Michelin unrepentant after Indy farce

Posted: June 21, 2005 in F1

The Michelin seven did not run after Michelin declared their tyres unsafe. It precipitated the sport’s darkest hour, but Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier was adamant they had no other choice.

“Anything we have heard so far was more on the side of ‘congratulations for the responsibility, you made the right decision’ and so on,” he declared.

“You ruin your reputation if you do stupid things. If you race with a problem in the tyre that could send the drivers in the wall then you ruin your reputation because you are knowledgeable and you are responsible.

“You have made the best you can, we do a good job at other places. In this situation we did not have the right tyre for the conditions, but fine it happens to everyone.”

We have an idea of what happened, and we keep going with our investigation. If you race with a problem in the tyre that could send the drivers in the wall then you ruin your reputation, because you are responsible.”

The company line was held by Frederic Henry-Biabaud, Michelin’s deputy director of competition.

“We are absolutely not embarrassed about our decision, although we have regrets for the fans and for the drivers.

“We were professional to bear in mind primarily the safety of the drivers. We had no choice. Imagine what would have been the reaction if we’d allowed the drivers to race and something bad happened.”

* Michelin’s share price dropped by 3 per cent on Monday in Paris.

My say:
This one will be in the sports history books. Bernie may be mad but who cares. Which is more important the drivers’ lives or FIA having to save their face / the fans / money. I think Michelin & the team principals have done the right thing of not racing. They have argued their cause & gave their reasoning but the pro-Ferrari officials wouldn’t listen. This is a stupid & farcical way of Ferrari winning the race. If you were in their shoes would you have done the same thing. What if an incident similar to the one which lead to Senna’s death happen at Indy track? Who would you blame? What would the FIA do? They would call you to court! At the end of the day, FIA would still win. There is no use reasoning with them. What if Ferrari had the same problem with the rest of the teams? Would FIA changed their mind & rulings? I don’t think so!

This is Nigel Mansell’s response to the US GP race.
“You cannot blame Michelin. I thought it was very brave of them to declare their concern over the integrity of their product and advise the teams.

“You cannot really blame the teams, who had to react to the advice they were given and not risk the safety of their drivers.

“When the safety of drivers and, possibly, supporters comes into question, you don’t mess about. You do whatever is necessary in order to race. A compromise had to be found. And that compromise was a chicane being installed at that final fast corner. Simple and effective. It has been done before. It could have been done again overnight on Saturday and the race could have gone ahead and the public been entertained.”

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