Michelin Runners Still in Doubt for Race

Michelin have confirmed that their seven teams will run in Saturday afternoon's qualifying session for the United States Grand Prix but admitted they do not yet know whether they will take part in the race

Michelin Runners Still in Doubt for Race

The French tyre company issued set-up suggestions, including camber angles and tyre pressures, to their partner teams ahead of the Saturday morning practice session to push their tyres into a safe zone.

But when asked if there is certainty to be a race at Indianapolis on Sunday afternoon the director of Michelin Formula One activities Nick Shorrock said: "We don't know yet."

The seven teams' technical directors had a meeting with Michelin bosses on Saturday lunchtime, just one hour before the qualifying session, to discuss the plans for the rest of the weekend.

Michelin are trying to convince the FIA to allow them to fly over a new specification of tyre in time for the race but those tyres will not arrive in time for qualifying.

The Michelin runners set impressive pace considering the changes that had to be implemented in the morning practice sessions but Michelin say they will not be happy until they can prove the tyre is safe.

"The teams wanted to know why we had that problem, we have tried to explain that to them and they accepted to go away and work with us using the specifications we gave them," said Shorrock. "We have had no feedback yet.

"Until we can fully understand why we had those difficulties yesterday afternoon we are continuing testing here and in Clermont-Ferrand because it is important to us that we can understand why the tyre failed."

Michelin are unlikely to have their request for new tyres accepted because the situation cannot be described as Force Majeur because Bridgestone have suffered no similar problems with their tyres.

FIA safety delegate Charlie Whiting explained in the paddock that bringing new tyres would contravene four technical regulations ­- a different physical tyre, a different specification tyre, exceeding the number of sets in a weekend and not nominating the race tyre before Saturday morning.

He confirmed that the FIA regulations state that "if there are less than 12 cars available for an event it can be cancelled" but such an occurrence would be a disaster for Formula One in North America.

Bridgestone are distancing themselves from the situation and a spokesman said: "The decision on whether Michelin can bring a different specification rests with the FIA and we respect that."

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