Monday, June 20, 2005

The Last Ever American Grand Prix?

The world of formula one was sent into turmoil yesterday as just six cars started the American Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This was because the cars on Michelin tyres were told they were not allowed to race due to the tyres being unsafe round the fastest corner on the circuit.

The choices were:- go slow round the corner, install a chicane, let them use new but as yet unproven tyres or not race.

While it was a marketing disaster, safety was at the forefront of everyone's minds which in a sport like F1 it has to be. This was probably the only option open as Ferrari (again) went against the other nine teams in installing a chicane, going slow would also have been dangerous as a faster car would have to avoid the slower car (we're talking 100mph slower), and new tyres would have been a high risk strategy which also broke five regulations.

Whilst it was a farce, it was the only real option given the short time they had to decide. However they knew the problem was there but did not discuss it until about three hours before the race. Surely discussing it 24 hours earlier would have come up with a better solution all round. It would appear there is now a bleak future for Michelin in F1 despite supplying a far superior tyre this season ut withdrawing 14 cars from one of the world's biggest races is simply unforgiveable.


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