SEPTEMBER 17, 2001
Schumacher uncertain for Indianapolis
THERE were suggestions this morning that Michael Schumacher may decide that he does not want to race at Indianapolis on September 30. Ferrari team boss Jean Todt says that he gave Michael the opportunity to opt out at Monza but the World Champion decided to race although Todt told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport that Michael's heart was not in the racing and said that Ferrari could send test driver Luca Bader to Indianapolis if Schumacher chooses not to race.
As far as the Formula 1 circus is concerned the United States Grand Prix is on if all the equipment and people can be delivered in time to Indianapolis. This is not going to be easy because of the additional security measures that have been put in place. This has meant that all the F1 cars and equipment have to leave from Amsterdam rather than London Stansted or Milan's Malpensa. Amsterdam is the only airport in Europe with a big enough X-ray machine to examine all the F1 cars and refueling machines.
The signs from the United States are that President George W Bush is trying to get the country to return to normal. On Sunday night he asked Americans to go back to work.
"Our nation was horrified," he said, "but it's not going to be terrorized. We need to go back to work tomorrow, and we will. The markets open tomorrow, people go back to work. We'll show the world."
Bush also made the point that the American people cannot expect instant action against the terrorists.
"The American people must be patient," he said.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll showed over the weekend that 81% of Americans believe that the United States should be "completely sure who is specifically responsible" before making any attacks.
The implication, therefore, is that there is no reason for the race to be cancelled - unless the cars and equipment do not arrive in time.
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