2005 United States Grand Prix

25px|border   2005 United States Grand Prix
Race details
2005 Grand Prix season

DateJune 19, 2005
Official nameXXXIV Foster's United States Grand Prix
LocationIndianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis, Indiana
CoursePermanent racing facility
2.606 mi / 4.195 km
Distance73 laps, 190.238 mi / 306.016 km
WeatherOvercast, warm
Pole
Driver25px|border Jarno TrulliToyota
Time1:10.625
Fastest Lap
Driver25px|border Michael SchumacherFerrari
Time1:11.497
Podium
First25px|border Michael SchumacherFerrari
Second25px|border Rubens BarrichelloFerrari
Third25px|border Tiago MonteiroJordan-Toyota
The 2005 United States Grand Prix, was a Formula One motor race held on June 19, 2005 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was the ninth race of the 2005 Formula One Season. Out of 20 cars entered for the race, only the six cars from the Bridgestone-shod teams (Ferrari, Minardi and Jordan) competed. The remaining fourteen entrants, all using Michelin tyres, retired after the parade lap due to safety concerns.

Following several tyre failures before the race, most spectacularly on Ralf Schumacher's Toyota during Friday practice, Michelin advised its seven customer teams that they could not safely race on the tyres provided for them. The FIA, the sport's governing body, refused to allow a chicane to be installed, maintaining that such rule changes would be grossly unfair to the Bridgestone-shod teams, who had come prepared with properly working tyres. The Michelin teams, unable to come to a compromise with the FIA, decided not to participate.

Of the six competitors, Ferrari's Michael Schumacher was the eventual winner. The result significantly boosted his championship standing, placing him third overall — no driver above him in the table took part in the race.[1] It also had a significant effect on the outcome of the 2005 Constructor's Championship; without the easy 18 points Ferrari gained from this race they almost certainly would have finished below Toyota in said Championship (in the end thanks to this race they finished 12 points ahead in 3rd). The situation created enormous negative publicity for the sport of Formula One, especially in the United States, a market in which Formula One had struggled to establish itself over the preceding 20 years,[2] leading some to label the race as Indygate.[3]

Pre-race controversy

Toyota tyre failures

On Friday, June 17 2005, during the afternoon's practice session, Ralf Schumacher driving for Toyota, crashed heavily in Turn 13 of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, apparently as a result of a left-rear tyre failure. This was the second year in a row that he had a high-speed crash at Turn 13, the previous time being during the race in 2004 whilst driving for Williams. The fact that both incidents occurred on the same turn, with the same driver, and using the same type of Michelin tyre was cause for concern.[4] Turn 13 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course is a high speed banked turn, unique to Formula One racing, that causes a greater than usual lateral (horizontal) load.[5] This pressure can cause the side walls of the tyre to bow and wear in abnormal places.[6] The following day, Michelin reported that the tyres it had provided for its seven customer teams — BAR, McLaren, Red Bull, Renault, Toyota, Sauber, and Williams — were unsafe for extended high-speed use on this turn, and announced its intention to fly in another set of tyres from its Clermont-Ferrand headquarters.[7] Unfortunately, the replacement tyres flown in, which were of the type used in the Spanish Grand Prix earlier that year, turned out to have the same problem when tested.<ref name="Stoddart's Comments">Stoddart comments on US Grand Prix www.motorsport.com Retrieved 5 August 2006

