CLERMONT-FERRAND, France (June 27, 2005) — The racing tires that Group Michelin supplied Formula 1 teams at the recent U.S. Grand Prix in Indianapolis were “insufficiently suited” for the high-speed banked curve at that track but were not “intrinsically flawed.”
Michelin came to this conclusion after investigating the remaining tires at its laboratories in France.
The seven F1 teams that Michelin supplies withdrew from the June 19 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) after Michelin advised them the tires likely would not last the race. Two drivers suffered tire failures during qualifying and practice.
Michelin said its investigations revealed that the loads exerted on the rear left tire through Turn 13 at IMS were “far superior” to the highest estimations of Michelin´s engineers. This year, the situation through this corner turned out to be altered by the extreme combination of the speed, lateral acceleration and additional dynamic load.
On the other hand, Michelin said its investigations into materials and construction confirmed the absence of any anomaly.
The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, the organizing body for F1 racing, has summoned all seven teams to a meeting June 29 in Paris to discuss their withdrawal at the U.S. Grand Prix. They potentially face disciplinary action.
Additionally, FIA President Max Mosely has stated publicly he believes Michelin should compensate fans who attended the U.S. Grand Prix.