Editor's Note:  Obviously we received many letters regarding the USGP Tire Controversy.  This one covers many issues and is represenative of many of those letters.  We invite ou to continue a dialogue with us and amongst yourselves

I fully agree with Crash Gladys and Statt Mann's opinion on the USGP debacle.  Racing, I'm sorry to say, is not done primarily to entertain people.  It was borne on the desire to go faster than everyone else, and is fueled by the desire of engineers and drivers to be faster, cleverer, and smarter than the rest.

The fact is, Michelin is entirely to blame for the whole debacle.  They most certainly could have raced, without any modified chicanes, drive-through pitlanes, or a limited top speed through the final corner.  As is my understanding, tire suppliers are supposed to bring two specifications of tires to each race; one being a higher performance tire that teams will obviously favor, and one that is of a higher safety factor, and thus, lower performance.  It was evident on the Friday practices that there was a problem when both Ralf Schumacher and Ricardo Zonta crashed pretty heavily. 

This wasn't because of the Toyota riding their tires too severely, but evidently because the Michelin tires weren't up to scratch.  This was known pretty early into the weekend, and the lower spec tires could have been selected before qualifying.  There would have been no problem, there would have been a full race, and fans would be happy.

Michelin, frankly, has no excuse for what happened.  They have the backing of 7 teams, millions and millions of dollars, and at least 21 drivers in the winter to put in countless miles in testing on a number of circuits.  As well, this isn't the first time Michelin has been to Indy, having first raced there with BMW Williams in 2001.  There has been plenty of data acquired over the years, and in spite of the fact that there has been a pretty substantial shake up in the technical regulations, Bridgestone still produced a tire durable enough, so why couldn't Michelin do the same?  They tried too hard to maximize performance in the name of safety factor, obviously, and they paid the price.  Ralf Schumacher was injured (again) in the same place he crashed pretty severely in 2004, again on Michelins.
Bridgestone did nothing wrong by racing, they came prepared.  They didn't have to fly in a new set of tires in a rush from France.  Rules are rules, they were initially set out to level the playing field, cut costs, and essentially put an end to Ferrari's dominance of the sport.

Michelin doing their part to refund fans who made their way to IMS indicates their acknowledgement that they were in the wrong, not just to appease fans and to try to keep racing in the States.  Hopefully Formula 1 will stay in the United States, as it has a rapidly growing and educated following, and maybe visit the great U.S. circuits like Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen, Road America and the great street courses of the 70s and 80s.

Eric Park