Correspondence between Michelin and the FIA

In a letter to FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting, dated Saturday, June 18, Michelin representatives Pierre Dupasquier and Nick Shorrock revealed that they did not know the cause of Schumacher's tyre failure, and unless the cars could be slowed down in Turn 13, Michelin's tyres would be unsafe and unsuitable for use during the race.[8] Whiting replied on Sunday, June 19, expressing his surprise that Michelin had not brought along a second set of tyres, suggesting that the teams be informed of the maximum safe speed in Turn 13, and offered to monitor the turn by penalising any excess speed on the Michelin cars. He also addressed several solutions which had been proposed by the teams, insisting that use of the tyres flown in overnight would result in penalties, and the placement of a chicane in the turn was "out of the question" — the race would not be sanctioned by the FIA (making it a non-championship race) if the track layout was changed. He deemed the Michelin teams' proposals to be "grossly unfair" to the Bridgestone teams.<ref name="letters" />
Enlarge picture
Tyre issues caused the race to be run with only six competitors
In a second letter, also dated June 19, Dupasquier and Shorrock announced that they would not permit their teams to race on Michelin's tyres, and reiterated their request to slow down Turn 13. Whiting's brief reply maintained that no such change would be permitted, and gave the teams the choice of limiting speeds through Turn 13, using a new set of tyres subject to a penalty, or changing tyres repeatedly, which is permitted if a driver's safety is at issue (although he left open the possibility that teams which took the latter route would be penalized anyway, saying that only "if the technical delegate and the stewards were satisfied that each change was made because the tyre would otherwise fail … would [there] be no penalty.")[9]

Attempts at compromise

Paul Stoddart, owner of Team Minardi-Cosworth, a team that runs Bridgestone tyres, published an account on Wednesday, June 22, of the events leading up to the race. While the previous developments were reported by various sources, the last-minute negotiations had theretofore been largely unknown to the public. Stoddart recorded a meeting around 10:00am on the day of the race, to which Speedway president Tony George, "the two most senior Michelin representatives present at the circuit" (assumed to be Dupasquier and Shorrock), commercial-rights impresario Bernie Ecclestone, the team principals, and the teams' Michelin technical representatives were summoned. All invited were present except Jean Todt, Team Principal of Scuderia Ferrari.<ref name="Stoddart's Comments" />
Enlarge picture
Alonso qualifying for the race.
By Stoddart's account, the meeting proceeded as follows: The Michelin representatives stated their position that the tyres provided to the teams could not safely complete the race distance, and requested that the Bridgestone teams, represented by Stoddart and Jordan's Colin Kolles, permit the installation of a chicane in Turn 13. Those present discussed and agreed to reject the FIA's solution of speed-limiting the Michelin cars in the turn because of the potential for accidents. They likewise dismissed the possibility of making pit stops every ten laps, resolved that a chicane was the best solution, and instructed several technical representatives to prepare plans for its installation. Bernie Ecclestone volunteered to consult Todt, who had not come to the meeting, and the president of the FIA, Max Mosley, who was not present at the race, and reconvene the meeting when he had responses.<ref name="Stoddart's Comments" /> Ecclestone returned at about 10:55 to inform the group that Todt had refused to agree to the chicane, maintaining that it was Michelin's problem and not his. Todt later denied that he had ever been consulted, but stated that he would not have agreed to the chicane anyway.[10] Furthermore, Ecclestone reported that "Mr Mosley had stated that if any attempts were made to alter the circuit, he would cancel the Grand Prix forthwith".<ref name="Stoddart's Comments" />

Team principals' plan

Enlarge picture
As Ralf Schumacher was injured Ricardo Zonta qualified the Toyota in stead of him.
The group, according to Stoddart, continued to propose alternate solutions, including "a non-championship race, or a race in which the Michelin teams could not score points, and even a race whereby only the Michelin teams used the new chicane", but eventually agreed that the best option was to install the chicane and run a non-championship race, without Ferrari if necessary.[11] To ignore the FIA's instructions and carry on the race would have resulted in the FIA's withdrawing its staff, so the group appointed delegates to fill the various offices, including a race director to replace Charlie Whiting and a safety car driver to replace Bernd Maylander. The team principals were instructed to convey to their teams and drivers that, in the absence of FIA scrutineers and equipment, the technical rules could not be enforced, and that they were to conduct themselves honourably and in the interest of an entertaining race.<ref name="non-FIA USGP plan" />

