How did it all start? Friday in free practice, Ralf Schumacher's Toyota went spinning on the final infamous turn on the banked part of the F-1 Track which is derived from the high speed oval used for Indy-car racing. The toyota lost a tyre due to unusual pressure created on the rear left and went spinnning backwards into the concrete wall at speeds nearing 200 Mph. This looked a carbon copy of his shunt in the same corner during the race. Only that time, it was a Williams - BMW car. Schumacher was out for 6 races last season. Luckily, this time, he will be back into the Toyota in 2 weeks time.
Now, the problem. Michelin, the dominating tyre manufacturer in F1 at the moment investigated it and realised that their tyres were coming under unusual but highly intense pressure which could mean disaster when the cars run for as long as 73 laps on one set of tyres (Under current rules, teams cannot change tyres during pit-stop unless it is really critical. So, only 1 set of tyres for the whole race which has to be decided before qualifying and used in qualifying itself).
As a result of the investigation, Micheling proposed 2 ideas for the rest of the weekend. First, the FIA permits Michelin to fly in a new batch of tyres only for the race only. The FIA rejected as this is against the rules that tyres cannot be changed between qualifying and race unless deemed unsafe. Second, some sort of alteration be done at the final high speed turn to curb the speeds so that the tyres dont buckle and collapse under constant loading. F1 Boss and Ferrari teams clubbed together and decline this one as well. As a result, Michelin suggested to all its teams to not race as Michelin cannot guarantee the durability of its tyres and hence, the teams may risk their drivers.
As a result, the above fotograph depicts only Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, Jordan Toyota and Minardi Cosworth on the starting grid while seven other teams viz., West McLaren Mercedes, Mild Seven Renault, Williams BMW, Red Bull Racing, Sauber Petronas, Lucky Strike BAR Honda and Panasonic Toyota Racing opted safety over money and returned to the pits at the end of the Warm up lap which spelt a huge Disaster to the GP of US. Not only for the 2005 Season but also for the seasons to come. Very Unfortunate to realise that the F1 committee were unable to flex up the rules and use it to the benefit of Loads of Fans and in the interest of F1 as a Major sport.
Photo Courtesy: Racing-Live.com
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