The story is simple: Ralf Schumacher suffered a tyre failure and Michelin then declined to guarantee the safety of their tyres. A compromise was s
However, my gripe is not here. It is with - wait for it - the BBC. With characteristic flair, it has pinned the blame onto the wrong organisation. Max Moseley defended himself admirably (you can listen to it here), but one wonders why the editor chose to grill the FIA. Would it not have been better to humiliate the Chief Exec of Michelin? It was Michelin's error at source, but the FIA suffers the PR damage.
Your inestimable Pedant-General suspects that the FIA missed a trick: they should have declared that all teams run on Bridgestone tyres for the duration of the race.
- the fans get their race so that the FIA comes out smelling of roses;
- one element of equipment differential on the track is removed, placing more focus onto the skill of the drivers, and probably making for a more exciting race thereby;
- The Michelin teams end up having to cope with a tyre system that they have probably never touched before, leading to a distinct disadvantage in the pits (which has a certain appealling feel of natural justice to it);
- .... and: the frogs get the PR equivalent of a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Hurrah!
That's what I would have done if I were in charge.