Humphrey Corbett, Olivier Panis' race engineer at Panasonic Toyota Racing talks us through the challenges of the US Grand Prix...

"The penultimate race of the season is held at one of the oldest and most famous circuits in the world - the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"At 4.192 kilometres in length, the track has been constructed around the world-famous oval, but with a twisty infield section, which will require a high level of mechanical grip, good traction and a quick change of direction.

"The set-up of the car is more interesting at Indy than most other tracks because it is possible to run medium-high or medium-low downforce without compromising the lap time - what you gain in one section, you lose in the other.

"We will probably start with our standard car set-up - the one we used at tracks like Silverstone and Hockenheim - rather than the set-up we opted for at Monza, which was specifically designed for the much higher speeds and tall kerbs. The track surface is relatively smooth with no real kerbing and quite high top speeds. This weekend, we will see speeds of 330kph along the straights - slower than Monza but equal second fastest of the year alongside Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

"There is not one particular part of the car that is put under too much stress. The track is quite easy on the brakes and at 65 per cent full throttle over the lap; it is not too bad on the engine either.

"On the downside, overtaking is very difficult. There is only one moderate overtaking possibility and that is into the first corner, but even that will be tough to pull off.

"At last week's tests in Barcelona, Jerez and Paul Ricard we tried some new aerodynamic parts and carried out Michelin tyre testing for this weekend and also for the final race of the year in Suzuka. The results were quite promising and I think we can head into the US Grand Prix confident of another top ten grid position and from there points are within our reach."

Humphrey Corbett.



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