Formula 1

This past Sunday (July 2nd) brought us Round 10 of the 2006 Formula 1 Season, the United States Grand Prix. The race was held in Indianapolis still, even after last year’s controversy.

Why do I call it a controversy and not a, “debacle?” I saw (even last year as it unfolded) the no-start of 14 Michelin tire-running cars simply as, “racing.” Let me further elaborate by using comparison. This year, all 22 cars, 11 teams (there were only 20 cars, 10 teams last year) started, and by 30 laps left in the race (out of some 70-odd total laps) only 11 cars were left. Ten cars finished the race, last year six. This year, a first lap, first turn crash took out about six cars, and later through incidents and retirements the field dwindled. In my opinion, other than the amount of cars starting the race, there was no difference between this year’s race and last year’s race.

What happened both this and last year, in my opinion, is simply racing. For example, Ralf Schumacher (with crappy luck again at his side) had a wheel bearing come loose during the race, and he was forced to retire from a strong fifth place. Simply put, when you find out that you will inevitably die (therefore losing in the process) while driving, you have every right to call it a day. That’s what Ralf did this year at the race. And that’s the exact same reason why the 14 cars didn’t start last year’s race. It’s simply a part of the decisions that need to be made in racing.

In perspective, last year’s US Grand Prix is more historic than any other Grand Prix that I can remember. And again, unfortunately only in my opinion, you should consider yourself part of a much more significant grand prix if you attended last year’s race as opposed to this year’s.

You know my opinion, but here’s the real meat to the debate. Why did everyone get mad? Is it because last year we could have put in a chicane (slowing the final turn) and therefore let ALL cars start the race? If so, then didn’t the drivers have decisions to make on this year’s race in the first turn? They still crashed into each other, so why aren’t we mad at them this year?


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