Tech Support Guy banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

2,544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Formula 1 farce as Indianapolis race begins with just six cars


DAVID Coulthard revealed he was "sick to the stomach" after being part of an unprecedented mass pull-out from yesterday's United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis.

The Scot joined 13 other drivers in pulling his Red Bull into the pits at the end of the warm-up lap, leaving only six cars to take the start.

Coulthard watched from the Red Bull garage as fans jeered and threw missiles on to the track in protest at the parade, which was eventually won by Michael Schumacher from Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello.

Coulthard was sickened by the spectacle, which came about because Michelin warned their teams not to race on unsafe tyres unless modifications were made to the track.

The FIA, the sport's governing body, and Ferrari would not agree to that request so seven teams pulled out before the flag, to Coulthard's dismay.

He said: "I am sorry for everyone. Only under Michelin's blessing would we have raced. If they had said five minutes before the race that everything would be okay we would have raced. But you can't race against advice so the teams were left no choice.

"It is tragic for the spectators and I have no words to describe how damaging this is for Formula 1. I am sick in the stomach to be part of this.

"Michelin have screwed up. They should have been penalised in some way so that the Bridgestone runners could get the points they deserve and we could get a motor race and the sport can put a show on for the fans.

"The responsibility for causing the problem is down to Michelin but it was down to the FIA to find a compromise. They had the ability to change the rules on safety grounds, they had the power to make this happen, but they did not do it."

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart blamed the debacle on the FIA, who he claims put a stop to compromise plans.

Nine of the ten teams - Ferrari being the exception - agreed for a temporary chicane to be added to the banked final turn at Indianapolis to prevent a repeat of the Michelin tyre failure which caused Ralf Schumacher's heavy accident on Friday.

Stoddart claims FIA president Max Mosley personally vetoed the plan, threatening to cancel the race if changes were made to the track.

The Australian, who saw drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher claim fifth and sixth respectively, said: "This idea was rejected by FIA president Max Mosley and in no uncertain terms, the teams were told that should this occur there would be no race.

"This in my opinion is clearly not in the interests of the sport, the American public, or Formula 1 fans around the world.

"I have complete sympathy with the Michelin teams, and can take neither satisfaction from, nor interest in, this afternoon's race, if you can call it that.

"For the avoidance of doubt, Minardi only participated when it became clear that Jordan had changed their decision to compete from this morning."

The repercussions from the fiasco are likely to be wide-ranging, with the FIA already having raised the prospect of Michelin being charged with bringing the sport into disrepute.

More seriously for the sport, yesterday's spectacle is damaging for Formula 1's popularity in the United States.

Formula 1 has traditionally struggled to break into the American market in recent years and the sight of fans streaming out of the circuit to demand refunds before the race ended will hardly help the cause.

Fans booed, threw bottles on to the track and eventually left home in disgust at the sorry spectacle. The team bosses responsible for the mass walk out apologised to American fans but claimed their hands were tied after Michelin's recommendation.

Red Bull sporting director Christian Horner said: "I have the greatest of sympathy for all the fans and supporters here, but we were left with no other option based on the advice of our tyre supplier.

"There has been discussions throughout the last 24 hours, it has been a difficult situation and unfortunately the result hasn't been fantastic. It's not a great day for Formula 1."

Michelin teams remained tight-lipped over their decision, with all seven producing a joint statement to apologise for their actions.

The statement read: "Safety is always the first concern of any team and the FIA. Regrettably the teams were obliged to follow Michelin's requirements not to race.

"We are totally aware that the USA is an important market for Formula 1 and there is an obligation for Formula 1 to promote itself in a positive and professional manner. It is sad that we couldn't showcase Formula 1 in the manner we would have liked today."

Tiago Monteiro finished third for Jordan, just ahead of team-mate Narain Karthikeyan.

Schumacher claimed his first win of the season by 1.5 seconds from Barrichello. They were never troubled by the much slower Jordan and Minardi drivers who finished one lap and two laps behind respectively. The six finishers were all on Bridgestone tyres.

A Formula 1 race had never previously started with so few cars on the grid.

As a follower of F1 this has to be one of the lowest points, especially in the US where promotion of F1 has been on the increase since 2002, my sympathy goes out the the spectators who paid good money expecting a good day out. :down:

2,905 Posts
I was amazed when I saw the cars pull off and only six cars started I was not sure what happened at first, I was busy, then six cars drove pass the green flag ??wuz up wid dat??. Something I dont understand is Michillen new about this issue days ago why didn't the the other teams get different tires?

2,544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well Formula 1 cars are contracted to run with either Michelin or Bridgestone tyres. The 6 cars that raced had Bridgestone who incidentally supply or have been involved in US Indy/cart so they new the stresses the US tracks put on tyres. A formula 1 car is a different animal than what you guys use over there, Michelin tyres where found to be useless and dangerous with 11 failures 2 being blow outs and one putting a driver into the wall, just in qualifying.
Michelin offered to fly out alternative tyres but where not garrateed to be any safer. The rules of F1 are very complicated, teams only allowed to have so many sets of tyres per race.
The answer was to put a chicane into turn 13 where the load was at its greatest Michelin then guaranteeing there product. Bridgestone runners or rather Ferrari said that would remove there advantage (not there fault Michelin goofed).........., and the FIA refused to put the chicane in. They could have declared the race non ranking and put on a show for the public or only allowed the Bridgestone runners to score with the chicane.
The politics of F1 has always been a Major pain in the backside as far as I'm concerned, and the only people that have lost out here are the fans both US and F1 fans across the world.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.