2005 US Grand Prix tyre disaster
During practice for the 2005 United States GP there were several tyre failures for the Michelin runners, one quite major for Ralf Schumacher. It led to the French firm stating that those teams running its tyres would have to slow for turn 13 (the fast banked corner), because they would only last 10 laps.
Nowadays of course, they could have just popped into the pits for a quick swap, but at that point the rules said a set of tyres had to go the full race distance. Michelin tried to get a chicane put in at turn 13 but it was refused by the FIA as that was deemed unfair on the Bridgestone teams.
So at the end of the formation lap all Michelin shod teams peeled off into the pits, leaving only six starters – two Ferraris, two Jordans and two Minardis. What was set to be a great GP with Jarno Trulli on pole, Kimi Raikkonen in second and Jenson Button in third turned into a farce.
The crowd booed and jeered and F1 never returned back to the iconic Brickyard. It was a huge embarrassment to F1 that damaged the sport’s reputation in the States up until its sensational return to Austin in 2012.
And what happened in the race? Well, Schumi won, Barrichello followed him home and some bloke called Monteiro came third in a Jordan. Oh, and the Minardis came last – some things never change, eh?