They proceeded to summon the twenty drivers and present their plan. Of the drivers' opinions, Stoddart writes: "While I cannot testify that each and every driver agreed with what we were proposing, what I can say with certainty is that no driver disagreed." The Ferrari drivers expressed no opinion in the matter, leaving the decision to Todt, who was not present. The nine present team principals thereupon resolved that, unless they and the FIA could come to a decision in the interest of the sport, they would not participate in the race.<ref name="non-FIA USGP plan" /> After a short break, the group gathered again in Ecclestone's office to find Renault team principal Flavio Briatore on the phone with Max Mosley. Mosley had apparently rejected all of their proposals, and indeed "it was stated that Mosley had informed Mr Martin, the FIA's most senior representative in the USA, that if any kind of non-championship race was run, or any alteration made to the circuit, the US Grand Prix, and indeed, all FIA-regulated motorsport in the US, would be under threat". The FIA later denied that Mosley had said this.[12]

Having exhausted their options, the Michelin team principals, Stoddart, and Bernie Ecclestone — but not Jordan's Colin Kolles — discussed whether their cars should proceed to the grid, and decided that they should participate in the formation lap but retire before the start of the race. Stoddart went to the Jordan garage to ask Kolles if he would be entering his cars and was informed that Jordan would indeed be racing, despite having agreed not to. Upon being approached by a Bridgestone representative and told that Bridgestone wanted him to race, and considering the heavy penalties he would face for not racing, Stoddart too decided to enter his drivers, but promised to retire them if the Jordans did not finish the race.<ref name="non-FIA USGP plan" />

Race report

Enlarge picture
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher (here pictured in qualifying) took his first, and only, win of the season.


To the fans in attendance, and the television audience, the start of the race appeared perfectly normal, as all cars lined up on the grid per FIA race procedure. As Charlie Whiting signalled the green light to start the formation lap, a full field of twenty cars set off as normal for a single lap before forming the starting grid. Winding through the first twelve turns, all looked to be standard. At the banked Turn 13, the entrance to the pit lane (and the turn that is the centre of the controversy), all teams that ran Michelin tyres returned to their pits, leaving just three teams and six cars to start the races, from Ferrari, Jordan, and Minardi.

The move by the teams, to come to the grid and then pull out after the formation lap into the pits, infuriated the fans, as they had little idea what was happening. Loud boos were heard and some threw items on the track, while television broadcasters frantically attempted to find out what was happening. US (and host) broadcaster Speed Channel's Peter Windsor was only able to report the details of the situation shortly after the race had started. The race quickly turned into a two horse Ferrari race, with the Italian team's Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello in front, Jordan's Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan in a distant third and fourth, and Minardi's Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher bringing up the rear.

The race was a story of pit strategy, as the only passing on the circuit was of lapped traffic. Albers was the only car to run a three pit stop race, as all other drivers chose to stop only twice. The only lead changes came on lap 26, as Schumacher's 32 second stop gave Barrichello the lead, and on lap 51, as Schumacher turned in the quickest pit stop at 23.615 seconds, giving him enough time to exit pit lane at the same time as Barrichello, with the result of forcing Barrichello into the grass of Turn One. After this incident, which was not investigated by race officials, both Ferrari drivers were reminded over their radios not to crash out of the race, and they both settled into a slower pace, comfortably ahead of the rest of the field. All six starters finished the race, only the third time in Formula One history when every car that started a race went on to complete it. Neither Minardi nor Jordan had been competitive in 2005, and all four of their drivers scored their first points in Formula One at this race.

At the podium ceremony, at which none of the scheduled presenters were present, all Ferrari team members quietly accepted their awards, and quickly exited. However, Monteiro stayed behind to celebrate his first podium finish, and the first for a Portuguese driver. Although initially controversial, this was ultimately met with some sympathy from the F1 fraternity.[13]

Aftermath

Enlarge picture
Disgruntled fans blaming FIA president Max Mosley for the events of the race


The win, Schumacher's only victory of 2005, ended the second-longest non-winning streak of his career and moved him from fifth to third in the drivers championship. Rubens Barrichello moved from sixth to fourth, and the Ferrari team moved from fifth to second in the Constructors Championship. Both Jordan and Minardi scored points, leaving BAR-Honda as the only team not to have scored any points up to that stage of the season. However, these changes in the championship standings were dwarfed by the recriminations over the failure to find a solution which have would allowed the Michelin-shod teams to race.

