The US GP formation finish

In the wake of the unusual finish to the United States Grand Prix, Autosport.com asked its readers to e-mail in their views and opinions. And, wow, did we get some response! So many of you wanted to express your thoughts on this subject, we won't be able to publish all of them. We will post as many as we can over the next 24 hours. As you can see below, the readers' opinions have plenty of variety: from those who say 'what's the problem?' to others who feel 'cheated and angry'. There's nothing like a good debate

The US GP formation finish

I was disgusted to see the finish of the US GP. As F1 is in a difficult time, with a diminishing fan base and lower viewing rates, the way Schumacher and Barrichello ended the US GP was a travesty. This was especially sad as F1 is trying to build a base in the US.


At least it gives you something to write about in this week's Autosport - apart from this the race was dull, dull, dull - let's not obscure that fact.


Lets face it - this Ferrari incident did not bring the sport into any more disrepute -- it gave us an "incident", which we all so badly needed. The men in red actually had to move into second gear on Sunday and we thank DC for nearly making a race of it. The end was inconsequential and another demonstration of the seasons dominance. Lets give Ferrari a break. Why was Williams not vilified in the papers for committing the cardinal? Shambles? Or Mercedes for a disastrous finishing record?


If he thought he could generate a "dead heat" with the modern timing equipment in use, he's dafter than he looked yesterday afternoon. No - he wanted a close "photo" finish with him in front, but he got it wrong. Yet another own goal to Ferrari. Perhaps if Ferrari were to take up sports car racing again, both drivers could win if they shared the same car!


I think that F1 racing today is less entertaining that it was few years ago, that what happened in Indianapolis was not a big deal. Who cares anymore which Ferrari winns, they are way ahead of everyone. I´m just waiting for the next season to begin, and hopefully we'll have a better F1 year then.


Yet again ferrari lets down formula 1. this time though they did it in the USA where such a practise is not taken lightly. this could cost the 'sport' very dearly. it is time the fia did something about this rediculous situation where one team can totally embarrass the 'sport' and get away with it


I've really no problem with it. Perhaps the other teams should spend less time moaning and more time on R&D.


My views: No punishment, no reprimands, nothing. What's done is done. Senna wasn't punished for giving Berger a win many years ago, as his way of paying Gerhard back for helping him during the season. In any event, as the team management can now control the cars by telemetry, they can stage a result without anyone else being aware. Let drivers race each other; if they want to hand races to others that is their prerogative.


I'm a big Ferrari and Schumacher fan, but the conclusion of the US Grand Prix was a disgrace. In my eyes, ' THE FINISH ' was more of an embarrassment to motor sport than the farce that happened in Austria. I believe both Schumacher and Barrichello should be disqualified from the race and subsequently have thier points deducted. This sort of manipulation by drivers and teams must stop before the sport declines anymore.


So the American crowd didn`t like the formation finish? Of course we never see that happen in Indy racing do we! The sooner certain people remember that the teams have visibly favored one driver over another since the earliest days of motorsport, then we can get back to watching our sport without the interruptions of these idiots. As for Ferrari dominance in F1, the only sensible comment I have heard is that it is up to the other teams to beat them and that they are doing exactly what Williams, McLaren and many other teams have acheived in the past.


I was planning to attend my first F1 Grand Prix this year at Indianapolis, but after watching the finish on television, I'm glad I stayed home and saved my money. It's not just the dominant performance of Ferrari that's made this season so boring, but the relationship between their two drivers. This love-fest between Michael and Rubens has reached the point of absurdity.


In one word: Fantastic! As a Ferrari tifosi it just don't matter who wins in dominant races like this. Finally Michael is doing something that is not a team order and now everyone seems frustrated again! It was at least a surprising thing in another predictable GP!


Ridiculous! No matter what the intention, or the result of any intention or team order, the visual result should be devoid of any artificial interference or pre-orchestrated result. Givern the size of the budget needed to run a Formula 1 Team, they should be able to afford a PR Manager who knows how to make a race look like a race, no matter how many team orders are being executed.


After that finish in Indianapolis, it is abundantly clear that Michael Schumacher has become bored with F1. Stunts like that - making his boredom apparent to the race audience - do nothing to help the sport. Unfortunately I can't see anything on the horizon that will level the playing field next season. So what to do about the Maranello juggernaut?


