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  • Stoddie's reasoning was that Judas had (and who would have thought it) reneged on a deal not to race. Stoddie was expecting only TOIT to take the start.

    If I were sponsoring Minardi, I would expect them to race too.

    Stoddie has played a blinder although the outrage is a little melodramatic. Love those 'Straylians ...
  • Question for Quig:

    I know you have inside contacts in the Team !!!

    Do you know if the team members share Stoddart's opinion that the 7 points obtained mean nothing OR are they as happy as I am that we have scored ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I'm still trying to come up with words to do damage control for the US fans endangering drivers lives by throwing CRAP onto the track.

    Then I'll see if anybody in Faenza is happy.
  • That's very noble Quig and, obviously, I completely agree with you!

    Actually, I was surprised more wasn't thrown on the track and compliments to the marshals who did the litter collection.

    There was almost a riot at Brands Hatch once when they tried to stop James Hunt from taking a re-start.

    If the Indy farce had played out at Monza or Hockenheim you would have seen a track invasion, I'm sure.
  • But you'd have had no problem at all with sending the Michelin teams out to risk those same fans lives?
  • Read Murph's post with the Peter Windsor comments. I concur.
  • Viges

    One of the more disgusting aspects of Sunday were the professional photographers in front of us ( my seats are along side the podium ) encouraging the fans to show "thumbs down" and "flippin the bird" so they could take photos...... it didn't take much to get people riled up as it is and these jerks wanted to push the envelope....those a-holes thought it was pretty amusing until a couple of them were shown handcuffs by Indiana State troopers....Indiana takes a dim view of inciting a riot...... you remember what it was like trying to get on the train at Imola ? For a few moments I feared the same thing on Sunday but in our grandstand the couple of buffons who started to throw stuff were reminded that they were the next thing to be thrown off the grandstand and they quickly left. Every time one of the 6 racers went by or came out of the pits a goodly number of the fans cheered. Also, any time a driver or team member of the 7 Michelin teams was shown on the big screens that showed the world feed, the place resounded with boo's. As mentioned, my seat is beside and slightly behind the podium. After the race, the officals told the drivers the podium "festivities" would be done quickly..in and out. In the main grandstand opposite the podium a huge crowd gathered and boo'd during the "ceremony". ..... and because of concern for the drivers and the reporters, the "bull pen" area where the drivers go to meet reporters after the tv press conference was moved from right beside me to a more protected area. Surprisingly, all was very peaceful when we left IMS after the race.

    Couple of notes to add.....

    1) called the IMS ticket office to renew tickets for 2006. Was told that they will not charge my credit card as of now as there has been no decision on having the race at this time. They would know "shortly".

    2) It is being reported that Budweiser, H-Packard, and a couple of other US companies are reviewing their sponsorship deals............ they not very amused to say the least.....

    3) My gut still tells me that this was a GPWC vs FIA/Max fiasco....and that explains Paul's lack of enthusiasm for Minardi's participation. Find it amazing that Ferrari, Jordan, and Minardi do nothing wrong (Frank Williams concurs on this) and yet Paul trashes Jordan for racing and states that the whole thing is Ferrari's fault. I can't figure it out.....who knows, maybe either Uncle Ron has some emberassing photos and is blackmailing him or he knows we will be Mercedes #2 team in the GPWC future...... there are many legitimate times for one to attack Ferrari...this wasn't one of them. Love Paul for saving Minardi but he has got me baffled with his most recent actions......course Quig, Ger, and you baffle me as well............over...and over....and............

  • What did I do to baffle you this time?
  • got this from the FOSA boys........ an article by James Allen. This has got me worried because I never agree with Mr. Allen but in this instance we are on common ground....yikes!!! One of the things we were hearing at Indy was that Toyota were running with very low tire pressure's...... he mentions that there were more than one team doing this, something I hadn't heard. Also talks about the GPWC vs Max/FIA......

    "In his latest column, ITV-F1 commentator James Allen gives his in-depth reaction to last weekend's United States Grand Prix debacle.

    James probes the murky events that led to the Michelin teams' withdrawal, explains why the other options on the table weren't adopted, and examines the likely repercussions for the sport, both in general and in the USA in particular.

    Q: Why did Michelin get it so badly wrong when they have raced at Indy for the past four years with no problems and why didn’t Bridgestone get it wrong?