Bernie Ecclestone, in answer to a question by ITV's Martin Brundle in an interview just before the start of the race, described the future of Formula One in the United States and the future of Michelin in the sport as "not good". He also said that the "incident's not the fault of the teams, to be honest with you."[14]

Many people involved in F1 labelled the race a "farce" and questioned whether a United States Grand Prix would be held again at Indianapolis, or at any other American venue ever again for that matter. David Coulthard said, "It throws into doubt the future of the race in US".[15] Some pointed to the previous disagreements between the teams and Max Mosley (which had led to the threatened creation of the GPWC as an alternative to Formula One) as a critical factor in the failure to reach a compromise and felt that the events at this race had greatly increased the risk of a complete rupture.[16]

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart said immediately after the race that nine teams — all but Ferrari — agreed not to race, and had Jordan not reversed its decision at the last minute, Minardi would also have boycotted the race.[17] In his later, lengthier, statement, he indicated that although it had been Michelin's failure to provide a reliable tyre which had initiated the events, he laid the full blame for the failure to reach some accommodation (which would have allowed a race to happen, for the benefit of the many fans who had paid considerable money for travel and tickets) at the feet of Max Mosley and the FIA, with a small share of the blame going to what he characterized as the obstructionist Ferrari team leader, Jean Todt. He furthermore called for Mosley's resignation.[18]

FIA's reaction

The following day, the FIA published a justification of its refusal to permit a change in tyres or the installation of a chicane.[19] The FIA also summoned the seven Michelin-shod teams before the World Motorsport Council at their headquarters in France, for a hearing on June 29, to explain their failure to participate, by which they had presumably violated the terms of the Concorde Agreement.[20] It later published copies of the letters sent to each team "in the interests of transparency".[21] They were charged with violating article 151c of the International Sporting Code, which refers to acts prejudicial to the interests of competition or motorsport generally.[22] Specifically, it was charged that they had:
  • Failed to ensure availability of suitable tyres for the race.
  • Wrongfully refused to allow cars to start the race
  • Wrongfully refused to allow cars to race subject to speed restrictions at one corner, which was safe for such tyres available.
  • Combined with other teams to make a demonstration damaging to the image of Formula 1 by pulling into the pits immediately before the start of the race.
  • Failed to notify the stewards of intention not to race.
On June 22 the FIA produced a press release from Max Mosley, in the form of a question-and-answer session, in an effort to clarify the FIA's stand on the controversy.[23] In it Mosley drew an analogy to a hypothetical situation where the engines from one manufacturer had oil starvation problems due to high lateral loading in one corner, and pointed out that those cars would simply have been forced to run slower as a result. He reiterated that the reason for not installing the chicane was purely that it had never been tested and was thereby deemed unsafe. He pointed out that the alternatives that the FIA suggested were feasible, and wondered why the teams did not use the pitlane as an alternative, especially when, with only six Bridgestone cars, the Michelin teams could still compete for the points scoring seventh and eighth places.

On June 29 the FIA World Motorsport Council found the teams guilty on the first two counts, that is, of not being in possession of suitable tyres for the event, but with strong mitigating circumstances, and that of wrongfully refusing to allow their cars to start the race. The teams were found not guilty of the other three counts. The punishment, however, was not decided, and was not to have been announced until September 14.[24]

On July 22, the FIA World Motorsport Council voted to overturn its previous decision, and exonorated the Michelin teams of all charges. The decision was due to "evidence previously submitted to the FIA Senate",[25] rumoured to be that the Michelin teams could have been held accountable under Indiana state law for knowingly putting others at risk if they had raced.[26]

Compensation

On June 28, Michelin announced that it would offer compensation to all race fans who had purchased tickets for the Grand Prix.[27] By the end of September, the company had issued refund cheques through the Speedway ticket office for the price of all tickets for the race. Additionally, Michelin purchased 20,000 tickets for the 2006 United States Grand Prix to be distributed to spectators who renewed their 2005 ticket orders for the event, two additional tickets per order.[28]

