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2005 US Grand Prix or was it???

Posted by Sankar on June 20, 2005


I am sure that everyone will agree with me. Yesterday’s US Grand Prix was @$@%@. It was total crap. Off the 10 teams, only 3 started the race.

The other teams withdrew as per recommendation from Michelin due to safety reasons. Ralf crashed during Friday practice because the Michelin tires were not holding up and were failing for some reason that could not be determined.

The so called race had just Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi (all three running Bridgestone). With only Ferrari being a big team on the track, we just cannot call it a race. Even though Ferrari and Schumi won, I really don’t want them to win races this way.

It was a huge disappointment for me and should have been the same for the millions of fans across the world especially with more than 100,000+ people spending $100+ average on tickets. It was a real pity.

Things that could have been done:

Michelin should have done a better job: Ralf crashed at the same corner last year because of tire problem and if I remember correctly, it was Michelin. I just can’t believe that Michelin didn’t do anything to fix that issue. I won’t buy into the argument that because of the change in rules this year, the tires had to last the entire race length and therefore, this hasn’t been tested yet. But even this year, Ralf crashed during the Friday practice and I think that the tires would have been fresh at least at that time. Therefore, I think Michelin messed up big time.

Ferrari could have relented a bit: There was a proposal at the last minute from all the teams to introduce a chicane just before the last corner to slow the cars down. All the teams agreed but Ferrari on account of introducing risks by changing the track just before the race. Therefore, even this proposal couldn’t get through.
Update: I am not sure whether the issue about Ferrari and the chicane is true or not. Different sites are having a different view on this issue. On second thoughts after reading a couple of articles around, even if Ferrari didn’t agree on it, I really don’t think it is an issue. Just because Michelin couldn’t make the right tires, the teams cannot demand a change in the circuit. This is not correct. Of course, the fans were at a loss. Maybe they should all target Michelin and NOT target FIA or Ferrari.

Check out this article at http://www.f1racing.net

We had a detailed written confirmation from Michelin that the tires were unsafe to run unless there was a chicane put in to slow the speed into this (Turn 13) corner,” said Ron Dennis, team principal for West McLaren Mercedes, during the race. “We’ve been trying with other teams to convince FIA to put a chicane in the circuit, and they refused.”

Dennis empathized with the fans while remaining steadfast that safety concerns were the final straw in the decision not to race. “Our primary responsibility is to the safety of my drivers, and I fully understand the consequences for Formula One are severe, and certainly enjoyment for the spectators here,” he said. “The teams had no alternative. We were for this to be a non-championship race; we were prepared to race later; we were prepared to do virtually anything other than to race through that corner at high speed. And that’s an unacceptable risk.”

I am not sure how Dennis can argue to have this race as a non-championship race… I really think he is crazy. Maybe Minardi could ask for the entire season to be scrapped since their car is not up to the mark 🙂

FIA could have relented a bit: Michelin flew in some other tire compounds for the race, but FIA did not allow the teams to change the tires as per rules ?

On a humorous note… All the 7 teams could have driven the race length a little slowly in order to help Michelin gather some testing data so that they can improve the tires at least next year.

Updated: 6/21/2005 – 2:00 PM

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3 Responses to “2005 US Grand Prix or was it???”

  1. ShivA said

    I completely support Ferrari on this….I mean just because few are not prepared for the exam, the ones who are ready should not be handicapped…they are just stupid that they (Michelin) didnt have backup tires that are absolutely safe but slower, which by the way is requirement by FIA…I hope this turns around the season for Ferrari and Renault regrets its stupid act…

  2. In my view, although Ferrari went through with the race, what Jean Todt says is right…and what the FIA says is right as well…”it would be grossly unfair for them to change the track” and disrupt the rhythm of the teams that came well prepared for the race…why should Ferrari be blamed for this? They did ask the other cars to slow down in Turn 13 or simpler enough, skip turn 13 and come into the pits every few laps…but the teams asked Ferrari also to slow down over there…I agree, it would be disastrous for some cars to slow down and others not to…but putting in a chicane in that last corner would be a disaster as well, in my view…that is the fastest corner in the track and that wouldve caused a lot of problems for the drivers as they have no practice with it (read Felipe Massa’s interview on the web)…

    After all said and done, if none of them had raced…there would have been a riot in Indy, and I wouldve been a part of it…so I think people were a little ok (a lot of them stayed back for the whole race, just to see if some coward would venture out of the pits) just because 6 cars raced…

    One thing is for sure…it would be highly doubtful if they hold a 2006 USGP…and if they do, not even 60000 people would come there to see it…

    Hari

  3. ShivA said

    I am really sorry for ppl who travelled all the way for the race….I was supposed to be one of them but then cudnt make it….but I am sure ppl there were throwing bottles at ppl who were not racing, not at Ferrari or Jordan, ’cause they atleast got something to watch lol All the Michelin teams shld be heavily penalized for this act…As far as USGP is concerned, its been trying hard to get a bigger US market like Nascar, but now that walk seems steeper…but if there is one next year, I would definitely go for the race, I dont see crowds dropping out drastically…common its a sport that ppl have fallen in love over the years, cant just go bad like that 😉

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