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Formula 1 Fiasco

Old 6/20/05, 01:22 AM
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From BBC.co.uk

That was the only formula 1 race I have ever switched off. I watched the NASCAR instead.....


US race boycott set 'to harm F1'


Drivers and team bosses say Formula One in America may never recover after seven teams boycotted the US GP.
Only the three teams on Bridgestone tyres took part after a row over additional track safety measures.


"It's a disaster for Formula One in the States," said Williams' Nick Heidfeld.

His boss Frank Williams said the sport was "damaged, maybe irrevocably so in North America," whilst driver Jacques Villeneuve said he had every sympathy with the angry reaction of the fans.

"If I was a fan out there I would do the same," he said.

When asked how long he thought it would take the sport's reputation to recover, he said "In America, I don't think it will."

The 100,000 crowd had no idea of the controversy - which saw all teams and officials locked in last-ditch talks right up until the start of the race - until the 14 cars on Michelin tyres pulled into the pit lane after the warm-up lap.

Boos broke out and bottles were thrown onto the track and by the end of the race there was only a few thousand fans left, with F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone receiving abuse from some.


After the race, Indianapolis Motor Speedway chief executive Tony George gave them the addresses of Michelin, the International Automobile Federation and Ecclestone's Formula One Management.

One Indiana-based spectator said: "My son in law is in the military and he is on leave from Iraq to be here and he was very upset when they stopped.

"I don't know what to make of it because it's my first time I've been here. I was sat in the stand and enjoying everything and then suddenly they stopped running - I don't know why."

Driver David Coulthard could be heard on the team radio making a keen plea to be allowed to race just before the order for the mass withdrawal was made.

"I've not experienced anything like this in my career before. Frankly, I'm embarrassed," said Coulthard.

"This is going to leave a long-lasting bitter taste in people's mouths."

The 'race' was won by Michael Schumacher, team-mate Rubens Barichello taking second to give Ferrari 18 championship points which puts them joint second with McLaren.

The teams on Michelin tyres did not take part because they believed a chicane should have been added to slow down the final turn where Ralf Schumacher's tyre inexplicably blew on Friday.

F1 officials and Ferrari refused to sanction the proposal, which was backed by the nine other teams
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Old 6/20/05, 01:23 AM
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Seven teams boycott US Grand Prix

Seven teams pulled out of the US GP to boos from 100,000 Indianapolis fans as a row over tyres destroyed the race.
Only Ferrari, Minardi and Jordan - on Bridgestone tyres - raced after Ferrari scuppered a last-ditch rescue proposal.

The Italian team vetoed a plan agreed by all the other teams to introduce a chicane at the final corner, which had caused problems for Michelin tyres.

The FIA refused to allow the change - and as a result the seven Michelin teams pulled out after the parade lap.

The crowd at Indianapolis were largely oblivious to the controversy - until Renault, McLaren, BAR, Williams, Red Bull, Toyota and Sauber all dived into the pit lane moments before the start.


FIA statement

Michelin had advised its seven teams not to race without changes because of the tyre failure that lead Ralf Schumacher to smash into a wall in Friday practice.

And team officials, F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone, and - at one point - all 20 drivers were locked in lengthy talks in a bid to save the race.

The teams emerged to say nine of them had agreed to race with a chicane at Schumacher's accident spot.

But Ferrari objected and F1 officials had already ruled out making a change to the track.

"To change the course in order to help some of the teams with a performance problem caused by their failure to bring suitable equipment to the race would be a breach of the rules and grossly unfair to those teams which have come to Indianapolis with the correct tyres," the FIA said.

Team officials seemed to hang on the hope that track bosses would make the changes anyway.

And all 20 drivers took to the track for the parade lap on the proviso they would only pass the start if they got word the chicane was installed.

But the start came and went without news of the change, and the teams immediately pulled out.

The crisis began on Friday after Toyota drivers Schumacher and Ricardo Zonta crashed at the same spot on the final bend.

Despite tests, Michelin were unable to "understand or reproduce" the tyre failure that caused the crash.

