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Reader Comments about the 2005 U.S. Grand Prix

Subject: U.S. Grand Prix
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 19:29:50 +0200


I am a Dutch motorsportsjournalist and you really have a great site concerning Indy. Here you have my personal view about what happend. About 20 years ago I covered several F1 races for several magazines but I pulled the plug already on it in 1985 because I could not live with their mentality. After Ayrton Senna's death I hardly followed Formula l.

Formula 1 has never taken care about the fans, the people in the grandstands or whatever. They have only taken care about themselves. Yesterday has proven that. They with all their millions were not capable to find a solution. When the surface at Spa broke up in 1985 it was another era, but they were in a quick solution to postpone the race to September. With all their millions this appears to be impossible nowadays.

I won't go into the IRL/Champcar discussion, but I think Formula l has expanded this. Why. Because Openwheelfans will totally turn their back on this and NASCAR will take an advantage in the long term in your country. They have destroyed a lot. They also have damaged a lot of goodwill for European business products yesterday. I am sure a lot of fans will turn their back on European produced cars/products as a result. Sponsors will turn their money elsewhere. They can chose whatever sport they want they like to support.

However one point you cannot compare Formula l to European Racing, because the DTM Touring Car Series, the Le Mans 24 hrs, Nürburgring 24 Hrs, Spa 24 Hrs etc. This is totally different from Formula l. Fans who attend those meetings won't go to F1 races, because the drivers and teams are much closer to them than the Formula clowns. In my opinion F1 fans do not care about auto racing, they know nothing about the sport's history. In the past few years a lot of civilized soccer fans have dropped into it. F1 is for the more civilized soccer fans, the rest of the racing world for the people who understand the sport.

Best regards.

willem j.staat


Subject: Open letter to the
Date: Sat, 25 Jun 2005 13:46:11 -0500

To whom it may concern,

As I listen to the interview with Pat Symonds Renault Engineering Director call 'North America, a country.we need as part of our world championship' I realize these are not the sharpest sticks in the box. That they can not help it, when they heap such insults on the assembled racing fans, the citizens of Mexico, United States of America, Canada, and the history and tradition of racing. It is because of their ignorance.

They are ignorant to the racing axiom of 'Run What Ya Brung' that is the backbone and tradition of American motor sports. At our local short tracks, tires are an issue from time to time. If the Hoosiers don't work, you put Goodyear on it and RACE.

F1 teams and have been in their ivory tower so long and heaped with so much money that they have lost touch with the roots of motor sports. Perhaps even the roots of F1. Was every car that Fangio fielded perfect for the racing conditions every time? I doubt it. Was every car and tire that Enzo put on the grid ready for every corner? Hardly. The founders of their sport are rolling in their graves. These men put together the best car they could, and on race day ran them as hard as they could. Usually on tires that were very scary for what they were doing on them. They understood that part of racing is the skill to save the car and tires so that it is still running at the end of the race. They ran what they brung and made the best of it.

This group of Michelin teams is a bunch of crybabies who caused their own problems. When Indy was open for tire testing, all of the Bridgestone teams came and tested tires. As I understand it only 2 of the Michelin cars (not teams) did. Michelin and their teams caused their problem by not preparing. The track and that turn, has nearly a century of history. If Michelin cannot prepare a tire for that turn, it is due to lack of effort.

The statement "It is the ultimate in classlessness." was wrongly applied to the fans assembled that day and added insult to their injury. I chalk it up to more F1 Ivory Tower talk. It does however correctly apply to Michelin and their teams. Yes overcome in their anger, the fans did unavoidably express it at the Bridgestone teams, only because the cowards of Michelin would not face them.

Michelin and their ilk owe the fans over Twenty Six Million dollars in refunds. Tony George and Indy is a victim in this scenario. He has been put as the target of massive refund requests. Yet he has the rare opportunity to go from villain of the American open wheel community, to the hero. Tony would benefit greatly by the PR, if he were to lead the class action lawsuit on behalf of his ticket holders against Michelin and those responsible. Yes he would probably be the target of Bernie, the FIA, Michelin, and some of the teams. But what can he afford to lose more? The fans or the now worthless USGP?

My hat off to Ferrari, Jordan, and Minardi. They have suffered their own tire problems earlier this year and did not cry about it. They have the right to not agree to rules changes that would hurt their team and their race reparation. They did not ask for, or receive them when they had trouble. They just suffered the consequences and took it upon themselves to prepare better next time. They arguably, deservedly had their day.

Goodyear is currently on my vehicle. For the next set, Bridgestone and Goodyear will definitely be considered. The one thing I can guarantee is, no Michelin tires will ever grace any vehicle I ever own. In the end, that is what it is all about, isn't it guys. 'Race on Sunday. Sell on Monday.' Ignorance may obscure that.

Brad J. McElvain
Kansas City, Mo USA

Subject: U.S. Grand Prix
Date: Fri, 9 July 2005

Hi Dan,

My wife and I travelled from England to watch the 2005 US Grand Prix. The efforts which the Indianapolis Speedway put into staging the event were fantastic. They did not deserve a series of slow pace parade laps put on solely by Bridgestone runners. US spectators were robbed of the spectacle of seeing some of the worlds best drivers race head to head in technologically advanced machinery.

As a keen Formula 1 supporter, I do not agree with the comments made by your other correspondents. Politics rather than Michelin were the cause of all the problems. The Michelin runners were prepared to race with a chicane and provide a proper show for the fans whilst paying the penalty of not scoring points in the championship. Although not ideal, the fans would have seen a proper race on the day without taking unnecessary risks to drivers and the public. The FIA should be ashamed of themselves.

Our only hope is that Indianapolis will give the American public another chance to see Formula One at its best. If they're back I can assure you that we and many others from around the world will be as well. Rather than a refund, why not give us tickets to next years event?

Roger Hawkins

Indy 500 F.A.Q.

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