JUNE 28, 2005
Michelin to refund US GP tickets
Michelin has announced that it is to contribute to the costs incurred by spectators at the United States Grand Prix by offering to refund their tickets. The company will also buy 20,000 tickets for next year's race and will give them to spectators who were present at this year's race.
"This is an important decision, since Michelin is not at all legally bound to do this," the company said in a statement. "Michelin deeply regrets that the public was deprived of an exciting race and therefore wishes to be the first, among the different groups involved in the Indianapolis race, to make a strong gesture towards the spectators. Michelin also offers to buy 20,000 tickets for the 2006 US Grand Prix to be given to spectators who were present at the Indianapolis race in 2005. We are offering this to promote further Formula 1 interest in the United States. We would also like to take this opportunity to underline the fact that it is unacceptable that our partner teams have been accused by the FIA of having boycotted the Indianapolis Grand Prix."
The statement went on to say that Michelin and its partners did "everything possible to assure that the race could take place in total safety".
"We are extremely disappointed that the proposals made with all our teams were not accepted," Michelin went on. "These proposals, including a chicane, were technically viable and totally met all safety requirements. On Sunday morning, June 19, the sporting authority had all the means necessary to preserve the interest of the race. And yet, the sporting authority rejected the proposed solutions. Why? In our view this is totally incomprehensible and reflects a lack of respect for the spectators. It is the spirit of respect for the spectators that brought us, with our partners, to propose solutions to allow the race to take place in total safety. It is this same spirit that leads us today to make this gesture."
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