The company wanted to fly in new tyres from its factory in France, but International Automobile Federation (FIA) rules introduced this season, prohibit the introduction of a new tyre part-way through a Grand Prix weekend.
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Old 6/20/05, 03:05 AM
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More bad news for open wheel racing in the states. The IRL / CART feud has already taken its toll on that sport and now this.
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Old 6/20/05, 03:38 AM
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To echo the sentiment of others, unless IRL and CART combine or one dies, open wheel will be over here within the next 5 years. Formula one can kiss my ****. The whole world talks about ugly Americans and as a military guy who has been all over the world and who tried to change that image.........when it comes to their sports, forget it!!!! Ugly Americans my eye, spoiled brat european racing committees. Okay, I vented.
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Old 6/20/05, 07:49 AM
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After Alan Prost retired from FIA, I barely watched. Then Senna died and I lost all my interest. Guess I am not missing much
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Old 6/20/05, 08:04 AM
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Wow I saw a blip of this on CNN last night. I wonder what could have gone wrong with the tires or if it was the tires at all.

Very interesting
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Old 6/20/05, 08:12 AM
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I cant believe they demanded a change to the track! I hope they're proud of themselves. I dont want to say anything baad about europeans, but man...they really wined a lot, and than sat in the corner like a bunch of babies when they didnt get what they wanted. O Well... I guess they took they're own points hit. Nascar has been having tire problems lately and you dodnt see anyone refusing to race. You think they're sponsors are mad at them????
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Old 6/20/05, 08:33 AM
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before we start blaming the teams..... Michelin were the responsible party in this. They couldn't explain why Ralf Schumacher's tire blew out at 200mph, that presents a huge safety issue. Would you drive a car at 200mph if you thought there was a significant risk of a blowout? No, I didn't think so.

I just got this from the Michelin USA site....

Michelin puts the accent on safety at the United States Grand Prix 06/20/05

Michelin is very disappointed about the way the United States Grand Prix turned out at Indianapolis today, for the public, the drivers and the teams.

Michelin is sorry that the tyres it ran in free practice and qualifying were not suitable for use in racing conditions this weekend, but driver safety is always a priority. Michelin will never change its stance on this principle, whether we are talking about tyres for competition or any other purpose.

It is regrettable that our pre-race suggestions, agreed in conjunction with our partner teams, were not adopted. Had our ideas been followed, we could have guaranteed driver safety, the participation of our teams and added interest for the public.

Michelin would like to thank its seven partner teams for their close collaboration, for having made propositions to the FIA and for having respected our advice on safety issues.

Michelin will continue to investigate the technical reasons for the tyre-related incidents that affected Toyota during Friday's free practice.
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Old 6/20/05, 09:14 AM
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Originally posted by jgsmuzzy@June 20, 2005, 10:36 AM
before we start blaming the teams..... Michelin were the responsible party in this. They couldn't explain why Ralf Schumacher's tire blew out at 200mph, that presents a huge safety issue. Would you drive a car at 200mph if you thought there was a significant risk of a blowout? No, I didn't think so.

I just got this from the Michelin USA site....
I wouldn't race either :nono: Too dangerous...

I cant believe they demanded a change to the track! I hope they're proud of themselves. I dont want to say anything baad about europeans, but man...they really wined a lot, and than sat in the corner like a bunch of babies when they didnt get what they wanted. O Well... I guess they took they're own points hit. Nascar has been having tire problems lately and you dodnt see anyone refusing to race. You think they're sponsors are mad at them????
And no offense Cody but what does nationality have to do with it? I would complain too if someone told me that I could blow a tire and wipe out.
The only people for anyone to place the blame on is squarely on Michelin.
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Old 6/20/05, 01:01 PM
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Exactly. The fault is Michelin's alone. Bridgestone had no problems here and Michelin is no stranger to this track. If you visit www.formula1.com you can read a technical analysis about the heat build up in the sidewalls.

