Whiting: Indy Solution was Possible

FIA's Charlie Whiting has told the Formula One teams he has no doubt that a solution was possible at Indianapolis last month, which would have allowed a full grid to compete in the United States Grand Prix. But the race director criticised the teams, saying their attempts to impose the chicane solution was "a fundamental mistake."

Whiting: Indy Solution was Possible

In a letter that Whiting has written to the teams this week, obtained by Autosport-Atlas, he says he believes that the sport's current regulations would not have needed breaking to have resolved the team's safety concerns without the need for unpopular options like using the pitlane each lap.

"Having had time to reflect on Indianapolis, I believe the fundamental mistake was that Michelin (or a team) did not come to us with their problem in accordance with the International Sporting Code, but instead sought to impose a solution," wrote Whiting.
 
"When we had to reject this solution for reasons which I hope everyone now understands, some of the teams asked the FIA president to intervene.

"This would have been contrary to the ISC, which gives supreme authority at a race to the stewards (Article 141), but none to the president of the FIA. The FIA president has no role under the ISC and, as I understand he pointed out to the team principals, to assume one would have put him at personal risk in the American courts as well as imperilling the FIA.

"Had Michelin come to us with their problem and told us their maximum safe speed in Turn 13, I would immediately have called a meeting of the team managers, with whom I normally work. 

"I have no doubt we would have found a solution - I myself can think of four possibilities before facing the choice of using the pitlane each lap or withdrawing from the race.  With the help of the team managers I am sure this list of four would have grown and all options could then have been presented to the stewards."

Whiting went on to state that even though the full extent of Michelin's problems was not known until 0600 on Sunday, he believed that still left enough time to have found a solution that would have been fair to the Bridgestone teams.

The fact that Whiting believes a solution was possible goes some way to letting the teams know that if there is a repeat of such events in the future, then if they stick to the sport's regulations there will be no need for the kind of stand-off that happened at Indianapolis.

Whiting added: "In a similar situation in the future, I strongly suggest we stick to the ISC.  It is based on many years of experience at motor sport events of all kinds.  It works well, particularly when things are difficult."

Earlier this week, the FIA's rules proposals for 2008 included a new regulation that allows tyre manufacturer to have access to an 'emergency' tyre in the event that the two specifications they take to the track prove unsafe.




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