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Drivers remember Indy 2005

NEWS STORY
23/06/2006

At a time when Bernie Ecclestone is claiming that the United States is not worth the trouble, a number of drivers reflect on the 2005 Grand Prix at Indianapolis, surely one of the most shameful days in the sport's history, a day when Formula One effectively gave its customers 'the finger'.

"There was no choice," said Jacques Villeneuve, reflecting on the race that never was. "I think there's a law in Indiana where if something is dangerous and you still do it, and something goes wrong, then you're a culprit. Once it was known there was a problem then we couldn't carry on because if there was a problem there was a chance that any one of us could go to jail, so it's not a question of boycotting - if you - we tried to find solutions and nobody was helped in that direction so what else could we do?

"There just was no choice basically," he said of the decision which saw just six drivers contest the race, even though all twenty set out on the warm-up lap, "so it wasn't a case of boycotting, there just was no choice."

"Yeah, no choice," added Giancarlo Fisichella. "First on Saturday and Sunday morning just before the race we had a few meetings together with the drivers and team manager but didn't find any solutions and the problem was just too much of a safety issue. The best thing to do was just go home."

"It wasn't a nice thing but unfortunately there was nothing that we or anybody could have done," said Kimi Raikkonen, who is understood to have come close to disobeying orders, along with David Coulthard, and continuing around to take his place on the grid, "but this year there should not be any problem."

"Last year was quite damaging," admitted Villeneuve, "but I think Michelin took care of everyone - cost them an arm and a leg - but hopefully the compensation that everybody got was worth it and if there's a very good show this year I'm sure that part of last year can be cleansed a bit."

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