United States F1 Grand Prix 2005

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Yee-Ming, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    What a bizarre race. For those not in the know, Michelin tyres were failing miserably in pratice and qualifying, and Michelin advised its teams that they could not guarantee the tyres would hold up to the strain of the banked turn going into the home straight, and therefore that Michelin runners should not race. Michelin teams "suggested" that an extra chicane be added there, to slow things down. Ferrari refused to agree to the change, and without unanimous agreement no changes could be made.

    Micheline teams therefore started the warmup lap, but then all pulled into the pits, leaving the 6 cars on Bridgestones to race by themselves. Predictably, Ferrari finished 1-2, Jordan 3-4, and Minardi 5-6 (best result in years for them!)

    Now, everyone's blaming Ferrari for not agreeing to the extra chicane. “Building a chicane” was IMHO utter nonsense. On that logic, Ferrari and the other Bridgestone teams could’ve argued that in the early races of the season, the tracks should’ve been made more forgiving on their rubbishy tyres. Which they didn’t, they ran, and did miserably.

    Sure, it was opportunistic on the part of Ferrari, but I don't remember the Michelin runners offering Bridgestone runners the option to get free tyre changes (on fuel pitstops) earlier this season when the Bridgestones kept failing and the Michelins ran nicely. Now that the shoe is on the other foot (or is that tyre on the other wheel?), they moan when the team actually with something to lose by making a HUGE concession refuses to make it - it's no good saying Jordan and Minardi agreed to it, they had nothing to lose anyway, and if anything I'd cynically say they might have been trying to gain goodwill from the rest of the field, knowing that it doesn't cost them anything and in any case Ferrari would play the "bad guy" in vetoing the whole idea, thereby letting "little" Jordan and Minardi then run in the 3-team race without odium and scoring points that work to their advantage in terms of sharing prize money etc. If they were really so "principled" they would have retired as well with the rest of the field, leaving Schumi and Rubens to play tag by themselves. Almost sounds like a test run at Maranello...
     
  2. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    Looks like we crossed threads on this topic. Here's what I wrote in the old thread:

    Well what a debacle today was. The entire motorsports world must be laughing at Formula One.

    Its unbelievable to me that a company such as Michelin could be so badly prepared for a race. This was the sixth time this event has been held and the corner in question has existed since 1908 yet somehow Michelin was caught out with its tires.

    Sure the FIA has instituted some truly ridiculous (IMO) new rules this year, but the conditions at the track were not unknown and Bridgestone managed to show up with adequate equipment.

    While the Michelin teams did not make an unreasonable decision by not racing, they should have tried to race IMO. They could have changed their setups/tire pressures and pitted early to check tire condition etc rather than simply not take the stars. Even if some/all of them ended up dropping out, it would have been better for all concerned if they made an effort.

    F1 has really shot itself in the foot (if not the head) when it comes to the US. I'll still be a fan, and I've followed F1 long enough to know that this political bullshit is part of the deal, but I certainly wouldn't blame the IMS if they tell Bernie to get lost, and I wouldn't blame any of the other fans who have spent 100s or more likely 1,000s of dollars this weekend if they decide to wash their hands of F1 for good.

    A truly sad day for the sport.


    As far as blaming Ferrari goes, well there are some fans out there that blame Ferrari for everything. In this case it was not up to Ferrari to change the rules a few hours before the race start time. Its true if changes are to be made, they need unanimous consent from the teams for it to occur. However, the teams all agreeing to something doesn't mean that the FIA will make the change.
     
  3. Chris Derby

    Chris Derby Second Unit

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    Whether ferrari would have (or not) agreed to the chicane is not the issue. i actually heard/read that they deferred to the FIA to make the decision.

    What happened subsequently was to the letter of the rules. if the chicane HAD been put in place, the whole weekend would have had to be run again on the new track configuation: 2 practice sessions + qualifying and then the race. There was also discussion of running the event sans FIA sanction with no championship points awarded, etc. I doubt Ferrari would have run if they had nothing to gain from participating.

    That said, why should the FIA cater to teams with a tire supplier that didn't do their homework?

    The FIA's responsibility is to enforce the rules of the sport. They are a governing body. They did their job this weekend, even if it hurt the show.