    There are several reasons. First, the management of Michelin’s F1 programme has changed since last year. Nick Shorrock replaced Pascal Vasselon, whom the teams respected highly.

    Second, the teams play a role in deciding, along with Michelin, which tyres to bring to races and it seems that some of them were being very aggressive in their choice. Michelin forgot to give themselves a safety net.

    The problem was made worse by some teams running tyre pressures below the Michelin recommendation.

    They did that because a floppier tyre will have more rubber in contact with the ground and that means more grip in the twisty infield section of the track where the most time is to be gained.

    But the sidewall of the tyre then gets overloaded at high speeds on the banking. Hence Ralf Schumacher’s crash on Friday.

    Bridgestone, through their Firestone US brand, have lots of experience of the Indy oval.

    Also they are by nature a more conservative company, which is part of the reason why they have had a slow start to the year. Faced with new rules requiring a set of tyres to last through qualifying and a 200-mile race, they’ve played it safe, specifically to avoid sullying the company’s name with incidents like this.

    Q: Was the Indy farce really about tyres or is it part of the manufacturers vs FIA/Bernie/Ferrari battle?

    You bet it is. The war between the manufacturers on the one side and Bernie, Max and Ferrari on the other has been getting increasingly savage in recent months.

    Michelin’s cock-up merely provided the political opportunity for the most high profile power-play in the war so far. What happened in Indy was, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, “The end of the beginning.”

    We have been heading for a showdown since the signing of the “new” Concorde Agreement by Ferrari, Bernie and the FIA in February. Frank Williams warned at the time that there would be ‘confrontations’ during the year. There have been several off track confrontations already.

    Sadly Indy was the first occasion on which it spilled over and affected what happens on the track. It may not be the last.

    The teams say that it illustrates that Max Mosley’s position is untenable. The FIA say that it shows why they should have more control.

    Q: Wasn’t the farce of a six-car race avoidable?

    Sadly not. You would think that the combined racing and marketing brains among the teams, Bernie and the FIA would have been able to sort out a workable compromise in the interests of the show, but the only conclusion you can reach is that the FIA would have avoided Sunday’s fiasco if they had wanted to.

    The teams tried to double shuffle the FIA, but the FIA held firm and forced the Michelin teams to act when the race was due to start.

    With Michelin saying the tyres were not safe to race on, the teams did what they did.

    Q: How close did the Sunday morning meeting come to finding a solution?

    Not close at all. I understand that at one point it was suggested that the Michelin cars should drive “slowly” around Turn 13, even using pit lane speed limiters.

    Considering that the Bridgestone cars would have been doing 190mph, that would surely have been more dangerous than exploding tyres!

    If the debate was on that kind of level you can see why a load of vastly experienced men failed to see common sense.

    If you’d had a dozen middle aged women in there, the problem would have been sorted in 20 minutes.

    Q: What could have been done to get a 20-car race together?

    The Michelin teams knew that they were not going to get anything out of the US GP. Their tyre supplier had messed up and there was no reason why Bridgestone’s teams shouldn’t take full profit from that. Fair enough.

    I have no problem with Schumacher getting 10 points and Jordan scoring so massively as they did. They deserve it.

    But what should have been avoided was the sham six-car race to decide how the Bridgestone teams should divide up the points, which brought so much shame on the sport.

    A combination of higher tyre pressures and regular tyre changes would have got the Michelin cars through the race.

    But Michelin seemed to panic. They talked of the tyres being good for only 10 laps. It was chicane or nothing as far as they were concerned.

    This presented a confusing picture. Were the tyres safe or not? Why 10 laps, why not 20? Why were they safe to qualify on?

    If they had said to the FIA categorically that the tyres were totally unsafe and that the event would have to be cancelled, then a different, more dignified, outcome would have ensued.

    What happened on Sunday was that the Michelin teams tried to find an outcome which suited them and the FIA and Ferrari weren’t inclined to help them out.

    They offered some options, which the Michelin teams didn’t fancy, such as regular tyre changes or reduced speeds in Turn 13.

    The Michelin teams then decided not to start the race, which the FIA is interpreting as a boycott.

    I sympathise with the view that you cannot suddenly install a chicane between qualifying and the race.

