Theissen Cautious on Extra Race Idea

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen has expressed reservations about the idea of holding a non-Championship race in the United States

Theissen Cautious on Extra Race Idea

The seven Michelin teams who withdrew from the Indianapolis race have offered to race for free after the end of the season.

Theissen said his company supported any action that could be seen as a gesture to American fans.

However, he cautioned that it might be misguided.

"One certainly has to ask if it would be the right way to do it," he said. "We go from Sao Paulo to Suzuka to Shanghai and to then go to the U.S...it's a question of whether the fans would be interested in having a non-championship race after the end of the Championship.

"We should only do something that is appreciated by the fans and that would be best judged by Tony George."

The season finishes in China on October 16, meaning that any race would be likely to be held either in late October or November when conditions are usually cold.

Some 120,000 disappointed and angry fans at the Brickyard watched Bridgestone-equipped teams Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi stage a six-car 'race' with Ferrari's world champion Michael Schumacher the winner.

Michelin have already offered to refund the race day ticket holders and have said they will also pay for the first 20,000 tickets for next year's race.

Mercedes motorsport head Norbert Haug feared the chances of such a race happening were "probably not that likely" but he said it was a "great offer".

Frank Williams, whose Williams team are powered by BMW engines at least for the rest of this year, said he supported the proposal: "It's certainly a possibility," he told reporters.

"I would be surprised if the Bridgestone guys came along but I'm sure they'd be welcome."

The United States provide more than 60 percent of Williams' sponsorship revenues while it is also now carmaker BMW's biggest market. Williams estimated at up to 300,000 pounds ($534,400) the cost to his team of attending such a race.

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