    Let me also say, if the whole tire issue was reversed and bridgestone was having failures, everybody would have said "tough shit" and run the race anyway. The ONLY reason this is an issue is because it affected "the show" with only 6 cars running instead of 14 (if the situation was reversed).

    We didn't see bridgestone asking for favors when they had tire problems earlier in the season.

    As much as it sucks, the fia was being "fair".
     
  4. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I agree with all that's been said so far. Also, the chicane would have been detrimental to the Bridgestone teams. They quite probably made sacrifices in speed for durability. If that wasn't needed, their cars would have been at an unfair disadvantage.

    Michelin bears all the responsibility for this IMO. I had heard that other races at Indy this year have had trouble with tire wear, however they're saying this was load related, which means it's probably not related to the surface and thus all the blame falls on Michelin.
     
  5. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Indeed, ultimately it's Michelin's fault, and the Michelin teams tried to finagle a "fix" which would leave them competitive, which in real terms inevitably meant penalising the Bridgestone teams. In the post-race interviews Michael said that Bridgestone had a faster tyre, but they knew it wouldn't hold up so brought a presumably slower but sturdier one.

     
  6. Rob Willey

    Rob Willey Screenwriter

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    Just to compound the FIA's horrible P.R. day with the American racing public, after I watched the debacle at Indy, I tuned into today's NHRA race. They were going around asking some of the women drivers, including champions Shirley Muldowney and Angelle Sampey to comment on a quote from Bernie Ecclestone to the effect that "women racing along side men should be required to wear all white just like any other domestic appliance." [​IMG]

    Rob
     
  7. Chris Derby

    Chris Derby Second Unit

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    that quote, and it's sarcastic tone, was a bad attempt at humor and very much taken out of context.

    the actual quote was "Yep, she did a good job, didn't she? Super. Didn't think she was going to make it. You know, I've got one of those wonderful ideas. ... Women should be all dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances."

    bernie has been a longime supporter of danica patrick and is very pleased to see her doing so well. why would he NOT want to see her succeed? don't you realize how marketable she would be in formula 1?

    f1 desperately needs an american in the series. it seems that scott speed is currently being groomed for a spot in the "big show". let me ask you this, though: if scott and danica were equally as compatitive, which would you pick?

    bernie knows this.

    http://www.atlasf1.com/2000/aus/okeefe.html
    http://f1.racing-live.com/en/headlin...17001904.shtml]http://f1.racing-live.com/en/index.h...1904.shtml[/url]
     
  8. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    This was the first year with the "one set of tyres for qualifying and race" rule.

    Also, Bridgestone has their relationship with Firestone, sole tire supplier to the Indy cars. They might have some information that Michelin does not.
     
  9. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    That's no excuse IMO. I hope all the Michelin teams get out of their contracts as soon as possible.
     
  10. Chris Derby

    Chris Derby Second Unit

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  11. Ray Chuang

    Ray Chuang Screenwriter

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    Actually, Bridgestone does have one big advantage over Michelin when it comes to racing at Indianpolis: given that Bridgestone owns Firestone, and since Firestone tires are the exclusive tire supplier for the Indy Racing League, where average lap speeds over 215 mph are common, Bridgestone knew very well how to make tires that last at the Indianapolis F1 race course.

    Michelin have nobody but themselves to blame for this fiasco. [​IMG]
     
  12. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    I'm not an "in-the-know" racing fan, so forgive me a naive question... hasn't Michellin raced Indy before ? Was this a new track configuration ? Not sure why Michellin didn't have enough data to build a reliable tire....

    Or was this merely a result of the "one set of tyres for qualifying and race" rule ? I take it this means only one "type" of tire/tyre, not just one set of 4.... So, there was no tweaking of tires to meet current track conditions ?

    Nice article on the F1 page, I'm glad they are sticking firm.
     
