Oh, the irony


In 2002, race fans at Indianapolis were none too delighted when Ferrari got its staged formation finish all wrong and Rubens Barrichello passed race leader Michael Schumacher yards before the finish line - just months after a 'team orders' incident on the last lap of the Austrian Grand Prix provoked worldwide uproar.

Then in 2005, Indianapolis became the scene of one of the sport's true low points, when just six cars contested the race, following a dispute which saw all the Michelin runners withdraw.

After the 2005 debacle, in particular, F1 could consider itself bloody lucky to have any fans left in North America, and yet there they were again in 2006 and 2007, having clearly forgiven the sport that has treated them with such obvious contempt over the years.

Their reward? Well, following a dispute over money (what else?) there will not be a Formula One Grand Prix at Indianapolis in 2008. IMS owner Tony George called Bernie Ecclestone's bluff, and American race fans are the losers.

There is hope that F1 might return to Indianapolis in the future, but that will depend on the speedway meeting Ecclestone's financial demands. Meantime, fans will at least get to see MotoGP, and thereby some real racing.

With McLaren having to wait until St Valentine's Day (four weeks before the start of the season) before learning whether the FIA considers its 2008 car legal and not a Ferrari replica, one has to suppose that someone at the FIA has a cruel sense of humour, following last night's presentation of the award for best race promoter to the International Motor Speedway.

According to the FIA; "The Race Promoters' Trophy is awarded to the promoter who has proved most helpful, in the most difficult conditions".

"The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has enjoyed hosting the FIA Formula One World Championship and the United States Grand Prix since 2000," said Tony George. "On behalf of our dedicated employees, the citizens of Indianapolis and all of the fans who have supported the event, we appreciate being recognized with this honour."

Maybe the silverware will console the many hundreds of thousands of F1 fans in the USA who have been so badly treated by F1.

But somehow we doubt it.

Article from Pitpass (http://www.pitpass.com):

Published: 08/12/2007
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