Anyways, the FIA and Max Mosely have come out with a statement which essentially blames Michelin and the seven teams that it supplies, for the events that unfolded yesterday. It also makes this last incredulous argument to support its stand.
Rather than boycott the race the Michelin teams should have agreed to run at reduced speed in turn 13. The rules would have been kept, they would have earned Championship points and the fans would have had a race. As it is, by refusing to run unless the FIA broke the rules and handicapped the Bridgestone runners, they have damaged themselves and the sport.
My take on this suggestion - The FIA is stupid! Here's why! Consider this scenario. At lap 36, Kimi Raikonnen approaches Turn 13 and slows down, as the FIA suggested. One of the Minardi cars that he has just lapped on Turn 11, gains on his car. Now does Raikonnen move aside and allow this car that he has just lapped to pass him again? Or does he hold his position and force the Minardi to brake hard too? Depending on whose side you are arguing, it seems disadvantageous to either driver. So did the FIA have anything to counter this argument, which I am sure would have come up.
Let me make it clear that I do not say that I have a solution that F1 should have implemented yesterday. But I do hate the fact that the FIA seems to be floating this solution among the press as the best possible one that the seven Michelin teams rejected. Blaming Michelin completely is also a convinient of transfering attention from the fact that Turn 13 is an unique corner that is not seen elsewhere in any other F1 circuit worldwide. Reason - The Brickyard's banking that is typical of a NASCAR oval! I could go on and on, but the truth is, this is one of those scenarios where each party has to share blame in some capacity. On the other, as I have said so many times on this post - depending on which side you are on, you are going to blame someone or the other completely.
Ultimately, the solution is to either change the layout of the Indy circuit to slow down the pace around Turn 13 or review the new tyre rules that have compounded the problem caused by the banking. Of these two, the latter seems much more attractive considering that any change to Turn 13 would change the fundamental character of the circuit from ultra-high speed (because of turn 13) to very slow and twisting, as the FIA press release indcates.
Updates: A Q&A with Max Moseley throws up more "options", each of which made me laugh more and more.
Q: Did the Michelin teams have any other way of running the race if the circuit itself was unchanged?
MM: Yes, they could have used the pit lane on each lap. The pit lane is part of the circuit. This would have avoided Turn 13 altogether. It is difficult to understand why none of them did this, because 7th and 8th places were certainly available, plus others if any of the six Bridgestone runners did not finish. There were points available which might change the outcome of the World Championship.
Ummmm, pit lane? Even if he meant that the pit lane speed limits would have been enforced, was he talking about the crowded semi-market place full of walking people, regardless of whether there is a race on or not? Was he talking about the same place where, in the last 10 years, there has been more than one fire accident and at least one incident that would have been classified as a hit and run incident on the street around Spielberg, Austria? My belly hurts from all the laughing. I think Max Moseley and JY Lele were separated at birth.
Anyways, Minardi Team principal Paul Stoddart has made public his own account of the fracas!
What was requested of the Bridgestone teams was to allow a chicane to be constructed at Turn 13, which would then allow Michelin to advise their teams that, in their opinion, the tyres would be able to complete the race distance. It was made very clear that this was the only viable option available, as previous suggestions from the FIA, such as speed-limiting the Michelin cars through Turn 13, could, and probably would, give rise to a monumental accident.
I am gloating now! Someone with far more experience than me, agrees with my thoughts of the FIA's "best option". Stoddart goes on to say that Max Moseley actually threatened to cancel the Grand Prix if there was to be any changes in the circuit (i.e if the chicane was added). If you would recall, Moseley had made a similar threat the day before the Australian Grand Prix this year if Minardi did not withdraw legal proceedings against the FIA.