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Last Updated: Monday, 20 June, 2005, 13:40 GMT 14:40 UK
Stoddart blames F1 boss for farce
Minardi boss Paul Stoddart
The Minardi points haul was not a factor for Stoddart
Minardi boss Paul Stoddart has launched a stinging attack on Formula One chief Max Mosley following a US Grand Prix that featured only six cars.

Stoddart said: "Formula One lost sight of anything other than politics.

"The cure was there and it was not taken up by the top person in F1 who had the power to allow it to happen."

Mosley, the president of F1's governing body the FIA, blamed tyre manufacturer Michelin and its teams for the fiasco, saying they had damaged the sport.

"They were offered options but they chose not to accept them," Mosley said.

In any other business there'd be calls for the person who did this to resign
Paul Stoddart
Mosley said the FIA could not be expected to change the rules - for example by inserting a chicane - just because Michelin did not take the right tyres to the race.

After coming under fire from Stoddart, Mosley was also adamant that Michelin and the teams, rather than him, were responsible for causing fans' dissatisfaction.

"Between the teams and Michelin, they owe the fans the money," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

"Morally, there's no question in my mind, they deprived the fans of something. They owe the fans money and they owe the fans compensation for wasted time.

"If something was my fault I'd be first to consider my position, not because a tyre company can't supply the right tyres or the teams won't compromise by running a little bit more slowly through a fast corner.

"I'd be first to accept blame if it was over something I had control but I don't. If I was in charge of the tyres or the teams, it wouldn't have happened."

The FIA said it was waiting for a report from its official observer before deciding what further action to take, but added that the rules always had to be adhered to.

"These cannot be negotiated each time a competitor brings the wrong equipment to a race," a statement said.

It added that the "by refusing to run unless the FIA broke the rules and handicapped the Bridgestone runners, [the Michelin teams] have damaged themselves and the sport".

All seven of the teams equipped with Michelin tyres withdrew from the race because of safety concerns.

But Mosley, who was not at the venue, insisted there was no reason for the boycott.

"It seems that the Michelin teams failed to bring a back-up tyre as usual with them to Indianapolis," he added.

"As a result they had a performance problem and asked for the circuit to be changed to overcome their difficulty.

"The FIA offered them options to compete safely within the limitations of their tyres."

Each of the teams, with the exception of Ferrari, agreed on the morning of the race not to compete unless a temporary chicane was installed ahead of the final turn to slow the cars down.

But Stoddart, whose team claimed their first double points finish for 16 years, said: "It was anti-safety - putting in the chicane was a safety measure.

"The argument could have been about whether it was a points-scoring or non points-scoring race, but we would have still entertained the crowd.

"In any other business there'd be calls for the person who did this to resign."

Stoddart also defended his team's decision to race.

"The only reason the Minardis went out was because Jordan didn't adhere to an agreement they'd made earlier about not racing and that left us in an impossible position," he added.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Minardi boss Paul Stoddart


Interview: Max Mosley


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SEE ALSO
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US Grand Prix as it happened
19 Jun 05 |  Formula One
Seven teams boycott US Grand Prix
19 Jun 05 |  Formula One


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