F1 Stinks in US

You’ve got to be kidding me: SI.com – Racing – Michelin tells teams not to race U.S. Grand Prix – Sunday June 19, 2005 6:16PM.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Michael Schumacher climbed from his car to a chorus of boos, the die-hard Formula One fans unable to accept his first victory of the season after more than two-thirds of the field quit in protest over tire safety.

Sparking a fiasco for a series desperate to capture the American audience, Michelin advised the 14 cars it supplies that its tires were unsafe for the final banked turn at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Unable to forge a compromise, all 14 Michelin teams ducked off the track after the warmup lap Sunday, leaving Schumacher and the five other drivers who use Bridgestone tires to race among themselves.

I’m watching this on Tivo after a shift, and am just heartsick.

Seems to me that open wheel racing is run, everywhere, by utter morons. 
F1 was my last hope, having been a big fan of CART racing, which threw a little fit when Tony George invented the IRL, took all the talent and the best teams away, and managed to screw it up so badly the best teams went crawling back to the IRL.  (I’m a fan and can’t find their races to record; tell me where this series is going).  And don’t get me started on IRL; if they’re the future, it’s not going to be fun or entertaining.

At least there was F1, astonishing drivers and cutting edge technology, until today.  (I was willing to forgive the Schumacher/Barichello switcheroo here at Indy last year, as team payback for Ferrari making Barichello yield to team orders earlier in the season). 

I was seriously considering a family trip to Indy for the next F1 race, and now I guarantee I won’t go, and won’t spend a buck on F1 for a long, long time.

An additional thought: Perhaps the Gods of Racing as as pissed at Tony George as I am.


  1. Aerospace Genius says:

    Despite its many flaws, NASCAR is the industry paragon when it comes to providing quality entertainment on que. That’s at least partially because all of the other top-echelon racing series commit colossal blunders on a predictable schedule. However…

    I don’t blame F1 in general. I blame Michelin specifically. The track has been the same configuration for the last 6 years. Only the pavement is new, and every tire manufacturer had an opportunity to provide input to the pavement specifications as well as to perform tests on it after the repave.

    It’s only a 6 degree bank angle. Texas is 25 degrees. Daytona is 36. I don’t get why Michelin couldn’t make tires for it.

    What Michelin should have done is buy tires from Bridgestone and issue them to their teams. There were several instances of exactly that during the Goodyear vs Hoosier tire war in NASCAR.

    The show MUST go on. I’m not interested in hearing safety whines. F1 drivers are paid gazoobles of Euros to assume the risk inherent in racing.

    If you want to see an exciting race in person, go to Texas Motor Speedway or Phoenix for either NASCAR or IRL. There is a lot to be said for being able to see the entire track from the stands.

  2. I’m a big F1 fan too Gruntdoc. Huge CART fan also, and I still hate Tony George with a passion for how he screwed up CART. IRL bores me to sleep.

    Being a broke college student, I had planned to save up and go to the USGP one day. But after yesterday’s fiasco, I’ve lost my faith in F1. Guess I’ll just stick to ALMS and Grand-Am.

  3. AG and Cade, thanks, and I couldn’t agree more.

  4. Greyhawk says:

    There’s a great DVD box set on the glory days of Indy available now. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00084LK3Y/qid=1119639269/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/104-0151804-2175911?v=glance&s=dvd#product-details

    25 bucks in the BX if there’s one available to you.

  5. I know it’s old news but the problem, as ever, remains with the management. F1 management is tired. Roll on the A1GP!