FIA Blames Michelin, Teams for Fiasco

The seven Michelin-equipped teams who refused to race in Sunday's US Grand Prix as well as the French tyre company damaged themselves and Formula One, the sport's governing body has said

FIA Blames Michelin, Teams for Fiasco

As the debate over who should be blamed for the turn of events continued on Monday morning, the FIA issued a statement making it clear that Michelin only had itself to blame for the situation.

"The reason for this debacle is clear," said the statement. "Each team is allowed to bring two types of tyre: one an on-the-limit potential race winner, the other a back-up which, although slower, is absolutely reliable.

"Apparently, none of the Michelin teams brought a back-up to Indianapolis. They subsequently announced they were flying in new tyres from France but then claimed that these too were unsafe.

"What about the American fans?  What about Formula One fans world-wide? Rather than boycott the race the Michelin teams should have agreed to run at reduced speed in turn 13. 

"The rules would have been kept, they would have earned Championship points and the fans would have had a race.  As it is, by refusing to run unless the FIA broke the rules and handicapped the Bridgestone runners, they have damaged themselves and the sport."

Although the FIA has been criticised in some quarters for not wishing to accommodate the requests from the Michelin teams for a chicane to be built prior to Turn 13 to cut speeds, the FIA has indicated that it was the teams who were unwilling to compromise on a speed-limit being laid down at the final corner for the Michelin runners.

"At Indianapolis we were told by Michelin that their tyres would be unsafe unless their cars were slowed in the main corner," added the statement. "We understood and among other suggestions offered to help them by monitoring speeds and penalising any excess.  However, the Michelin teams refused to agree unless the Bridgestone runners were slowed by the same amount. They suggested a chicane.

"The Michelin teams seemed unable to understand that this would have been grossly unfair as well as contrary to the rules.  The Bridgestone teams had suitable tyres.  They did not need to slow down. 

"The Michelin teams' lack of speed through turn 13 would have been a direct result of inferior equipment, as often happens in Formula One."

The FIA's angry stance against Michelin now makes it increasingly likely that the French tyre manufacturer will be summoned by the governing body to explain their actions.

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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