  13. Ken Chui

    Ken Chui Supporting Actor

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    Scott Speed - his resumé and intangibles, IMO, give him an edge over Danica. I would also put Wheldon, Kanaan and Hornish Jr. well ahead of Danica. If I'm fielding an F1 team, where the average annual budget runs hundreds of millions, I want the best available driver. Danica could appeal to a larger female contingent, but she would need to prove herself consistently (not necessarily podium finishes, but at least compete for drivers' points) if she is to retain interest from the core audience. Quite frankly, if any F1 team were to bring her onboard at this time, they would be doing so for all of the wrong reasons. It may elevate the profiles of certain teams (such as Minardi-Cosworth or BAR-Honda, who have nothing to gain this season), but once the novelty has worn, the team in question would need to justify their signing of her to their sponsors and suppliers if she languishes in the drivers' table.

    As for the travesty that was the US Grand Prix (I watched the qualifying and practice laps, in adddition to the *ahem* race), this was clearly Michelin's fault. The bank at turn 13 may be unique in F1, but it's the responsibility of the engineers to evaluate/consider the effects of tyre stability (i.e. increased pressure on the tyre belt and sidewall) in such an instance.
     
  14. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    The one set rule means that the once the cars have gone through qualifying, they have to keep that set on until the end of the race, unless a tire is so worn or damaged that it's a safety hazard.

    Technically, the Michelin teams could have changed tires under this rule, but doing so would require them to submit the tires to the stewards, who would determine if the tires were really unsafe. If not, there would be penalties.

    Some might speculate that the Michelin teams chose not to race under these conditions because this scrutiny might reveal that the Michelin were not, in fact, unsafe but were rather just very uncompetive with the Bridgestones.
     
  15. Chris Derby

    Chris Derby Second Unit

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    i DID say IF they were equally as competitive.

    also, i think that danica is appealing to more than just the "female contingent".
     
  16. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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  17. Ken Chui

    Ken Chui Supporting Actor

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    I don't know about others, but it's one of the reasons I tune into SpikeTV's Powerblock on the weekends. [​IMG]
     
  18. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    I think Scott Speed has actually won races as a professional driver.
     
  19. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    One of the other factors of this year's tire rules is that the suppliers are limited in how many types of tires they can supply the teams for practice. Usually they provide a hard and a soft tire for the teams to try out, then the teams choose one of those compounds for the race. Clearly Michelin didn't bring a hard enough tire.

    Regardless of Bridgestone's supposed advantage by owning Firestone, Michelin has plenty of experience on their own making tires. And if I'm not mistaken they cleaned up at Le Mans this year. Granted they change tires in that race, but those tires have to go a long distance.
     
  20. Marque D

    Marque D Stunt Coordinator

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    [flame suit on: tongue-in-cheek but over all Im serious]
    The biggest problem is that this one set of tires for a race weekend exists in the first place. I don’t know what kind of a corner the teams were pinned into but they should have never agreed. But I’m sick of Bernie and Max and yet again a split in open wheel racing is on the horizon. Which is not a bad thing, F1 buys CART and Ferrari is the official engine supplier running of course Bridgestone tires. I really don't know what's going to happen to the other car manufacturers but I know one thing, BMW is going motorcycle racing. The new “world motorsport” of choice will soon be Moto GP. The sign are there, Valentino Rossi on the Forbes list and Nicky Hayden was named one of People magazine's "50 Hottest Bachelors".

    I know the sports are different and its a cop out to keep bringing it up but you cant really think that Firestone (read Bridgestone) didn’t use at least some of the information it learned at Indy in May for the USGP. So new surface plus no testing for anyone other than Bridgestone means I side with Michelin.

    Also one tire manufacture does not solve the problems. I think competition is good, just look at problems that Goodyear has in the NHRA. I don't know how much interest Michelin or a Bridgestone/Firestone would ever have in making a tire for a fuel car but I think teams should have options.

    This whole thing will be good for the sport in the long run. From here on out everyone (read stick and ball sports fans) will know F1. Who will pay much attention to it's return to the US when they race somewhere important versus the middle of no where. [​IMG] There's nothing wrong with Indianapolis but this race needs to be on the left coast. So count on F1 being @ Laguna Seca next year and maybe back to Long Beach in due time. Getting the USGP away from Indy without adding a second race needed to happen in 07 versus 06 so that Red Bull could move in Scott Speed.

    Danica may not have racked up pro wins but its not like she was a middle of the pack driver in Toyota Atlantic, Formula Ford, and karting who moved up because she's a girl.
     

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