SUNDAY 19TH JUNE 2005
Tyre company Michelin has apologised to all concerned for its decision to advise teams not to take part in the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis on Sunday, but insisted that it would not compromise its principles just to entertain.
The French manufacturer issued a short statement following what should have been its ninth round of the 2005 world championship, claiming that looking after the welfare of its drivers had taken paramount importance following the accident that befell Ralf Schumacher on Friday. It also made clear is sadness that the sport's governing body would not accede to requests that would have allowed its seven teams to take part in the race.
"Michelin is very disappointed about the way the United States Grand Prix turned out at Indianapolis today - for the public, the drivers and the teams," the message read.
"Michelin is sorry that the tyres it ran in free practice and qualifying were not suitable for use in racing conditions this weekend, but driver safety is always a priority. Michelin will never change its stance on this principle, whether we are talking about tyres for competition or any other purpose.
"It is regrettable that our pre-race suggestions, agreed in conjunction with our partner teams, were not adopted. Had our ideas been followed, we could have guaranteed driver safety, the participation of our teams and added interest for the public.
"Michelin would like to thank its seven partner teams for their close collaboration, for having made propositions to the FIA and for having respected our advice on safety issues.
"Michelin will continue to investigate the technical reasons for the tyre-related incidents that affected Toyota during Friday's free practice."
BAR pack away the Michelin tyres that led to the abandonment of the team's United States Grand Prix