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"No one ever is to blame"

FEATURE BY MARGEIT & CROMPTON
23/06/2005

This was the central, lyrical theme of a particularly annoying song by 80s one-too-many-hit-wonder Howard Jones. In the aftermath of the travesty that was Formula One's 2005 Indianapolis event, those turbid, whining lyrics leapt into my mind.

Because the one thing I know for certain is that in the days to come, I will be reading endless reams of blathering twaddle, all of which will be carefully crafted by its authors to lay the blame for the farce at any doorstep other than their own.

By the time you read this, much of will have already happened.

The Michelin-shod teams will be pointing the finger of fault at the FIA, Ferrari and anyone else who rejected proposals for a replacement tyre or track modification. Indeed in desperation and perhaps to appease what must be a plethora of very annoyed sponsors, I wouldn't be surprised if there are recriminations hurled in the direction of Michelin themselves.

Max, naturally, can be counted on to deliver a scathing though eloquent rebuttal of all criticism. A rebuttal which will doubtless remind us of Michelin's responsibility to supply their teams with a tyre capable of complying with his rules as they presently stand. I'd even stake some of my more cherished body parts on the likelihood that Max will speak ill of the teams who did not take the field at Indy, replete with references to their responsibility to the fans, contractual obligations and damning overtones of self-interest.

For their part, Michelin have already taken the fall in formal terms but does anyone really expect that to be their last word on the subject? As I type, their "no regrets" statement has entered the public arena.

Indianapolis supremo, Tony George, has made it clear that all complaints are to be directed to anybody but him. Tony has gone so far as to publish a list of contact details for those who are not him, that he be spared the ire of his paying patrons (I'm personally thrilled not to have been included on the list).

Meanwhile, Jordan, Ferrari and Minardi will probably note that they actually raced and therefore how on earth can they be expected to shoulder any blame for anything from anyone, ever, whatsoever?

Come to think of it, I'm tempted to publish my own denial of responsibility just to be on the safe side and as a concession to my pathetic urge to run with the pack.

In short, we are in for a serious display of spectacularly inspired - albeit as useful as a bucket of sun-dried dingo kidneys - politics, accusation, counter-accusation, attack, defence, thrust, parry and whatnot! In the end, all public debate will probably be closed down as Max is driven to raise his time-honoured trump-axe, the "bringing the sport into disrepute" threat. Always works a treat that one!

Perhaps that will be a good thing because no amount of public posturing is ever going change what happened.

As far as any cogent view of my own is concerned, I don't have one. I probably never will and it wouldn't matter much either way even if I did. As public as this spat is supposed to have been - what with all sides eager to make their correspondence available for publication, none of we mere non-millionaires can ever expect to be in possession of anything even remotely resembling the true and underlying facts of this debacle.

What I do know for certain is that I, like every other fan of Formula One, was shown in no uncertain terms how little I matter. My absurd wish to see a competitive Grand Prix was finally and unquestionably cast aside in favour of some or other power-politics about which I do not, and never will, care.

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1. Posted by Max Noble, 12/07/2017 13:38

"Still classic after all these years. I could write more. I will not. :-). "

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