In addition to the refunded tickets, there was some discussion about holding a second, non-championship race at Indianapolis. On July 2, at the 2005 French Grand Prix, McLaren team principal Ron Dennis suggested that an additional race could be held at the American circuit after the last official race of the season, in Shanghai. The teams had, apparently, already discussed the idea with Bernie Ecclestone. But the next day Tony George dismissed the possibility: "There will be no race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this fall."[29] At the 2005 Champ Car World Series Grand Prix of Cleveland, held one week after the US Grand Prix, free admission was granted to all bearers of ticket stubs of the US Grand Prix.[30]

Friday drivers

Team Nat Driver
McLaren-MercedesPedro de la Rosa
Sauber-Petronasnone
Red Bull-CosworthScott Speed
ToyotaRicardo Zonta
Jordan-ToyotaRobert Doornbos
Minardi-Cosworthnone

Classification

Qualifying

Enlarge picture
Jordan driver Narain Karthikeyan locking his brakes during qualifying
Pos No Driver Team Lap Gap
116 Jarno TrulliToyota1:10.625
29 Kimi RäikkönenMcLaren-Mercedes1:10.694+0.069
33 Jenson ButtonBAR-Honda1:11.277+0.652
46 Giancarlo FisichellaRenault1:11.290+0.665
51 Michael SchumacherFerrari1:11.369+0.744
65 Fernando AlonsoRenault1:11.380+0.755
72 Rubens BarrichelloFerrari1:11.431+0.806
84 Takuma SatoBAR-Honda1:11.497+0.872
97 Mark WebberWilliams-BMW1:11.527+0.902
1012 Felipe MassaSauber-Petronas1:11.555+0.930
1110 Juan Pablo MontoyaMcLaren-Mercedes1:11.681+1.056
1211 Jacques VilleneuveSauber-Petronas1:11.691+1.066
1317 Ricardo ZontaToyota1:11.754+1.129
1415 Christian KlienRed Bull-Cosworth1:12.132+1.507
158 Nick HeidfeldWilliams-BMW1:12.430+1.805
1614 David CoulthardRed Bull-Cosworth1:12.682+2.057
1718 Tiago MonteiroJordan-Toyota1:13.462+2.837
1821 Christijan AlbersMinardi-Cosworth1:13.632+3.007
1919 Narain KarthikeyanJordan-Toyota1:13.776+3.151
2020 Patrick FriesacherMinardi-Cosworth1:14.494+3.869

Race

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
11 Michael SchumacherFerrari731'29:43.181510
22 Rubens BarrichelloFerrari73+1.578
318 Tiago MonteiroJordan-Toyota72+1 Lap176
419 Narain KarthikeyanJordan-Toyota72+1 Lap195
521 Christijan AlbersMinardi-Cosworth71+2 Laps184
620 Patrick FriesacherMinardi-Cosworth71+2 Laps203
DNS16 Jarno TrulliToyota0Withdrew1
DNS9 Kimi RäikkönenMcLaren-Mercedes0Withdrew2
DNS3Jenson ButtonBAR-Honda0Withdrew3
DNS6 Giancarlo FisichellaRenault0Withdrew4
DNS5 Fernando AlonsoRenault0Withdrew6
DNS4 Takuma SatoBAR-Honda0Withdrew8
DNS7 Mark WebberWilliams-BMW0Withdrew9
DNS12 Felipe MassaSauber-Petronas0Withdrew10
DNS10 Juan Pablo MontoyaMcLaren-Mercedes0Withdrew11
DNS11 Jacques VilleneuveSauber-Petronas0Withdrew12
DNS17 Ricardo ZontaToyota0Withdrew13
DNS15 Christian KlienRed Bull-Cosworth0Withdrew14
DNS8 Nick HeidfeldWilliams-BMW0Withdrew15
DNS14David CoulthardRed Bull-Cosworth0Withdrew16