I'm totally disillusioned by Michael Schumacher's stupid attempt to stage a "dead heat" finish at today's USGP. It detracts from all that is "sporting" in motor racing. While I can agree with the champion that his teammate has made significant sacrifices favoring Michael, and deserves some "payback" for that loyalty, the PHONY finish today makes a mockery of F/1 in America. It makes me really reconsider my status as a fan of Formula One.


If Ferrari is so much better than the rest, let them do want they want. All the criticism is just veiled jealously.


What an image -the hapless double act cynically passing side-by-side over the old lines of bricks -a poignant symbol of a more innocent age.


Give it a break, guys. The Championship is settled all ways, why should Ferrari not have a bit of fun now. Certainly Schuey gave it to Rubens, but it makes no difference to the record, except it evens up the score. It just demonstrates conclusively the dominance of the Ferrari team, in case anybody missed the point!


What a finish, I was in the crowd and there were very few boos and quite frankly the Americans don't have a clue about F1. The result, does it really matter as you will never find out the real truth. No one has ever tried a dead heat before and it was very close, just goes to show how good Michael and Rubens are.


An F1 victory is a precious thing, even after 63 of them. If Schuey chooses to give one of his away, that's his business. I was at the race, and all the participants put on a great show. This was one of the most exciting F1 races I have seen. And frankly, since Schumacher is already champion, it seems to be within the spirit of "team" competition to let Rubens win.


I think that Michael Schumacher effectively set the stage for Jean Todt's first GP win, which will happen in Suzuka. I can see Schumacher lapping the entire field and then just meters from the finish line stopping so Jean Todt can jump in his lap and drive, taking the chequered flag and becoming the oldest GP winner in the history of F1 (another new record for Ferrari).


I just returned from the USGP. Boring, is the only thing I can say. The Ferrari ending proves to the fans that it's not a sport, F1 is a manufacture parade. I'll skip next year's race.


I was actually quite amused by results of the staged finish at the USGP. I think it was an honest mistake by Micheal - watching the race live on TV it really appeared that he kept slowing more and more. I think he just slowed a bit to much! (He did look a wee bit sheepish in the press conference, no?)


Plain and simply, the arrogance of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari have once again been allowed to taint F1. It was a case of thumbing their noses at the rest of the field in a kind of "look how much better than the opposition we are" attitude. It doesn't matter a jot whether it was a mistake or not, it still brings the sport into disrepute and I'm sure the fans booing in the grandstands would agree. This only serves to strengthen the opinion of many fans, myself included, that as a spectacle F1 is already dead and can only mean that more people will turn their backs on the sport.


Well I`m glad it went horribly wrong! This year has really been an absolute joke at the finish of races. It may well have been a lack of judgement just like on the formation lap when Michael missed his grid position. But it really does make Formula One look like a COMPLETE JOKE!


I really think that we should get off Ferrari's, Michael's and Rubens' backs. Whatever happened here it was within the team, not between two teams, a là McLaren and Williams, Jerez '97. I do not believe this was "pay-back for Austria", and I do not think that Michael got it "horribly wrong". I am sure Michael would have preferred to win by 0.01secs than lose by it. He simply screwed up but was able to laugh about it; indeed his reaction shows a man who is not as motivated by records as many believe he is.


What is all the fuss about? Ferrari messed up. It was hilarious! Until yesterday, I hadn't laughed out loud at a Grand Prix since Coulthards 'hand signals' to Schumy in France last year.


I speak on the behalf of a group of fans in Calabassas, California. We have woken many an early morning (5am) to view the races only to be disappointed on more than one occasions. We are sick and tired of this game that Ferrari has been playing with F1. They do something stupid, thinking that the fans wouldn't notice or for that matter care about and when they get "found out" they start making excuses for their actions (dead heat..dumb move!). Thank god this season is over, one of the worst we've experienced in all our years of following F1.


