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Fans HOT as tires fail (Forumla One News)

Discussion in 'Photojournalism, Candids and Street Photography' started by PGB, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005
    A sad weekend for Formula 1 fans at Indy. On the 6th running of the United States Grand Prix a history making event, or non event as it may be was put behind us.

    Tire manufacture Michelin www.michelinsport.com reported that its tires were faulty for this race 48 hours before the main event. All of this while fans were pouring in from all over the world including Australia, Japan, Columbia, Europe. Over 150,000 people were in attendance at the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Practice and qualifying events went well with the exception of a couple of mishaps.

    RACE DAY! The grid is lined up and out the pits they go. After 1 warm up lap half of the field pulled back into pit lane and parked the cars. Fans were puzzled, announcers were puzzled. Six out of 20 cars were still on the track. People all around were awe struck as they find out over the PA that the teams were not going to race on a perfect day.

    Even though safety was the main concern, fans erupted with anger as their hard earned money just encountered a big flushing sound. "Racing is supposed to be dangerous" one fan screamed as he packed up his family and headed down the bleachers. Thousands of unhappy fans began to leave vowing never to return.

    At this point the six remaining cars were racing. Fans still furious, started to get more uneasy. Bottled water, and beer cans began to fill the track. One almost hitting a Ferrari team drivers' car. Track security just went from yellow alert to full on red as fans started to show their displeasure.

    Amidst all of the troubles, anger, and utter disappointment some fans made the best of it. Rules are rules and safety is paramount. This year F1 made a new rule stating that you have to run the tires you qualified with and you cannot change, even for manufacturer defect. I imagine that in order to keep a dwindling F1 following in the US the rules will have to be modified to prevent this from happening again.

    Below are some photos from the event.

    Schumacher's Ferrari team running Bridgestone tires decides to race and there are no tire safety concerns for teams running Bridgestone.

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    Tempers flare as a Ferrari fan from Italy throws a beer onto the track endangering drivers and track crew. Common sense and courtesy unfortunately don't calm people down when they are furious as this man attempted to do. A grandfather and his grandson look on at the disappointing display of unsportsmanlike conduct.

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    Unfortunately Pope Ferrari is unable to calm the people. Disembarking from the Pope Mobile, a Ferrari 355gt no less, angry fans were not repenting their sins. The Pope continued to offer his blessings on the crowd with no assassination attempts reported.

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    Amidst all the anger, disappointment, and sadness that such a fine racing event was now a major debacle that would go down in the history books, at least one fan supported his team and tried to make the best out of a bad situation.

    My friend David,

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    All photos copyright 2005 nikoncafe.com and Patrick G. Bramlett
  2. MariaVoniati

    MariaVoniati Guest

    It was a sad weekend for all of us Patrick.

    Thanks 4 the nice pics. :) 
  3. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Nice images Patrick...they tell a story of a bad day!
  4. I saw that and I understand safety is concern they could have been more forthcoming with details ahead of the race to set the spectators expectations
  5. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Nice pics and an interesting story to go along with them. I don't really follow racing so hadn't heard about this (ok to be honest I don't follow the news in general much either :)  ).

    So what is the reasoning behind this rule? Not having an exception for defects to prevent a situation like this seems like a really bad idea. I agree with Mike they could have handled it better as far as setting expectations ahead of time, but they were probably worried about it hurting ticket sales (talk about short-sighted). Unfortunately the fallout out in goodwill from fans can take a while to recover when something like this happens.
  6. fks


    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi patrick-

    thanks for sharing the photos. defintely a sad situation, but hopefully it won't be the last usgp at indy.

    have you heard anything about getting a refund?

  7. Hi Patrick, I know how much you were looking forward to this race. I feel bad for you and the other fans that it did not live up to your expectations. Enjoyed the pictures you did post.
  8. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Wow Parick,

    that is some turn of events for sure.

    I do hope you made the best of it and photographed what you could and enjoyed yourself.

    You sure there for a history making event. Your images may be very valuable one day

    Be careful what you put up on the net.

    I know you have some teriffic images.

    Oh what a story to share with the boys when they are older.

    Great commentary.

    thank you for sharing.
  9. Although I totally understand why you and all the other fans were disappointed that the race was not true to its potential, I can't imagine what would have been said about Michelin if they had not released the information and a bad crash had ensued... Perhaps they could have released that information sooner, but I assume they would have, had it been available sooner: I mean, what did have to win, by doing this, other then doing the right thing?

    For the once in a perhaps a life time that ones gets to see an F1 event, I'm sure it's a big downer, and I can certainly sympathize with that, but for the teams and the pilots, it's just another race and I totally support them pulling out. As for the comment that racing, and F1 in particular, is "supposed to be" dangerous, well... it is (who does not know scores of great pilots that were killed while racing in F1?), but when the equipment isn't performing the way it should, it's extremely dangerous, at least potentially, perhaps even putting the fans' life in danger (can you remember a race years ago where a wheel flew into the audience, over the protective fence, and killed a spectator?)

