Dupasquier won't take chances

Dupasquier won't take chances

Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier is in no doubt that the decision not to race at Indianapolis was the right one as taking a chance with safety is not an option. The seven Michelin teams withdrew from the US Grand Prix due to a safety...

Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier is in no doubt that the decision not to race at Indianapolis was the right one as taking a chance with safety is not an option. The seven Michelin teams withdrew from the US Grand Prix due to a safety issue with the tyres, causing one of the biggest controversies in the sport for years. Despite the negative fallout from the event, Dupasquier is adamant that the risk was too great.

Michelin tires.
Photo by xpb.cc.

"It cannot be in the mind of any engineer in Formula One, or any manager, to say 'come on, that may work, let's give it a try and see if the driver can get back to the pits' -- it doesn't make any sense," he said at the FIA press conference on Friday. "No-one can even think about it."

"There is not doubt about it. If there is one doubt, we don't do it. That is very simple, very clear. None of that 'hmm, let's give it a try'… No way. Not in racing. Doesn't happen."

Michelin stated that the tyres were not flawed but were unsuited to the conditions through turn 13 of the Indianapolis circuit. The manufacturer claimed that the loads exerted on the left rear tyre at turn 13 were "far superior to the highest estimations of Michelin's engineers".

"The problem was that we under-evaluated the extreme constraints to which tyres were exposed through Turn 13 in the specific context of 2005," Dupasquier said after the tyres were investigated.

F1 may have taken a blow with the Indy fiasco but Bernie Ecclestone believes the Michelin teams' decision not to race was the right one, as a serious crash could have resulted in a tragedy.

"We could easily have lost somebody so maybe we got lucky," Ecclestone told reporters at Magny Cours. "I am pleased in a lot of ways that we didn't race. Had we done maybe those tyres wouldn't have lasted even with two chicanes."

Michelin has offered to refund the cost of tickets to the spectators at Indianapolis and also provide 20,000 tickets for next year. "The way things have been dealt with, especially by Michelin, has been really good," Ecclestone added.

"They have stood up like men and said, 'We made a mistake and we are prepared to pay for it.' Everybody did what they thought was the right thing to do and with hindsight it probably was. We are sorry, we are there to entertain."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone