The Michelin teams talk about the United States GP

Nick Fry (BAR), Pierre Dupasquier (Michelin)

Nick Fry (BAR), Pierre Dupasquier (Michelin) 

 © The Cahier Archive

The Michelin teams deeply regret the position that they have been put in today and would like to apologise to all the spectators, TV viewers, Formula 1 fans and sponsors for not being able to take part in today's USA Grand Prix. Following Ralf Schumacher's accident on Friday morning, we were advised by Michelin that none of the tyres that were available to the teams could be used unless the vehicle speed in turn 13 was reduced. Without this Michelin did not consider the tyre to be safe to be used for the race.

All the teams are confident in Michelin and trust their advice as we know they are competent and responsible and their written instruction to us not to race unless changes to the circuit were made was accepted.

After final data from Michelin became available at 06.30 on Sunday morning it became clear that Michelin were not able to guarantee the safety of the drivers. Numerous discussions and meetings took place to find a safe solution to the problem. Every possibility for the race to go ahead in a safe manner was explored. The only practical solution was for a chicane to be installed prior to Turn 13 and nine of the teams were prepared to run under these conditions even forgoing championship points or by allowing non-Michelin teams to take top positions on the grid.

Unfortunately all proposals were rejected by the FIA.

Safety is always the first concern of any team and the FIA. Regrettably the teams were obliged to follow Michelin's requirements not to race.

We are totally aware that the USA is an important market for Formula 1 and there is an obligation for Formula 1 to promote itself in a positive and professional manner. It is sad that we couldn't showcase Formula 1 in the manner we would have liked today.

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