OCTOBER 1, 2001
United States GP was a big success
EVEN before the September 11 terrorist attacks there were fears that the United States GP at Indianapolis this year would be a flop. The city's hotels had hiked their prices to such an extent that people were deciding not to bother with the trip. And indications were that the locals would stay away as well. The uncertainty was added to by fears of a terrorist attack. In addition there were considerable logistical problems to be overcome. But Formula 1 did it and the people came to The Speedway. The crowd, estimated to have been in the region of 185,000, was slightly down on last year's 225,000 but it was impressive nonetheless and reports from traders indicated that sales of merchandise were booming.
In addition the race was shown on ABC network television, taking the F1 spectacle into American homes for the first time in years.
The success of the event may now convince Indianapolis Motor Speedway Tony George to push ahead with his plans to revamp the F1 circuit to include the Turn Three grandstands, which are currently not used for the Grand Prix. This would also give Indianapolis the opportunity to improve the possibilities for overtaking. George and his engineers already have plan drawn up which would see the circuit go from the first corner across towards the oval Turn 3 with a fast lefthander then looping around in front of the grandstands there before turning back to run down the back straight. This would require the construction of an underpass as the track cross over itself but it would mean that the fiddly sections of the circuit would be reduced and overtaking would become easier at the end of the back straight. There are also believed to be plans to straighten out the twin hairpin section at that point.
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