Just rewatched the 2005 USA GP.

C53A_4G63T

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I forgot how much of a clusterfuck that race was. It was surreal. You could tell Bernie had no control or knew what the fuck to do and all the drivers and team principals were furious. I couldn't imagine being Button or one of the other racers having to hold their tongue because of retaliation from their teams. I would suggest to anyone to re watch that race and see how far we have come.
 

Red_Bull

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I dont think F1 learned its lesson that day and the potential for a repeat episode is very real.
 

hajj

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I dont think F1 learned its lesson that day and the potential for a repeat episode is very real.
There is only one tire maker in F1 now and also in 2005 the tires had to last for a full race, so they learnt something. An incident like this could happen again, but I doubt it would affect so many teams at the same time.
 

Red_Bull

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I didn't mean it might be tyre based, it could be something completely different. The issue of the USGP of '05 was more political than any issue with the Michelin tyres. They could've found a solution if they wanted to, and there's just as much politics in the sport now as there was then, although thankfully Mosley is gone. There's always potential for a divisive issue to arise, and Ferrari and Red Bull arent part of FOTA anymore dont forget.
 

hajj

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FOTA is weaker than in 2009 that is for sure. However Bernie could also be arrested in two weeks, if he comes to Germany, which would shift the power balance in F1 heavily towards the teams.
 

Senninha25

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Personally it was a bittersweet race for me. I think 7 years on, it's clear that if the fans could choose between whether to put a chicane on Turn...whatever, the final turn, or have 14 cars pull into the pits on the warm-up lap, they (and me, a Portuguese man who was happy to see Monteiro finishing 3rd, included) would choose the chicane anytime. Racing with 20 cars and barely any overtaking action was boring as hell back then (V10 engines were always there to save the day, though), imagine what racing with 6 cars must have been! Was the 2005 US GP a killing blow to having two tyre manufacturers in F1? Maybe. Was it a killing blow to racing in Indianapolis? Maybe.
 

hajj

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Ecclestone paid a $44m bribe to a German banker, the banker in turn sold their stake in F1 to CVC, which was Ecclestone's preferred choice. Ecclestone claims that he was extorted into paying the bribe, making him the victim.
 

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Personally it was a bittersweet race for me. I think 7 years on, it's clear that if the fans could choose between whether to put a chicane on Turn...whatever, the final turn, or have 14 cars pull into the pits on the warm-up lap, they (and me, a Portuguese man who was happy to see Monteiro finishing 3rd, included) would choose the chicane anytime.
The fans were not the problem. It was the FIA (and by that I mean Max) refusing to budge on the chicane proposal, continually bringing up irrelevant sporting analogies about how it's not fair that they would be allowed to compete when they brought the wrong equipment - even though the Michelin teams offered to race for no championship points, just to put a show on for the fans.

Michelin created the problem, but they and the teams offered the solution to the FIA, and it was turned down.

I'm still fucking embarrassed to call myself an F1 fan when I speak to an American.

As critical as we should all be of Max, I can't see how Todt would be any different in the same situation; Max wasn't even present at the race but Todt's first action as FIA president was to hire someone else to do the job in his place, so don't for a minute think that it wouldn't happen again - it'd just require the same kind of ego damaging situation to arise.
 

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I love how in every interview after Max brings up that no one suggested they use the pit-in lane, well why the fuck didn't you suggest it then? Oh because you would probably shoot that down too.
 

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To begin with, the whole rules in 2005 were carefully planned to stop Ferrari's 5 year dominance. The lasting a whole race distance tyres was probably Michelin's idea and the Bridgestones sucked at it. Then comes the US GP where there's banking or whatever the problem was, and Michelin says "hey one of our tyres might blow up cos we didn't quite do our homework".
So the solution was to cut the fastest part of the circuit with a chicane or something, giving the Michelin guys an unfair advantage. Obviously Ferrari and the only other 2 teams with Bridgestones wanted none of this, cos why would they be harmed cos someone else hadn't done their jobs?

If the Michelin teams really feared for their drivers safety and wanted to race anyway just for the show without earning any points, why didn't they race anyway and just instruct their pilots not to take the banking part of the circuit flat out? They would finish obviously behind the first 6 places and earn no points. Since the first 8 places would get points, maybe run cars which would be disqualified for technical reasons at the end of the GP, to discourage racing.
The Michelin teams were also given the option by Charlie Whiting to pit constantly for new tyres. It was allowed under the rules if driver safety was at stake. Michelin said their tyres could last 10 laps so, they could have raced, in theory with 5 or 6 pitstops. THAT would have been fair all around AND a show for the spectators.
Here's another thing they could have done, race for 9 laps and then mass retire into the pits. At least they would have put somewhat of a show.

