Have to admit I’ve long since stopped being an avid follower of the Eccles cake circus and many more will share my view following this weekends disaster at Indianapolis. F1 really did need to conquer America to be a truly global event (and of course to tap into all those sponsorship $) but that is now all but a pipedream.
What started as an embarrassing mistake by Michelin, turned into a stupid stalemate which resulted in only 6 cars running in the event. The problem? Due to the high speeds attainable at the circuit the cars needed to run with tyres rated to over 200 mph. Bridgestone had such tyres, Michelin did not. The simple solution was to put in a chicane to slow cars at the fastest part of the circuit, which would have made it safe for all. But, as is so typical in F1, no compromise could be reached and consequently only those cars with Bridgestone tyres were able to safely run, all others were withdrawn.
So, at the end of the parade lap, 14 cars returned to the pits and 3 teams ‘competed’: Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi.
So why was a sensible compromise not reached? We can only surmise and can lay blame where we like, but it seems that Ferrari and the FIA refused to agree to the chicane. Some have commented that they have an unhealthily close relationship, others that it gave Schumacher his only win of the season and the team some much needed points in the constructors championship.
I think the 120,000 fans at the track who paid good money to see a farce will have their own comments and they aren’t likely to be either complementary or include promises of coming back next year. I think the advertisers who stumped up the money for the commercials aren’t going to be fighting over the prime slots next year. I think the Cable companies who ran the event on their sports channels aren’t going to be bidding for the chance to show F1 next year either – unless they have space on the comedy channel.
In my view we needed no further proof that F1 is so far removed from real motor racing that it is now a waste of space. But no doubt Eccles Cake and Miserly will drop Indianapolis from the calendar and find another third world country still addicted to cigarettes who will willingly accommodate their greed. Shame on them all for not having the courage to put politics aside, compromise, agree and for once, go racing.