BMW buy Sauber

Sorry, this is becoming a predominantly Formula 1 blog!

BMW buy Sauber! It’s good to see that they haven’t been put off by Sunday’s events. Where now for Williams though? My brother just suggested Cosworths! Hahahahah! Toyota is more likely though — supplying three teams would be a real stretch though!

Meanwhile, GrandPrix.com comes up with the goods again with its readers’ reactions. Some blame Michelin, but most seem to agree with me that, when the FIA acted to put up a temporary chicane (Spain 1994) and change the rules when a tyre supplier didn’t have the right tyres (Brazil 2003), why on earth couldn’t they have been flexible on Sunday? Hypocrisy.

By asking the Michelin teams to drive in unsafe conditions — whether it was Michelin’s fault or not — is highly irresponsible, perhaps even illegal. It certainly should be illegal — it is putting lives at risk.

Right now people are saying, “Is F1 too safe?” (a genuine discussion on Radio Five Live on Monday morning). What on earth would people be saying if all the teams ran on Sunday? If the Michelin teams raced as the FIA told them to there would have been serious accidents — 100% certainty. When Ralf Schumacher crashed at that wall last year he was unable to race for five races. When he crashed at the weekend he was not allowed to race. What if the accident was more serious? He could have died. With all the bits and pieces that would be flying around, a track marshall could have been killed. A spectator could have been killed.

I simply cannot blame Michelin for putting safety first. They are the responsible ones here. The FIA asked them to drive in unsafe conditions when they are the ones who are supposed to be putting safety first. Instead, putting safety first was what the Michelin teams did. I will have difficulty believing the FIA the next time they change the regulations for “safety reasons”.

Update: A bit of light relief eh. Alex Zanardi, who lost both his legs in a CART race a few years ago, but has gone on to amaze everybody by continuing to race with prosthetic limbs, was going to demonstrate an adapted F1 car at Indianapolis — but he forgot! With hindsight, it’s perhaps just as well that he didn’t drive after all!

Update: Paul Stoddart’s account of Indianapolis 2005. Remarkable openness from Mr Stoddart. If only all figures in F1 could be so frank. A very good point is made in the ‘background’ paragraph. How can any sport allow itself to be put in a situation where 90% (depending on who you listen to) or even 70% of the teams disagree with the sport’s rules? Crazy.

Major update: Evidence that Bridgestone did indeed have insider information. James Allen mentioned this in ITV’s commentary on Sunday, but I hadn’t heard of it anywhere else. Now there can be no doubt — the only reason Bridgestone didn’t have problems on Sunday was because they had an unfair advantage; an opportunity to cope with the new surface at Indianapolis months ago (albeit on a different type of car); an opportunity not available to Michelin.

2 comments

  1. Pure speculation on my part, but do you think BMW’s willingness to buy a team after the weekend’s events indicates that they expect GPWC to be up and running in a couple of years? Because I can’t see them doing it if they think Ecclestone and Mosley are going to be in charge of their competition in the long run.

  2. Yeah. Well my immediate thought was, well that’s an extra team in favour of GPWC, because both Williams and BMW (as far as I know) support it. But then again, Sauber have supported it since the end of last season aswell…