    The past is littered with examples of chicanes installed for pragmatic reasons, like at Barcelona, Canada and Spa in 1994 after Senna’s death. But those were put in at the start of the weekend.

    The FIA now says that there were legal reasons why a chicane could not be considered. Sadly no one explained that on Sunday before the race.

    The Michelin teams did not see a legal problem with a chicane. One of the team principals assured me that the Michelin teams’ final offer was to race with a chicane, but for no points, but that was turned down by Mosley, who was on the phone during the meeting.

    The FIA ran the clock down to the start of the race and the Michelin teams then had to put up or shut up.

    Q: What role did Jordan and Minardi play in this?

    This is the most interesting aspect of the story for me. They held the key really, because if they had held solid with the “Michelin seven”, then there is no way Ferrari would have gone out there alone to race and something would have been sorted out.

    Paul Stoddart says Jordan broke ranks first and as his main opposition he had to follow. It was a perfect illustration of the self-interest of the team bosses, which is destroying this sport.

    Q: Where do we go from here?

    It could go two ways. Either the warring parties realise the damage that was done on Sunday, come to their senses and get around a table to sort things out, or the whole thing could explode into chaos.

    Much will depend on how the FIA World Council acts next Wednesday.

    They have summoned Michelin and their seven teams – five of whom also happen to be the GPWC teams – to appear before them to answer charges such as “wrongfully refusing to allow cars to start a race,” and “combining to make a demonstration damaging to the image of F1.”

    BAR will be especially nervous as they are under a suspended sentence following the Imola fuel tank scandal.

    The FIA has indicated that the teams and Michelin should offer financial compensation to the US fans. If they do not do that, then fines and a deduction of constructors’ championship points looks likely.

    It will virtually hand the constructors' championship to Ferrari, penalising McLaren, Renault and Toyota in particular.

    With Mosley already committed to a single tyre supplier in the future, Michelin know that after this, they are finished in F1.

    They have no defence against a disrepute charge and they may choose to invite the FIA to heap all of the punishment on themselves, rather than the teams.

    If Michelin withdraw from F1 at the end of this season, it will put everyone on Bridgestones for 2006 and guess which team would have a head start in that relationship?

    Q: Is this the end of F1 in America?

    The Americans were already very angry about the Schumacher shuffle at the end of the 2002 race, which handed victory to Barrichello.

    The Speedway has not built its reputation over the last 100 years by confusing the public and cheating them out of a show.

    Even though everyone knows that the 2002 scandal and last Sunday’s farce were not the fault of the circuit, they did happen there and will always be part of what is otherwise a magnificent history.

    The management will be concerned that F1 has come along and tarnished the Indy brand and I don’t think they will be very forgiving.

    The race was in trouble anyway, it seems, as Tony George and Bernie Ecclestone had different views as to what the event is worth. At the start of the weekend, Bernie accused the Speedway of ‘letting America down’ by failing to promote the race more aggressively.

    An offer of financial compensation to the fans from Michelin and the teams would help, but it’s probably curtains for the sport in the USA anyway.

    Q: So who’s to blame for what we saw in Indy?

    Well in the first instance it is Michelin of course. They ignored the explicit FIA instructions, repeated by Mosley after the Nurburgring, to ensure that at least one of their tyre options at each event should be safe for qualifying and the race.

    Beyond that I think that all the key players in F1 must take a share of the responsibility, because through their egotism and selfishness over a long period of time they have created a situation where all trust between them has been destroyed.

    It’s like the Israelis and the Palestinians. You just can’t get them to see a bigger picture and start to trust each other. So that creates a vacuum, which is exploited by those who are intent on wrecking the sport we all love.

    FOSA - Formula One Supporters Association
    http://f1fan.net | http://f1fan.co.uk

  • More wisdom from Murph. May I suggest you change your name to wise man. Have to agree with you. The US debacle had nothing to do with safety. Its a power struggle between Max and the manufacturers.
    I really don't where the fall out between Minardi and Toit started. When Stoddart first took over the relationship between the two was quite good. I assume Todt would love to return to the days where he could wind Stoddart up and say to him, "there's Ron go bite him".
  • I really don't where the fall out between Minardi and Toit started. When Stoddart first took over the relationship between the two was quite good.
    Maybe TOIT persuaded Minardi personell to switch teams during the past seasons and that PO'd Stoddart ???????I don't know, just guessing !!!
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