Motorsport.com - The United States Grand Prix looks set to proceed as scheduled in a week's time, in spite of the terrorist attacks in the US, and the subsequent world tensions and travel restrictions. Michael Schumacher, who has already...
Motorsport.com - The United States Grand Prix looks set to proceed as scheduled in a week's time, in spite of the terrorist attacks in the US, and the subsequent world tensions and travel restrictions.
Michael Schumacher, who has already clinched this year's World Championship, previously clearly expressed his preference to cancel the event, saying "It's a bad joke intending to race in the United States."
However, FIA president Max Mosley and FOA head Bernie Ecclestone were clearly opposed to any change in the schedule.
"We should never make concessions or surrender to terrorism," Mosley stated. "The American authorities will undoubtedly have taken appropriate measures to protect the public at all large gatherings."
The plans were further confirmed by Tony George, the president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"While we are very saddened by recent events, we continue to plan and work for what we expect will be a successful and exciting event," said George.
"Every top official involved with the organisation of Formula One has indicated that the US Grand Prix will continue as scheduled," he continued. "President Bush has urged Americans and the world to proceed with everyday life, and we are doing so with deep respect for those affected by last week's tragedies."
The teams, meanwhile will have significant additional logistical challenges, and must allow for extra transport time to X-ray all equipment being shipped -- a task that must be done by the oversize machines present only in Amsterdam and Luxembourg.
"Under normal circumstances, freight would be leaving toward the end of next week," said Ron Dennis, the team principal of Team McLaren. "It's not the movement of people that constitutes the deadline, it's more likely the movement of the freight."
While nothing is absolutely certain until all five red lights blink out at the start of the race, the last word, for now, should go to Eddie Irvine, the most outspoken man in Formula One.
"These people want to cause as much havoc as possible, don't give in to them," said Irvine, who grew up in Northern Ireland. "That's the answer."