Schumacher, Ferrari drain the drama

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updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Another race, another victory for Ferrari and Michael Schumacher. It's been that way all season in Formula One - or so it seemed. The US Grand Prix this week will draw the biggest crowd in Formula One, as usual. But Ferrari's domination and Schumacher's record-tying fifth series championship, which he clinched two months ago, have taken the drama and a lot of the international interest away from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A crowd of 140,000 to 150,000 is expected for Sunday's race, but more than 90 per cent of the fans will be from the United States. Two years ago, when Formula One returned to the States for the first time since 1991, about 25 per cent of the estimated 200,000 fans came from outside the country's borders. "This is typical of recent Formula One races," Speedway vice president Fred Nation said of the drop in attendance since Schumacher clinched the title at the French Grand Prix in July. He said Monza was down 25,000 to 30,000 last week for the Italian Grand Prix, and Hungary was down about the same last month. "While we can't really speculate why the European events are down, I suppose it has something to do with the championship being decided," Nation said. (AP)