Stoddart: Points Mean Nothing

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart took neither pride nor pleasure from his struggling Formula One team's first double points finish in 16 years

The Australian said Sunday's U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis was an event to forget -- a race in name only, with just six cars starting after all seven of the Michelin-equipped teams withdrew.

"Today did not happen as far as I'm concerned," he said after Dutchman Christijan Albers finished fifth and Austrian Patrick Friesacher sixth.

"I don't care about the points, I'm not in the slightest bit interested, this was a sad day for Formula One.

"The damage is immeasurable ... you wouldn't be surprised if they didn't want to have another grand prix here and I don't blame them one little bit."

"I don't take any pride or pleasure from the points."

Stoddart, whose team last scored a point at the U.S. Grand Prix in 2004, offered his apologies to all race fans at the Brickyard and around the world "for the farce that took place at Indianapolis this afternoon".

Impossible Position

Nine of the 10 teams, all but Ferrari, had agreed in the morning not to race unless a temporary chicane was installed before the final turn to slow cars down.

They had offered to let the three Bridgestone teams start ahead of them and even not to score points but the idea was ruled out by the governing body.

"The only reason that the Minardis went out was because Jordan didn't adhere to an agreement they'd made earlier about not racing and that left us in an impossible position," Stoddart said.

"Today Formula One lost sight of anything other than politics.

"If anyone thinks this was about safety, come on," he added. "It was anti-safety. Putting in a chicane was a safety measure.

"The argument could have been about whether it was a points scoring or non points-scoring race but we would have still entertained the crowd.

"What I witnessed today was disgraceful and in any other walk of business there would be calls for the person who did this to resign," he continued.

"The cure was there and it was not taken up by the top person in Formula One who had the power to allow it to happen, in my opinion."

FIA president Max Mosley, the clear target of Stoddart's words, turned the focus on Michelin instead.

"It seems that the Michelin teams failed to bring a back-up tyre as usual with them to Indianapolis," said the Briton, who did not attend the race.

"As a result they had a performance problem and asked for the circuit to be changed to overcome their difficulty.

"The FIA offered them options which would have allowed them to compete safely within the limitations of their tyres. For some reason they chose not to accept these options."

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