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