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DATE News (chronologically)
06/13/07
f1
Canadian Grand Prix postscript
Having scored his maiden Grand Prix victory in Canada, rookie Lewis Hamilton has a few days to savor his win before trying to follow up with winning the United States Grand Prix on June 17 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"I go to Indy with great confidence," Hamilton said. "We have to try and continue with the performance that we have, and I have no doubt we can do that."

Hamilton has never raced on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 13-turn F1 circuit, but he does have some knowledge of the track.

"I actually haven't been on (the Indianapolis track on) the simulator," he said, referring to the sophisticated driving simulator at Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes' base in England, "but I've seen it on computer games.

"I don't really know what to expect. I've watched the previous races and onboard footage and looked at data. But I'll be going there with an open mind and having to do the same sort of job as I did here (in Canada.)"

Kubica OK: Polish F1 driver Robert Kubica suffered only a light concussion and a sprained right ankle in his huge accident during the Canadian Grand Prix on June 10. He spent the night in the Hospital du Sacre Coeur in Montreal where he underwent intensive CT-scans and other checks.

He was released Monday, June 11 and drove himself away from the hospital.

"I have no pain and feel well," Kubica said. "I want to thank everyone for the medical attention I received and for all the good wishes. Mario Theissen and other team members came to visit me, and also thanks to Jarno Trulli who came, as well. I am happy that I have been able to leave the hospital so quickly and will now prepare for the race in Indianapolis."

The FIA's medical delegate, New York's Dr. Gary Hartstein, will examine Kubica on Thursday, June 14 to determine if he or a substitute driver will race for BMW Sauber in the United States Grand Prix.

Speed happy to be back in Indy: Scott Speed, America's only F1 driver, is happy to be heading back to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"I am really excited to go back there," he said. "Last year I had a tremendous amount of support from all the fans there."

Speed, who is based in Austria, also enjoys his time off the track in Indianapolis.

"Any time I can go back to American and enjoy all the idiosyncrasies that I love in my own country like Starbucks, it makes my time a little bit more enjoyable off the track," he said.

BMW Sauber on the rise: Nick Heidfeld earned the first podium of the season for BMW Sauber when he took second place in the Canadian Grand Prix. That also matched his career-best F1 finish.

The BMW Sauber is steadily getting closer to the leading McLaren-Mercedes and Ferrari teams. Does Heidfeld predict another strong finish at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway?

"First of all, I'm stunned about how quick we were in Canada in race conditions," Heidfeld said. "I think I could have finished second anyway, beaten probably one of the McLarens and both of the Ferraris.

"It is true that the downforce level in Indy is similar to Canada, probably a bit more - obviously then there are a lot more corners.

"But (Indianapolis) is one of the circuits where I've always done well. Apart from last year, when I was flying a bit! I hope I will have better luck this year."

Heidfeld is referring to his spectacular accident at the start of last year's United States Grand Prix when his car went flying through the air. He was not injured.

Champions visit: Five-time United States Grand Prix winner and seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher attended the Canadian Grand Prix in his new role as advisor to the Ferrari team. Schumacher plans to be at the F1 race in Indianapolis this weekend.

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and two-time World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi also attended the race in Canada. Fittipaldi won the 1970 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, which was the first of 14 career victories.

Passionate fans at Indy: Panasonic Toyota driver Jarno Trulli said the fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are passionate about F1.

"On Sunday when the stands are completely full up, we really can see how the people are passionate about F1 and motorsport," he said.

"Our car has always been competitive there. In 2005, I scored pole position. Last year, I bounced back from a bad qualifying result from the last place on the grid to finish fourth. So obviously I am hoping to have a good weekend there."

Technical analysis: While the chassis setup requirements for the F1 tracks in Montreal and Indianapolis are somewhat similar, there are a number of differences between the two.

In Montreal, the drivers had the choice between the super-soft and the soft compounds of Bridgestone's dry-weather tires. In Indianapolis, the choice will be between the soft and medium compounds.

"Obviously, that has an influence on the set-up," said Alex Wurz, who finished third in the Canadian Grand Prix driving his AT&T Williams-Toyota. "Temperature, grip level and friction level of the (Indianapolis) track is higher than here (in Montreal.)

"So I think the stiffness of the car can be different depending on what we did here. The curbing is more aggressive (in Montreal) so you have different setups and traction control and the differential.

"The details count, and even if it is a similar setup, it's a completely different story."

Important market: The North American F1 double-header consisting of the Canadian and United States Grands Prix is a crucial pair of races for many of the sponsors of the F1 teams.

"The two races in North America carry a lot of weight for the BMW Group," said BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. "The USA was the most important single market for the BMW Group in 2006, with sales of some 314,000 BMW and MINI cars. Canada is the Group's second largest market in America after the USA. BMW, therefore, has a large fan base in the country, and we also feel the strength of this popularity as a team."

2007 USGP tickets: Reserved Race Day and three-day "Season Passes" for the 2007 United States Grand Prix, June 15-17, are on sale to all customers.

Ticket information can be found any time at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com or by calling the IMS Ticket Office at (800) 822-4639 or (317) 492-6700. Ticket Office hours are from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

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