Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

Yard of Bricks Causes Grid to be Reversed

Sunday September 24th, 2000

The famous 'yard of bricks' after which the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is nicknamed caused the grid for Sunday's first United States Grand Prix since 1991 to be moved back by eight metres on Saturday night.

Leading Formula One drivers German Michael Schumacher and Briton David Coulthard, who start the race from pole position and second on the grid, had expressed concern at suffering wheelspin as they crossed the bricks.

The bricks are laid in the surface of the circuit across the start-finish line and cause no problems for the rolling starts normally used for most American motor racing events, including the Indianapolis 500.

But they are a danger and a concern to the Formula One teams because Grands Prix start from a stationary grid controlled by lights.

"They could be a problem and cause a lot of wheelspin," said Coulthard.

Schumacher said: "The driver on pole position should not be disadvantaged by something like this."

The International Motoring Federation (FIA) safety delegate Charlie Whiting confirmed the grid was being moved as one of three procedural announcements made on Sunday morning.

He also confirmed that the start of the pit-lane speed- limited zone would be advanced deeper into the final high speed banked corner from which cars enter the pit-lane during the race.

Most of the drivers said on Saturday they were worried by the high speeds at which they entered the pit-lane.

But Whiting, as usual, confirmed that the pit-lane speed limit would be increased for the race from 80-kph to 120 kph.

The bricks are part of the folklore of Indianapolis as, at one time in the circuit's development, the track surface was made of them.

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