References

1. ^ Schumacher claims farcical US win news.bbc.co.uk Retrieved 2 December 2006
2. ^ F1'S FUTURE LOOKS BLEAK ACROSS THE POND www.motorsport.com Retrieved 2 December 2006
3. ^ 'Indygate’ lawsuit dismissed www.itv-f1.com Retrieved 25 March 2007
4. ^ "Double Toyota tyre failure worries Michelin." www.tiscali.co.uk Retrieved 2 December 2006
5. ^ Michelin: Tyres not flawed, just unsuitable. www.crash.net Retrieved 2 December 2006
6. ^ Bridgestone take pop at Michelin over USGP '05. www.crash.net Retrieved 2 December 2006
7. ^ Michelin looking to fly in new tyres www.-itv-f1.com Retrieved 5 August 2006
8. ^ Letters between representatives of Michelin and Charlie Whiting, the FIA Formula One Race Director www.newsonf1.net Retrieved 5 August 2006
9. ^ Further correspondence between representatives of Michelin in Indianapolis and the FIA Formula One Race Director www.newsonf1.net Retrieved 5 August 2006
10. ^ Todt:Chicane plan was 'ridiculous' www.itv-f1.com Retrieved 5 August 2006
11. ^ Nine of ten teams had planned for non-FIA USGP. www.crash.com Retrieved 2 November 2006
12. ^ FIA denies Stoddart claim www.grandprix.com Retrieved 5 August 2006
13. ^ Schumacher takes hollow USGP victory.www.crash.net Retrieved 30 November 2006
14. ^ Brundle vs Bernie www.itv-f1.com Retrieved 5 August 2006
15. ^ Day of shame for F1 www.telegraph.co.uk Retrieved 29 November 2006
16. ^ James Allen's verdict www.itv-f1.com Retrieved 5 August 2006
17. ^ Angry Stoddart criticises Jordan www.itv-f1.com Retrieved 5 August 2006
18. ^ Stoddart: What really happened at Indy...www.crash.net Retrieved 29 November 2006
19. ^ 2005 United States Grand Prix www.fia.com Retrieved 5 August 2006
20. ^ FIA World Motorsport Council www.fia.com Retrieved 5 August 2006
21. ^ United States Grand Prix - World Motor Sport Council www.newsonf1.com Retrieved 5 August 2006
22. ^ FIA charges Michelin teams www.itv-f1.com Retrieved 5 August 2006
23. ^ Mosley comments on US Grand Prix www.motorsport.comRetrieved 5 August 2006
24. ^ World Motor Sport Council Hearing of the Michelin Formula One teams decision www.fia.com Retrieved 5 August 2006
25. ^ FIA World Motor Sport Council decision www.fia.com Retrieved 5 August 2006
26. ^ Michelin teams exonerated on Indy news.bbc.co.uk Retrieved 5 August 2006
27. ^ Official: Michelin to reimburse Indy race fans www.pitpass.com Retrieved 5 August 2006
28. ^ Michelin pleased with dismissed Indy lawsuit uk.sports.yahoo.com Retrieved 29 November 2006
29. ^ Tony George says "No" www.grandprix.com Retrieved 7 December 2006
30. ^ Champ Car to honour US GP tickets in Cleveland.www.crash.net Retrieved 2 November 2006

External links

Previous race:
2005 Canadian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2005 season
Next race:
2005 French Grand Prix
Previous race:
2004 United States Grand Prix
United States Grand PrixNext race:
2006 United States Grand Prix




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Rubens Gonçalves Barrichello (born May 23 1972) is a Brazilian Formula One race driver of Italian descent. He currently drives for Honda.

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Tiago Vagaroso da Costa Monteiro (pron. IPA [ti'agu mõtɐiɾu]; born 24 July, 1976 in Porto, Portugal) is a former Formula One driver who drove for Jordan, Midland and Spyker F1 -- all progressive iterations of the same
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Ralf Schumacher (born June 30, 1975 in Hürth-Hermülheim near Cologne[1]) is a German Formula One racing driver for the Toyota team. He is the younger brother of seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher and has won six F1 races during his career, which has spanned
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chicane is a sequence of tight serpentine curves (usually an S-shape curve or a bus stop) in a roadway, used in motor racing and on city streets to slow cars. On modern raceways, chicanes are usually located after long straightaways, making them a prime location for overtaking.
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Ralf Schumacher (born June 30, 1975 in Hürth-Hermülheim near Cologne[1]) is a German Formula One racing driver for the Toyota team. He is the younger brother of seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher and has won six F1 races during his career, which has spanned
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