It didn't appear to me to be a "fix" at all, never mind one by Ferrari. It appeared to be a bit of well-meaning mischief on the part of Michael, who is a decent fellow and no doubt is still unhappy about the mess in Austria. Now, for one thing, he can feel on at least even terms with Rubens again - and, for another, he can enjoy watching the press turn themselves inside out trying to figure out how to make him the villain, again. He shouldn't have done it, and Rubens will be less happy when he has a chance to think about it. But spare us the sanctimonious claptrap about "real racing" - the race was over, motorsport is not hurt by acts of whimsy or generosity, and it is after all Michael's decision to make.


I really thought that after Austria 2001, and then 2002, the FIA was going to do something to stop this nonsense Ferrari is doing. I said to my friends that it was my belive that If they do not do something to stop this teamorders I guarantee you that the fans such as myself would stop watching F1 altogether. It is enough that we have watched in my opinion the most boring season that I can remember, with Ferrari wining everything, that we have to stand charades like the one we saw today. Don't you think the sport is hurting? I strongly believe it is.


Schuey was foolish - either he won, which he didn't - or he gave it to Rubens - which wasn't clear. And he didn't clear it up at the press conference - another owngoal for F1. Why not fine them both $10m - just so that they don't do it again.


Hilarious finish to the GP. I think ITV and the british should just get over themselves. Ferrari are so good they can play around (Because everyone else is so slow). It doesn't matter who won. The fact is they still trashed the rest of the field either which way. No riging or bring the sport into disrepute to me. Stop taking it so seriously for once and see that it was an amusing error in rubens favour. There wasn't any conspiracy this time. Just an honest if not silly mistake.


It's no problem in my book - just payback for Austria. Now no one can claim that Schumacher didn't really earn 10 wins this season. Ferrari's actions are not embarrassing. What is embarrassing is the performance of the other teams. Much more shameful than Ferrari are Williams and McLaren drivers who run into each other trying to be on top.


Schumacher has clearly lost any sense of what sport is about. The responsibility of the competitors is to COMPETE, not to decide at the last minute what result suits his or her own conscience.As a deliberate act, this is deplorable and pathetic and Schumacher should be punished heavily. We don't watch Formula 1 to endure Schumacher's theatrics, we want a race, even if it means he wins every race!


I have no issue with team orders. All of Ferrari's tactics thus far are per the sporting rules. However, after this year's strange events, today was the first 'real' unfettered race between Michael and Rubens. They should have played it out to the end. What was Michael thinking? COme on guys, let sport be sport. The U.S. fans should be recompensed for a less than world class ending.


Formula 1 desperately needs suppprt. With millions of viewers falling by the way side every race, it was absolutely crucial that Formula 1 put on a proper motor race in front of the American fans. The American fans are used to the hard fought pure racing in NASCAR, CART and IRL. How many times do we see fixed races in those series? Yet again, Ferrari blew it for Formula 1. People pay to watch proper racing, not a pantomime. From listening to Michael easing off the power before the final turn, it is more than obvious that what happened was deliberate. Regardless of whether they wanted the closest ever finish or a pay back for Rubens, the losers are the sport and its fans.


If I'd known they were going to do that I wouldn't have bothered watching it.


Today's finish just confirms that F1 ceased to be a sport a long time ago and is now jus a bad circus act. What a way to impress the American public.


This was clearly a cock-up. And in America, where F1 popularity needs to be encouraged, a pretty embarrassing affair.


Jacques Villeneuve made a comment earlier this week about the legitimacy of the IRL and how the results were manufactured. Perhaps, he should have waited until after this race before making himself and F1 look foolish, yet again.


Why is it that Schumacher always seems to be at the center of the strangest finishes in recent formula one history? Britain 98, where he took a penalty in the pits effectively after he had crossed the finish line to win. Austria 02, where he was farcifully handed the win by his team. And now this. I didn't know quite what to think after I saw the finish today, but after the antics we've seen so far this year I can't say that I'm the least bit surprised.


Whats the problem? Until every one else comes up withthe goods why shouldn`t the ferrari drivers stage whatever formation finishes they please. They won easily so why pretend otherwise.


I am a Ferrari Tifosi through and Through and it really didn't matter who won the race as long as it was red and we had a good spectacle. On this occasion MS probably wanted a close formation finish but got it slightly wrong...Either way Ferrari are dominant and the others should be pushing them hard if you want to see less of this kind of showmanship....


Perfectly justified, witness Montoya's outrageous move on Ralf that ended in
tears for the TEAM!

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