The strangest GP ever

indy-motor-speedway-brickyard

On this Day in F1 – 1909 The Brickyard is born

When the Indianapolis Motor speedway first opened, the terrible track surface meant the first race was a disaster – there were multiple accidents and five people were killed.

The owners decided to lay bricks round the track and on this day the work was finally finished. The famous Indy Brickyard was born. The grand opening took place three days later, when it was ceremoniously completed by Governor Thomas R. Marshall of Indiana, who cemented the last “golden” brick. Only three feet of the original brick surface still remains at the start finish line.

The F1 circus has raced on the brickyard up until 2007, declining attendance and interest sparked by the big controversy in 2005.

Out of the 20 cars that entered for the race, only the six cars from the teams using Bridgestone tyres (Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi) competed. The remaining fourteen entrants, all using Michelin tyres, completed the parade lap (thus having technically taken part in the race, avoiding punishment), but retired to the pits before the race started.

Following several tyre failures before the race, most spectacularly on Ralf Schumacher’s Toyota during Friday practice, Michelin advised its seven customer teams that without a reduction in speed in Turn 13, the tyres provided for the race would only be safe for 10 laps. Michelin had been providing working tyres for the race since 2001. The situation was worsened by the 2005 Formula One rules, which forbade tyre changes during the race.

Of the six competitors, Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher was the eventual winner, with his teammate Rubens Barrichello finishing second. The result significantly boosted Schumacher’s championship standing, placing him third overall—no driver above him in driver championship points took part in the race.[3] This race also marked the Toyota team’s first Formula One pole position, which did not lead to a win due to the team’s withdrawal from the race start.

The final race result was the lowest number of finishing entries ever seen in a major open-wheel motorsports event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since the institution of the 500-Mile Race (surpassing the previous record low of seven finishers in 1966, a race marred by a major first lap accident that eliminated a full third of the starting field). The situation created enormous negative publicity for the sport of Formula One, especially in the United States, a market in which Formula One had struggled to establish itself over the preceding twenty years; some even called the race “Indygate”.

Credit: ESPN & Wikipedia

15 responses to “The strangest GP ever

      • Her Racing Ability Is Debatable But 3 Points Are Not:

        A – It Would Be Good To BERNIE Wallet,

        B – It Would Be Huge For Female SpectatorShip Worldwide,

        C – It Would Be Good For US SpectatorShip – F1 Needs US More Than US Needs F1.

        If BERNIE Had Not Long Lost The Smell For Money, He Could Have Brought Her As Soon As 2005 Out Of His Own Pocket – Oh, Well…

        GO, 10 !

        • It Would Be Good For No One To See danica Destroyed By Her Team-Mate. Not Good For Women; Not Good For u.s. Audience; Not Good For F1. Short-Term Benefits Would Turn To Farce Quickly.

          Yes, F1 Needs u.s. Market and Driver Diversity — Including Female Driver[s] — But danica Would Not Cut It. More Damage Than Good To ALL Causes.

          • She Usually Finishes Mid Field, No Reason She Can Not Do The Same In F1.

            GO, 10 !

          • Mid Field? Perhaps Google Her Results. When/If You Do, Note That These Championships Are Not Full Prototype Series Like F1. She Is A Back Field Runner.

            There Are Many Reasons She Can’t Do The Same — But Worse, She Won’t Be Able To Hide. There Will A Direct Comparison With Some Hungry Youngster, Even At The Back Of The Grid. More Than 0.5s Diff In Quali, Regularly, Will Be Horrible.

          • Sorry For Missing The Point. I’m A Little Thick Sometimes. Please Be Patient With Me.

            Even IF danica Has a (Debatable) Positive (Short-Term) Impact Upon Bernie’s Wallet, How Does Bernie’s Wallet’s Size Translate Into More Spectators? Bernie Is Quite Wealthy Now, And Has Been Getting Wealthier, Yet Crowds And Ratings Have Been Falling.

        • And As For A) Bernie’s Wallet: That Is Hardly A Concern Of Ours, Or Any Fans. Who Cares About Bernie’s Wallet Getting Thicker?

          • No Worries.

            You Missed My Point, Again.

            It Is Not The Size Of The Wallet That Translates Into More Spectators, It Is The Other Way Around, And A Direct Consequence.

            GO, 10 !

          • So Why Are We Caring About Bernie’s Wallet WRT danica At All? Your First Point In Your Original Post.

          • I Know She Took Her Only Pole And Her Only Win On Ovals.

            Disagreements Apart, One Year Ago, I Would Tell You That I Would Want Her To Take That Second HAAS Car Instead Of mister21, Any Day – Talk About Wasting A Good Seat…

            …And, One Year Later, I Do Not Know How She Could Have Done Any Worse.

            GO, 10 !

          • I Agree There; She Probably Wouldn’t Have Done Much Worse.

            But I’d Still Prefer To Have Placed A Driver In The HAAS 2 That Was Expected To Do Much Better.

            Anyway… It’s Christmas. Have A Good One!

            Go, XMAS !

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