The seven Michelin-backed teams that withdrew from Sunday’s US Grand Prix have been called to a hearing of the FIA World Motor Sport Council on June 29. Meanwhile, the owners of Indianapolis might sue F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

The seven Michelin-backed teams that withdrew from Sunday’s US Grand Prix have been called to a hearing of the FIA World Motor Sport Council on June 29. Meanwhile, the owners of Indianapolis might sue F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

The FIA is expected to lay down some kind of punishment to the teams following their decision not to race at Indianapolis on Sunday because Michelin said their tyres were not safe to do so.

The seven Michelin-equipped teams who refused to race in Sunday's US Grand Prix - as well as the French tyre company - damaged themselves and F1, the sport's governing body said.

The FIA issued a statement making it clear that Michelin only had itself to blame for the situation: "The reason for this debacle is clear. Each team is allowed to bring two types of tyre: one an on-the-limit potential race winner, the other a backup which, although slower, is absolutely reliable.

"Apparently, none of the Michelin teams brought a back-up to Indianapolis. They subsequently announced they were flying in new tyres from France but then claimed that these too were unsafe.

"What about the American fans? What about Formula One fans worldwide? Rather than boycott the race the Michelin teams should have agreed to run at reduced speed in turn 13.

"The rules would have been kept, they would have earned Championship points and the fans would have had a race. As it is, by refusing to run unless the FIA broke the rules and handicapped the Bridgestone runners, they have damaged the sport."

Although the FIA has been criticised in some quarters for not wishing to accommodate the requests from the Michelin teams for a chicane to be built prior to Turn 13 to cut speeds, the FIA has indicated that it was the teams who were unwilling to compromise on a speed-limit being laid down at the final corner.

"At Indianapolis we were told by Michelin that their tyres would be unsafe unless their cars were slowed in the main corner," the FIA added. "We understood and offered to help them by monitoring speeds and penalising any excess. However, the Michelin teams refused to agree unless the Bridgestone runners were slowed by the same amount. They suggested a chicane.

"The Michelin teams seemed unable to understand that this would have been grossly unfair as well as contrary to the rules. The Bridgestone teams did not need to slow down.

"The Michelin teams' lack of speed through turn 13 would have been a direct result of inferior equipment, as often happens in F1," it concluded.

Michelin hits back at FIA

Although Michelin admitted it could not guarantee the durability of the tyres supplied for the race, the French manufacturer pinned its hopes on new tyres being flown in from its base at Clermont-Ferrand. But the FIA apparently refused to allow new tyres to be used, or a chicane to be set up to slow the cars.

Michelin's competition deputy director Frederic Henry-Biabaud said: "Michelin would have been to blame if it had raced. Do you imagine what would have happened if, having seen the failure on Friday, we had decided to race the tyre and we had a problem," he was quoted as saying.

"As a company, we prefer to find ourselves in this position rather than if there had been an accident".

He blamed the specifics of the Indianapolis circuit and slammed the FIA for failing to agree to a compromise.

"We proposed realistic, feasible alternatives," he added.

Bernie to be sued?

Meanwhile, Ecclestone said he “tried a million things” to convince F1 teams to race at Indianapolis. "I am furious," the 74-year-old F1 supremo said. In the “good old days”, he would have forced them to start the race.

At the rain-drenched Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide in 1991, Ecclestone toured the grid, driver by driver, yelling them into their cars.

He said: "Those days are over. Let's be honest. If you were a promoter you would not want to risk this happening again. We'd just started to build a great image for Formula One in America and that is all ruined."

However, Ecclestone might be sued by Indianapolis Motor Speedway bosses, who are fuming at their unfair treatment in the US Grand Prix.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway chief executive Tony George forked out a R90-million for Sunday's six-car procession.

Bernie, 74, admitted that George may well want to refund tickets. "If I found myself in that position," the F1 ringmaster said, "then I might well seek to make good my loss."

Irate fans screamed abuse at Ecclestone as he left “The Brickyard” on Sunday, but the Briton suggested the Speedway could handle the often inconvenient nuances of racing. "IRL and Nascar can be delayed because of rain," he was quoted as saying.

Original article from Car