- Circuit type Race
- Circuit Length 4.192kms
- Circuit Turns 13
- Circuit Direction Clockwise
- Capacity 400,000
- Established 1909
|First race||Indianapolis 500||May 30, 1950||Johnnie Parsons (USA)||full results|
|Last race||United States Grand Prix||June 17, 2007||Lewis Hamilton (GBR)||full results|
In a bid to break the US market, when the Formula One World Championship was launched in 1950 the Indianapolis 500 was included as one of the points-scoring races. The idea was that US drivers would be lured to Europe while the F1 racers would make the trip to the US in a quest for points. However, high travel costs meant that almost no interchanges took place, as so the Indy 500 ran as an almost separate event albeit with points counting towards the championship until 1960. As a result dozens, if not hundreds, of American-based drivers are include in F1 stats without ever venturing outside the USA. The circuit also accounted for a large proportion of F1 deaths in its 11-year inclusion.
Opened in 1909, the track has remained largely unaltered, a two-and-a-half mile banked oval with four quarter-mile turns, two five-eight mile straights and two one-eighth mile straights. A modern infield road course was built between 1998 and 2000, and that enabled the USA Grand Prix to be staged between 2000 and 2007. The first race attracted a then F1-record crowd of 225,000.
The venue seats 257,000 but in-field facilities take the overall capacity to 400,000.
On the grounds of the Speedway is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, which opened in 1956.