 1982 and 1984 there were no less than four championship races in North America. The first of these years saw rounds in Detroit, Las Vegas, Long Beach, and Montreal in Canada. The line-up was repeated two years later, but with Dallas replacing the Las Vegas event.

• The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the largest spectator sporting facility in the world, with more than 250,000 permanent seats. The Speedway plays host to three of the three largest-attended sporting events in the world: the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400 and, of course, the United States Grand Prix.