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Michelin say tyres will be safe
Alan Baldwin | June 28, 2005 12:13 IST
Michelin have asked to be allowed to test at the Indianapolis circuit before any future US Grand Prix there to ensure this month's tyre fiasco is not repeated.
The French manufacturer said on Monday they had completed investigations into the tyres used in Indianapolis and assured teams that the problems would not happen again this season.
Just six cars started the June 19 'race' when the seven Michelin teams withdrew after the formation lap because of concern about their tyres.
Michelin said they had determined that the tyres were "not intrinsically flawed but were insufficiently suited to the extreme racing conditions encountered through turn 13 of the Indianapolis circuit this year".
They added that the findings fully justified the request for a temporary chicane to be installed to allow all teams to compete safely.
Efforts to reach a compromise with a temporary chicane failed after the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) vetoed that possibility and teams rejected the other alternatives.
The sport's failure to put on a show for the 120,000 fans who bought tickets has left a question mark hanging over Formula One's future in America.
Michelin said the circuit's banked turn 13 was unique to the championship and, with testing not allowed at Indianapolis before the event, the loads exerted on the rear left tyres were greater than their engineers' highest estimates.
The company said the lack of an intrinsic flaw or anomaly in the construction of the tyres "perfectly validates the pertinence of the precautionary measures requested by Michelin and its partner teams in the interests of driver safety."
It said the addition of a chicane at the entrance of turn 13 would have given spectators a race while also guaranteeing the safety of the drivers.
"We regret that the spectators did not see an exciting race," said Michelin motorsport boss Pierre Dupasquier. "However, in keeping with its principles, Michelin did not sacrifice safety for performance."
Michelin had won the first eight races of the season.
The seven teams have been summoned to a meeting of the governing FIA's world motor sport council on Wednesday and could face heavy sanctions.
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