Au revoir, Formula 1
The debacle that disguised itself as the sixth annual U.S. Grand Prix on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a spark plug shy of insanity.
After the parade lap around the 2.606-mile road course ‘ built by IMS at a cost of around $15 million solely for the purpose of hosting the F1 series ‘ 14 of the 20 cars entered in the event pulled into the garage area and withdrew, citing the allegedly unsafe Michelin tires they use. The remaining six cars, all of whom ride the circuit on Bridgestones, completed the 73-lap ‘race.’
I was at the Indianapolis 500 a few weeks ago and don’t seem to remember a single tire having problems in any of the four high-speed corners.
Countless fans who shelled out at least $75 per ducket probably would agree that the 14 drivers should have just whipped out to Crawfordsville Road, never to taste the rich heritage of the famed oval ever again.
Sadly, this wasn’t the first time that the F1 series made a mockery of the U.S. Grand Prix.
A few years ago, a manufactured finish took place, when leader Michael Schumacher slowed on the last lap to allow teammate Rubens Barrichello to pass for the win. Schumacher won the Austrian Grand Prix earlier that year after then-leader Barrichello slowed down on the final straightaway under team orders.
Sunday was the end of the line.
At the very least, all of the teams that withdrew should get off their hip and refund the price of the tickets to the fans and add a little goodwill offering on top of that.
Then maybe, just maybe, IMS should only consider a return for the series in 2006.
— One person who would love to see the F1 series make a return is 2000 Corydon Central graduate and member of the Lady Panthers’ Final Four team that season, Ashley Haub.
Through a modeling agency, Haub was hired on as a ‘grid girl’ for the U.S. Grand Prix.
What’s a grid girl? I didn’t know either, until I searched the Web.
Basically the job of a grid girl (there were 50 at Sunday’s Grand Prix) is to stand by the race cars and the drivers and look pretty.
Haub did all three remarkably well, and lived to tell about it.
Her outfit consisted of a mini skirt, a short-sleeved (and mid-riff showing) top and five-inch heel, knee high boots.
‘That was the worst thing,’ she said. ‘I had two pair of thick socks and gel inserts on and my toes still went numb.’
Haub said she was basically treated like a celebrity, with F1 fans from around the world asking to take pictures with her.
She said the neatest thing was her first appearance on the track, when all 50 girls walked down the main stretch in front of thousands of cheering Formula 1 fans.
‘It was such an adrenaline rush!’ Haub said.
Perhaps the real rush would come later, while she tried to find pictures of herself on the Internet to show friends and family.
Under the link of ‘pitbabes,’ at the web site, www.f1.racing-live.com, Haub found a few pictures.
She also discovered a link where F1 fans from around the world could vote for their favorite grid girl after each F1 race.
And guess who was in second place as of last night?
The leader had 12 percent of 3568 votes, with Haub in second with three percent.
Haub said her two days at the track were incredible and that she looks forward to doing it again next season.
‘Seeing the number of people who came from all over the world to support their team was fascinating. Also being one of the 50 women chosen to represent the United States was such an honor. I hope to have this same opportunity again next year,’ Haub said.
If it’s held, let’s hope there’s a race with more than six cars.