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US GP: Preview - Bridgestone

NEWS STORY
12/06/2007

Bridgestone heads tomorrow to the world renowned Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the seventh round of the FIA Formula One World Championship. Bridgestone's Potenza tyres are unbeaten in Formula One at Indianapolis but they will still face one of their biggest challenges of the year – the infamous banking.

The medium and soft compound Bridgestone Potenzas will be used by all eleven teams on the 4.19 km circuit. The use of the oval track banking allied to an infield section means teams have to compromise on setup and the mixture of banking, and both high and low speed corners, gives the tyres a thorough workout.

Bridgestone has a fine pedigree at Indianapolis with its Firestone brand the official tyre of the Indianapolis 500, which took place last month. After the United States Grand Prix Formula One heads to Magny Cours for the Grand Prix du France on July 1.

What are the challenges of Indianapolis?
Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations: Indy is a compromise. There is the infield where you need high downforce, good grip and a softer tyre. Then there is the main straight and the banking where the teams try to reduce their car's drag to have a very high top speed. With the setups used, the cars will suffer a little bit from lack of downforce in the infield which they try to make up with tyre grip, which means softer compounds. Because of the very high speeds and grip requirements we will use the medium and soft compound Bridgestone Potenzas. It is also essential that the teams maintain the correct tyre pressures, as recommended by Bridgestone. This is important from both a safety and performance point of view – especially where you have a banking which creates forces which are nearly double those experienced when the car is in a horizontal position. There is a little bit of a conflict for what is required as Indianapolis is not a straightforward circuit, and this presents a big challenge.

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