Michelin only narrowly avoided a disastrous repeat of the 2005-style ‘Indy-saga’ at the venue last weekend. ‘Auto Motor Und Sport’ in Germany reports that, although it was kept impressively quiet, the French supplier noticed damage on its 2006-spec tyres after free practice sessions at Indianapolis.
n 2006, to prevent a repeat, Michelin reportedly told five of its six partner teams – all except McLaren – to use the ‘soft’ option, after the hard tyre showed some signs of damage. This could explain Renault’s uncharacteristic lack of pace; Fernando Alonso reportedly wanted to use the hard tyre but was ordered not to.
Auto Motor Und Sport’ also reveals that Bridgestone were wary of tyre damage at Indianapolis and – as a back-up plan – brought its 2005-spec tyres to America.
The FIA, too, had an emergency plan; if Michelin had found itself in strife this year, the governing body would have painted a line on the troublesome Indy banking, with one ‘lane’ for fast cars and one for cars restricted to a 250kph limit.
I can only think what would have happened if we would had repeat of 2005 this year as well at Indianapolis. The good thing this year was that everyone [nearly everyone] had a backup plan in place.