Sunday September 24th, 2000
Fifteen out of the twenty living Indianapolis 500 winners attended Sunday's United States Grand Prix and agreed on the impressive debut of the legendary track.
Apart from BAR driver Jacques Villeneuve, winner of the Indy 500 in 1995, and Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams' new signing for next season, another thirteen winners were present at the track on Sunday.
A.J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford, Rodger Ward, Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser Jr., Arie Luyendyk, Danny Sullivan, Parnelli Jones, Jim Rathmann, Buddy Lazier, Bobby Rahal, Mario Andretti and Eddie Cheever Jr. witnessed the first Formula One race in the United States since 1991.
"Tony George has done a phenomenal job of integrating it into (the schedule) and not losing the integrity of the current Indianapolis 500 track," Said Danny Sullivan, who drove in Formula One in 1983. "I think this shows this is the place it (Formula One) should be."
"It's a fantastic day for motor racing," added Fittipaldi. "I think it starts a new era of Formula One in America."
Race winner Michael Schumacher also admitted that being the first driver to take victory at Indy was something special.
"Being here on the podium, being the first Formula One winner in ten years in the US, and the first at Indy is quite impressive," he said. "It means quite a lot. I got around the last laps thinking about that."