Grand Prix vs Indy 500: Difference and Comparison

Any type of racing event is capable enough to provide thrill and adventure not only to the participants but also to the audience.

That is the major reason why people do not hesitate to spend extra money on purchasing tickets to these events. Grand Prix and Indy 500 are also two widely loved racing events.

Key Takeaways

  1. Grand Prix races are part of the Formula 1 World Championship, while the Indy 500 is an event in the IndyCar Series.
  2. Formula 1 cars used in Grand Prix races are more technologically advanced than IndyCar vehicles used in the Indy 500.
  3. The Indy 500 takes place on an oval track, while Grand Prix races occur on various circuit types, including street and road courses.

Grand Prix vs Indy 500

Grand Prix is a high-level international open-wheel racing motorsport competition involving a series of road races held around the world. Indy 500 is an automobile race held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana, USA. It features high-speed open-wheel race cars.

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Grand Prix is known as a series of salient cars and motorbikes racing on an international level. Hence, each season when these races are organized is considered Grand Prix.

The plural form of Grand Prix is written as ‘Grands Prix’. The Grand Prix of Formula One cars is very famous among nations.

The Indy 500 is short-term for the Indianapolis 500.

Indy 500 is an automobile race that is organized every year since it was introduced at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indiana, United States. But from 1917 to 1945, the Indy 500 was postponed because the world war broke out.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonGrand PrixIndy 500
Introduced inThe year in which Grand Prix racing started is known to be 1894. The Indy 500 automobile racing event started on 30 May 1911.
Established byThe Grand Prix racing events were organized or established by ACF (Automobile Club de France). The Indy 500 racing event was established by Carl G. Fisher and his partners.
Type of vehicleGrand Prix is technically a term referred to a racing event, it can include cars, motorbikes, and even horses.Indy 500 automobile event is completely based on cars and no other types of vehicles.
PlaceGrand Prix is an international event held at multiple locations across the globe such as Australia, Asia, Europe, etc. The event of Indy 500 automobile racing is held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway, Indiana, United States,
DurationThe duration of Grand Prix racing events is dynamic and is frequently scheduled throughout the year. The Indy 500 automobile race is a one-day-long racing event scheduled on the weekend of the Memorial Day holidays.

What is Grand Prix?

The short-term used in the place of Grand Prix is known as GP. It is said that the word Grand Prix is derived from the French word ‘great prize’. Grand Prix racing involves closed and narrow paths for cars and motorcycles to race.

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The Grand Prix racing started at the dawn of the 20th century and within some years it became one of the most legendary forms of racing.

In the early stages of the Grand Prix, it was not international but controlled and supervised by FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile).

FIA determined the classification of cars and motorbikes allowed to race in Grand Prix and included Formula One cars. The term Formula One refers to a car that is relatively small than a normal and can contain only one person who drives it.

The characteristics classified by FIA for Grand Prix racing for vehicles are single-seater, size of the engine, open-wheeled, amount of fuel, and many more.

In the mid 20th century, Grand Prix hit the international level and became popular worldwide.

At first, the term Grand Prix was only used to denote automobile races but after some years it was used for other racing events as well. For example, initially, Grand Prix was used for French horse racing around 1863.


What is Indy 500?

The Indy 500 aka Indianapolis 500 automobile race was introduced in 1911.

It is one of the most popular automobile races which is organized annually for one day, in other words, the Indy 500 is a single-day event. Indy 500 race is dated on the weekend of the nation’s holiday of Memorial Day.

The concept of the Indy 500 race was started from the construction of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909. This subway was built only for testing to facilitate the local automotive industry.

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This subway is also known as a brickyard because it was paved with bricks, although, at first, the engineers used crushed rocks for pavement.

The same goes for racing cars that run on the track in the Indy 500 race, these cars also have undergone countless modifications.

Before participating in the race, the driver or participant is required to pass a four-lap time trial, without qualifying for this trial, the participant does not consider eligible for the race.

33 cars are included arranged in 3 rows for the race. The participants are assigned to the respective rows depending on their results of the trial.

The first person to win the Indy 500 automobile race was Ray Harroun, he took 6 hours 42 minutes to complete the race with a speed of 74.6 miles/hour.

indy 500

Main Differences Between Grand Prix and Indy 500

  1. The maximum limit of cars that can participate at a time in the Grand Prix is 26. On the other hand, in the Indy 500 racing event, 33 cars participate.
  2. The types of vehicles that are approved to race in the Grand Prix are single-seater, open-wheeled while in the Indy 500, cars should be open-cockpit, low-slung, high rear-mount, etc.
  3. Grand Prix is known to be the expanded form of GP. On the other hand, the Indy 500 has been shortened for Indianapolis 500.
  4. Grand Prix racing events are organized frequently throughout the year. On the other hand, the Indy 500 is arranged only for one day.
  5. In Grand Prix racing events, both cars and motorbikes are included. Indy 500, on the other hand, only includes racing cars.
Difference Between Grand Prix and Indy 500

Last Updated : 14 July, 2023

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