There were a lot of options and fuck ups on both ends. The problem was created by Michelin, and the proposed solutions were not that great anyway. The very few plausible solutions were shot down because they wouldn't be fair. The fact that Mosley and Ecclestone not always have the fans in mind is well known and surprises nobody, I think.

Here's the formation lap and the start, to remind ourselves:


Also to remind ourselves how nice F1 cars used to look like :'(
 
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vikiradTG2007

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Michelin said their tyres could last 10 laps so, they could have raced, in theory with 5 or 6 pitstops. THAT would have been fair all around AND a show for the spectators.
Here's another thing they could have done, race for 9 laps and then mass retire into the pits. At least they would have put somewhat of a show.
Of those two, only the second one would have been feasible, the teams were restricted in 2005 by that regulation to THREE, yes, count them, 3 sets of dry tires per weekend.
 

mpicco

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Ok so then they could have raced around half the race distance, if each tyre was good for 10 laps. If they wanted to put on more of a show, use the wet ones as well, make some smoke, I dunno. Still, it was Michelin's fault. They had had problems in this very same corner the year before and did nothing to rectify their tyres.
 

GraemeH

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The "they could just have slowed down" argument is a complete non-starter for two reasons;

1. Safety. You can't have some cars going 200mph around a corner with other cars going 150mph. The closing speeds are what increases the chances of very bad accidents in all motorsport (ever watch something called Le Mans..?)

2. The suggestion ignores the reality of a racing driver's competitiveness and instinct. Here's what would have happened even disregarding the above safety issue;
-Everyone decides that 140mph was the safe speed to go around that corner.
-Driver A realizes that, hey, everyone else is going 140, I only need to go 141 and I'll gain an advantage, and hey, 1 extra mph isn't going to make a big difference.
-Driver B sees Driver A going 141, decides that hey, he's not going to be disadvantaged by that ungentlemanly behaviour, and 1 extra mph again on top of his speed isn't going to makethat big a difference.
...
Some laps later
...
-Drivers racing at or very near full speed.
-Driver Z's tyre pops, he hits the wall at Indianapolis and breaks his back as Ralf Shumacher did, maybe he doesn't walk again.

The "they could slow down" argument is utterly naive.
 

mpicco

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The "they couldn't have found a way to race without modifying the track" is even more naive. If they were willing to lay no claim to points, where would the competitiveness kick in? there's nothing at stake.
Turn 13 in Indianapolis is the banked turn part of the oval track. A 150 mph and a 200 mph car can fit through there without breaking a sweat (ever watch something called Indycar?)
 

GraemeH

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If they were willing to lay no claim to points, where would the competitiveness kick in? there's nothing at stake.
ignores the reality of a racing driver's competitiveness and instinct.


A 150 mph and a 200 mph car can fit through there without breaking a sweat (ever watch something called Indycar?)
Indycar races at Indianapolis don't have cars with 50mph+ speed differentials.
In fact they explicitly disallow it; both Lotus powered cars were disqualified from this year's Indy 500 on safety grounds as they couldn't maintain a high enough average speed to be safe alongside the faster cars. And that's only a 15mph speed differential.
In fact here's a relevant article; Jean Alesi says he feels unsafe in his slow car at Indianapolis..
 
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mpicco

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How can you not understand the difference between having slow cars mixed with fast cars and everyone competing with eachother, with having the slow cars completely out of the competition?
I'm sure there could have been an agreement where the fast cars would use the normal racing line and the slow cars could use a higher lane or something, rejoining as carefully as if they were exiting the pits. The fact remains, it was not an impossibility to arrange some sort of better solution (other than the shitty ones they sent the FIA's way) to put on a better show for the spectators.

The very bottom line and this is what you can't get your head around: Michelin had a serious accident due to tyre failure in that track 1 year before and the tyres weren't fixed. This is nobody's but Michelin's fault. Installing a chicane would indeed be unfair to Bridgestone, who took the care of doing a strong enough tyre to cope with the loads of the track. There are no politics in this decision, it's what anyone would do. In no respectable sport you can punish the guy who did not make the mistake.
 
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