Monday, June 20, 2005

Embarrassing Indianapolis show 

With only three teams competing today's United States Grand Prix, Ferrari and Michael Schumacher took their first victory of the year, followed by Barrichello and Monteiro. The Portuguese driver was very happy with his podium place, while both Ferrari drivers seemed to be somehow ashamed to be on the podium.

There has been a problem with the Michelin tires since the Friday crash of Ralf Schumacher. The German went off because of a left rear tire blow in the banking, smashing with high speed into the wall. However as last year saw Ralf sit out the GP, this time it would be all the Michelin teams.

The problem basically was that Michelin could not understand or reproduce what had happened with Ralf's Toyota. The tire failed under stress but without any signs beforehand. Basically it ruptured at the outer edge where the thread and the wall meet.

Michelin decided the same day to fly Barcelona spec tired to the circuit, but as they were only available as of Sunday morning, qualifying had to be run with the potentially dangerous tires. They were however not allowed to use them as qualifying was already run with the other tires, which must be the same as those run for the complete race.

Another suggestion was to install a chicane after turn 13 to reduce speeds in the banked corner. This also got rejected by the FIA stating it to be unfair towards the Bridgestone drivers. It was however Ferrari who blocked this as both Minardi and Jordan agreed with such a solution, possibly including some penalty for the Michelin shod teams.

When the teams had finally started the warm-up lap prior to the race, it seemed that the race would go on rather normal. However, Michelin did not allow any team to run with these tires. The eventual result ended up in all Michelin teams going straight back into the pit lane leaving just six cars on the grid.

Spectators immediately began to leave the stands and throwing bottles onto the track. The race went on without anything happened with Schumacher winning a close battle with Barrichello. Tiago Monteiro was the only man on the podium who was visibly happy, while Karthikeyan was fourth. The Minardi drivers came in 5th and 6th.

Because only there drivers completed more than 90% of the total distance, points for 7th and 8th position are not handed out.

Here are the results:

1 M. Schumacher Ferrari 1:29:43.181
2 R. Barrichello Ferrari + 1.005
3 T. Monteiro Jordan + 1 laps
4 N. Karthikeyan Jordan + 1 laps
5 C. Albers Minardi + 2 laps
6 P. Friesacher Minardi + 2 laps

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