Nonetheless, this may have sounded the death knell for Formula 1 in the US. It;s never been very popular here, unfortunately, and this may have been the last straw for an already diminished fan base.
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Old 6/20/05, 04:29 PM
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It was the F1 officials that pretty much killed it by refusing to put a chicane on the one corner the tires were blowing at. Hmmmm, I wonder.........Chicane or kill off the idea of F1 racing in the United States???? I think they chose the wrong way to go.
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Old 6/20/05, 05:20 PM
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John, you have hit the nail on the head there..... I think Max Mosely has a lot to think about in the next three weeks...... like what is his next job going to be.....
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Old 6/20/05, 05:29 PM
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What are they saying in the UK? Do they even care that F1 messed up over here? I was hoping for a great showing. After being in Iceland for 18 months, Italy for 4 months, and hanging in Dublin for 2 weeks. I like the international sport scene. One of my favorite memories will be hanging out in a pub in Dublin (locals not tourist pub) and watching Ireland play France in football, still soccer to me. Being in Italy I couldn't believe all the Ferrari team merchandise and how Michael Schumacher is treated like Michael Jordan was here during his playing days.
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Old 6/20/05, 06:35 PM
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Originally posted by mustangfun101@June 20, 2005, 5:32 PM
It was the F1 officials that pretty much killed it by refusing to put a chicane on the one corner the tires were blowing at. Hmmmm, I wonder.........Chicane or kill off the idea of F1 racing in the United States???? I think they chose the wrong way to go.
I believe that all but one team voted for the chicane, with 100% majority required.

The lone holdout was Ferrari, now I understand their stance to a point, FIA has been doing everything they can to clamp down on their dominance, so Ferrari bit back. A little macho posturing

It will take at least 10 years for F1 racing to recover in the US, if ever.
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Old 6/20/05, 06:54 PM
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Sorry, I was wrong, it was the FIA president who shot down the chicane

A friend commented something and is totally right IMO. The tire rule where you run one set of tires the entire weekend is terrible, it ruins the pitstop strategies of the best teams and in my opinion comprimises safety.

http://www.tsn.ca/auto_racing/news_story.asp?id=128448
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Old 6/20/05, 07:12 PM
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Something tells me that this have a lot to do with Michael Schumacher. They changed rules (not sure which rules) so Ferrari will finaly have some competition. This year, Alonso (Renault) and Räikkönen (McLaren Mercedes) dominated Formula 1. And then, all of sudden, Schumacher won Indianapolis and now he's 3rd in standings. Alonso have 59 pts, Raikkonen have 37 pts and Schumacher have 34 pts.
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Old 6/20/05, 09:09 PM
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FIA WRC has a similar tire rulle introduced last year and it's aweful.
Mkae the rallys way Harder to run and more dangerous to boot.

But i think in this cae if I was a driver and I knew my sponsor could get new tires in to fix this problem but they were hampered by the FIA, I wouldn't be goin out on that track either. No rules are worth my or anyone elses life.
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Old 6/21/05, 01:20 AM
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Originally posted by mustangfun101@June 20, 2005, 5:32 PM
What are they saying in the UK?

Everyone here thinks it is a farce, Personally I think it is the worst thing that has happened to the sport in years. Why they cannot let the teams get on with their job (winning races) without hampering them with ridiculous rules I do not know....
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Old 6/21/05, 03:55 PM
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As usual, I tuned in to watch the race Sunday and I couldn't believe what was going down! I've been a fan since the Andretti era and have rarely missed a race since they became regularly televised in the states. What a disgrace!!! I think Tony George should have impounded all of the cars & equipment and demanded financial restitution from F1 for all of the unfortunate ticket holders (including travel/room expenses)!

I'm sorry this happened and I doubt there will ever be widespread acceptance of F1 in this country.

Now, before we crucify Michelin let me throw out some food for thought. Several years ago NASCAR experienced their own "tire wars" when Hoosier & Goodyear were going at it. However, NASCAR was at least smart enough to require BOTH manufacturers to bring enough of their tires to each race to supply the entire field in the event one or the other had a problem. I realise this would be tough to do (or even impossible due to chassis set-ups) in F1 but the FIA should have been smart enough to foresee that a tire problem could occur. The FIA should have had a contingency plan. Personally I think there should be only one tire manufacturer for safety and performance reasons.
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Old 6/21/05, 04:51 PM
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Rich, you're thinking "one out, all out"? I can go with that........... there only used to be one tire manu. but the greenback started shouting again
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