SEPTEMBER 12, 2001
Why Formula 1 should race at Monza
Although there is considerable shock and anger around the world at the scale of the attacks in New York and Washington, the Formula 1 authorities and the Italian government have agreed that the race will go ahead as planned to show that terrorist attacks - no matter how overwhelming - will not be allowed to disrupt normal activities around the world. There is, however, likely to be some tribute in the course of the weekend to the victims of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.
The world's financial markets have reacted in a similar way as losses from yesterday have been reduced today as the world refuses to be tipped into a recession by the effects of the attacks.
President George W Bush spoke yesterday of the United States being tested by the attacks and said that "we will show the world that we will pass this test". Formula 1's decision to push ahead with the race at Monza supports this belief and should therefore be applauded.
The teams have already assembled in Italy and most of the race team personnel will be flying out tonight or tomorrow. The only question marks were the result of a ban on private aviation in Britain but that is expected to be lifted at some point this evening and that means that the Formula 1 team bosses should all be in Monza for their planned meeting tomorrow.
The main item on the agenda now is likely to be whether or not the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis should go ahead as planned. This is likely to depend on the US government's attitude as to whether it will adopt a policy of business but this is likely to be the case. There is, however, a certain amount of wariness amongst the F1 team bosses who are not very comfortable with the idea of having such large numbers of people concentrated together in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A renewed aerial attack is now not very likely now but it is not a risk that the team bosses want to take.
For the moment, however, both the Italian and United States GPs will go ahead.