Teams raise Indy GP tyre concerns

Grand Prix tyre supplier Bridgestone has moved to allay tyre concerns ahead of the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis, according to this week's Autocar magazine

Teams raise Indy GP tyre concerns

The track for the Grand Prix uses just under half of the Brickyard's 2.5-mile oval, but run in the reverse direction, and computer simulations by the teams predict that cars will be on full throttle for close to half a minute.

Of particular concern will be the g-loadings on the cars' left rear tyre through the nine-degree banking of Turn One. To handle the loads, equivalent to almost a ton for five seconds, Bridgestone originally recommended that teams run tyres at up to 10psi more than normal pressure. But the teams are concerned that the resulting reduction in contact patch will lead to over-heating and blistering.

"Aside from the safety implications," said one F1 team insider, "it's absolutely essential that we put on a good show when we hit the USA, and that means not having to worry about tyres. The fact that we don't test in advance means Bridgestone has to get it right first time. "

Bridgestone technical chief Yoshihiko Ichikawa agreed with the concerns, but the company is expected to use its experience gained from CART racing with its Firestone brand to develop a tyre specifically for the demands of Indianapolis.

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