Nine teams demand Indy chicane 19 Jun 2005
With less than an hour to go before the start of the US Grand Prix, all of teams with the exception of Ferrari have said they will only race if a chicane is inserted to slow the cars ahead of the banked Turn 13.
Michelin have already written to the FIA asking for such a change, after deciding that the tyres they qualified with are not safe to run 73 laps of the high-speed banking. The request was refused.
The latest statement from Michelin reads:
"The intensive investigations that have been undertaken in the last 24 hours by our laboratory and technical teams in France and United States concerning the incidents that occurred on the Toyota cars during the free practice test of Friday, have allowed Michelin to reach the following conclusions.
"Given the combination of oval exit speed of the F1 cars and the subsequent down forces experienced by the tyres Michelin is not able to guarantee that such incidents would not reoccur during race conditions, and therefore Michelin is not able to guarantee the total safety of the drivers.
"As a result Michelin, in total agreement with our partner teams has asked the FIA that a chicane, allowing the reduction of car speed be installed at the entrance to the oval.
"In this condition the Indianapolis F1 GP would be able to take place with the tyres that we used during the qualification.
"This proposition answers three Michelin objectives: The safety of the drivers, the support of our partner teams and the interest of the race for the F1 fans."
There has been no further official response from the FIA. In the meantime the drivers are preparing to go to the grid. "If there's not a chicane then we won't go out," was Red Bull's David Coulthard understanding of the situation.
Check out on-line race commentary from 12.55 local time (1800 GMT) for the latest developments.