When I heard on Saturday that Michelin had admitted to a manufacturing/design defect in the tires they supplied to the bulk of the teams, I knew there was going to be trouble.
For one, Ferrari was going to make the most of this. It has been said that their lack of form this year was mainly down to the poor performance of their own tires from Bridgestone. (Which is a whole post on its own, since Ferrari made sure they have near enough exclusive rights to the tire data from their cars, where as the Michelin teams share their post race information to allow better design of future tires, but enough on that for now).
When I heard that a number of suggestions had been made to prevent what eventually happened, I knew even then that common sense would no prevail. There can be no common sense while the current individuals in charge of F1 exist. There would be no sensible outcome because there are those who will always play politics and putting themselves above those who the sport is ultimately for, “The Fans”.
I do not doubt that the cause of the problem lies with Michelin. Nor do they, or did they at any stage. In fact they should be commended for their honesty and applauded for the integrity that they have shown during this incident.
Putting safety first was their ultimate aim, and I don’t believe it had anything to do with the possible litigation had such an accident occurred. I believe they would have done the same anywhere in the world. Once Michelin stood up an admitted they had a major problem, it was up to the likes of Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosely to come up with a rescue plan to give the 140,000 odd fans what they had traveled to see.
After driver safety had been put first, there should have no doubt in my mind that the spectators whether it be those in attendance or those millions around the world via the media should have been placed second. A race was planned, a race should have been held.
A number of suggestions as to how they race could have been run were discussed, but Ferrari, Bernie Ecclestone or Mosely (who wasn’t even there!) blocked them all.
Politics was played at the expense of the fans, but it will be F1 that will ultimately suffer. I doubt if F1 will return to the Brickyard. Several weeks before over 400,000 fans were there to see a Britain win the Brickyard 500. On Sunday, 140,000 fans arrived to see a race, but watched a farce.
People are saying that Michelin should pay the fans back their money. Rubbish. Its about time that those lining their pockets paid out.
There could have and should have been a race in some form.
Yes we know, by the rules it was Michelins fault. But there were options provided that would have allowed the Bridgestone users to profit as they would have done.
Those in charge wanted to apply the letter of the law without budging an inch. Forget about those who are most important, “The Fans”. Let us apply the letter of the law regardless.
I am sick to death of Max Mosely and Bernie Ecclestones involvement in the sport. Heck, I don’t even like using the word “sport” in the same sentence as their names. They play nothing but politics at the expense of the real fans.