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New tyre markings set for green light

Takuma Sato with the new markingsBridgestone are poised to give the green light to use a white painted groove as their tyre marking system from the Malaysian Grand Prix, has learned, following successful tests in Sepang this week.

The Japanese tyre manufacturer came in for criticism in Australia after the white circles they painted on the soft tyres to differentiate them from the harder compound proved difficult to see when the cars were moving on track.

Those criticisms resulted in Bridgestone trying out several new concepts during this week's pre-Malaysian Grand Prix test, including a large red circle and two different approaches to painting the grooves.

The results of those tests, including photographs, have been examined and sources claim that Bridgestone have decided that the best solution was the one tried out by Takuma Sato in the Super Aguri on Wednesday - when the second inside groove was painted white.

Bridgestone are still awaiting final approval from the FIA before they press ahead with this idea, but their director of motorsport tyre development Hirohide Hamashima told that they hoped what was eventually decided would not just be for one race.

"We are working out a long-term plan as this marking will not be only for the next race," he said.

"Here we have enough time to prepare for the race as we all stay here after the test, but for the races after we have to allocate the work to the tyre fitter from Wednesday onwards. At the moment we are working on it."

It is understood that it could take as long as two full days for Bridgestone's tyre fitters to paint the white groove onto each tyre before the race.

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