    That said, you got some great shots in practice runs, and of the Ferrari you showed here, as your first pic. Well done, Patrick!
  10. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005
    I totally agree Phillipe! I was upset but not to the point of causing more problems. People around me in my area were throwing cans and other stuff onto the track. It was pretty pathetic.

    I'm too young to remember the actual event but a Mercedes many years ago went into the stands killing dozens of spectators. Mercedes didn't participate for 30 some odd years of F1 or racing in general.

    I'm glad that no one was seriously hurt this past weekend. Ralf Schumacher was fortunate. Last year he wrecked in the same spot and broke his back!

    I'm hopeful that there will be another race next year and we can get past this sad event.

  11. mf44


    Jun 4, 2005
    NJ & MD
    Philippe, I think a lot of people are angry not because of the safety concerns, but because of how the FIA handled the situation. Michelin argued for adding a chicane to slow down the turn, which would have allowed the tires to be run safely. As far as I know, every team besides Ferrari agreed to allow this change (even the teams with Bridgestone tires). Indy also agreed to complete the course change, but the FIA denied it, citing specific rules.

    Furthermore, according to FIA rules, this "contest" of only 6 cars doesn't actually constitute a race. So on one hand, the FIA is a stickler for the rules (especially when Ferrari complains), but then they overlook the fact that is technically wasn't a race. This angered many, because fans were denied refunds for tickets to this farce of a race. There is a class action lawsuit pending re: this issue right now.

    Even worse, I just read that the FIA is calling all of the teams who withdrew from the race to a hearing. Now the FIA wants to punish the teams that withdrew because of safety concerns! I always thought that if someone owned a car or a team, it was their decision to race or not... Can the FIA just realize it made a bad call and possibly killed any chances of F1s success in the USA for a long time? Instead they blame the teams who were concerned for safety.

    I honestly believe this is the beginning of the end of Formula 1. Already it has been discussed that many teams will withdraw from F1 entirely in favor of an alternate new series in 2008. This was initially triggered by the soon to occur complete ban of tobacco sponsorships. Now with the FIA's actions regarding Indy, I wouldn't be surprised to see all but a few teams leave the series. Heck, I know if I were a team owner I would have no problem leaving the "pinnacle" of motor racing for a different series after all this...

    Patrick, I sincerely feel for you, as I have been to races in the past that have been big disappointments. I simply can't imagine how this must have felt. On the other hand, you managed to get some excellent shots, regardless of the quality of the race. I think that really indicates one's talent. Nice job!
  12. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005
    Thanks for the nice comments. I had plenty of fun at the race or non race. :)  This was my first race period to see in person. I don't like nascar at all. Sports is a completely new avenue for me as was attempting to even write commentary. I'm just not very good with putting thoughts to paper, or keyboard for that matter.

    I'm hoping that there is a race next year. The atmosphere at Indy was like non other that I have experienced. The people were much more civilized up until the debacle than I expected. I met so many photogs and was really surprised at how many d2x's I saw there.

  13. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  14. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005
    Thanks Paul. I need to look into bikes. There is a track in Birmingham that is supernice. They have superbikes there often. I'll need to check them out.

  15. Patrick and Mike, my apologies to you both: I didn't follow the race (and haven't watched F1 in a few years now) so didn't realize how bad the FIA decision was. At the minimum, they should refund everyone their ticket and call it what it was: a non-race. Good for picture taking and a good day outside? Yes. A race? No. I (naively) thought thay you were pointing the finger at Michelin... I think the "solution" to add a chicane to slow the turn down was appropriate and should have been implemented, no questions... except that the FIA has been run by politics for many years, and it looks it's getting worse. :-(

    Patrick, that said, your pics were really nice, even the cars! 8) :lol:
  16. mf44


    Jun 4, 2005
    NJ & MD
    Phillipe, please, no apology necessary. I just always enjoy the opportunity to spout off anything bashing the FIA. :wink:
  17. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    Your pictures are awesome. I've watched just about every F1 race for the last 10 - 12 years and I can tell you that what you see on TV just doesn't compare even with your down-sized for the web shots. I imagine that the originals are even more awesome. You need to bring more of your shots when you come over. And you need to seriously consider getting some of these printed -- large. ;-)

    As far as the 'race' that wasn't, it certainly ticked me off, and I wasn't even there. I don't know who to blame really, but it's like David Coultard said in an interview (and I paraphrase here), 'it's a crying shame that mature adults couldn't come to a better decision than this'. I have to agree with him.

    BTW, your sports reporting and commentary skills are just fine. 8)
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