15 Cool Facts about the Grand Prix of America

The Grand Prix of America has been run for a number of years, and its current home is at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, where it is about to be run for the 2nd time.

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The Grand Prix of America has been run for a number of years, and its current home is at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, where it is about to be run for the 2nd time. In this article, we take a look at some of the coolest facts about this famous motor race.

1.   The Circuit of the Americas is the only Grade 1 FIA acceptable track in America, as well as being just one out of 26 of these facilities to be found anywhere in the world.


2.       The venue consists of a track that is just a tad less than 3.5 miles in length and there is room to accommodate over 100,000 fans. Situated to the south-east of the Texan city of Austin, the track contains one of the highest elevations on the Formula 1 circuit at over 130 feet.


3.       The Circuit of the Americas track is also a bit of a rarity in other areas too, such as the fact that it is one of the few tracks that has to be driven around in a counter clockwise direction. It was designed with some of the most challenging motor racing circuits of the world in mind, and it presents a unique challenge to some of the world’s best F1 drivers.


4.       Each race in the Formula 1 season has been estimated to have been watched by over 30 million people worldwide.


5.       Formula 1 has a rich history in America, with the Watkins Glen track in New York. Races have also been staged in Detroit, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Long Beach, as well as on the famous circuit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


6.       The 2002 race held in Indianapolis saw the second ever closest finish to a race in Formula 1’s long and dramatic history. With teammates Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher dueling it out until the very last split second. In the end it was Rubens Barrichello that won the race, by a cat’s whisker, or 0.011 of a second in official circles. Now that is a close finish!


7.       Not many modern motor racing fans will know that the Indianapolis 500 was part of the Formula 1 calendar between 1950 and 1960. However, due to the fact that racing at the famous oval track was seen as a specialist skill, hardly any drivers on the Formula 1 circuit bothered to enter the race. In fact, no American drivers took part in Formula 1 races anywhere else in the world for the same reason. A bizarre state of affairs to say the least.


8.       If you are under the impression that Formula 1 has only been popular in the United States recently, then you may be surprised to learn that in fact it has been popular for some time. For example, during the 1982 Formula 1 season, there were no less than three races in the United States. These were the Caesar’s Palace Grand Prix, The Detroit Grand Prix and the United States Grand Prix West, which was held at Long Beach, California.


9.       Brazilian racing legend Ayrton Senna holds the record for the most number of Formula 1 victories, as he found himself on the winner’s podium no less than 5 times.


10.   Only 4 drivers have ever won both a Formula 1 race held in the United States and the world famous Indianapolis 500. Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jim Clark and Graham Hill the drivers in question.


11.   There was a 4 year gap between the 2012 United States Grand Prix and its predecessor, yet strangely the winner was the same. British driver Lewis Hamilton won the 2007 race in Indianapolis, and then won again in Austin in 2012.


12.   Ferrari has had the most wins in the United States Grand Prix, with 9 victories, yet their first win was not until 1975.


13.   The United States Grand Prix has been held in 10 different locations.


14.   Despite the official capacity of 100,000 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, the 2012 United States Grand Prix attracted a crowd of almost 120,000.


15.   The only North American winner of the event in modern times was Canadian Jacques Villeneuve who was victorious in 1979.

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