USA Grand Prix charm offensive

Indianapolis 2005 Pit laneAmerican Formula One fans will be well catered for in the build-up to the 2006 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis. Michelin, who sparked a huge controversy last year when they discovered their tyres were failing due to Indy’s unique (for F1) banking, have purchased 20,000 tickets to distribute among fans who were angered by last year’s race.

Michelin are also arranging a pit-lane walk about and an autograph session with twelve Michelin-equipped drivers. Not wanting to be out-PRed, rival tyre supplier Bridgestone are holding a Preview Party featuring a live screening of the Canadian Grand Prix, photo opportunities with grid girls and – joy! – face painting.

Mosley at the Red Bull Arabian nights partyHow nice it would be if such activities were taken for granted as part of a normal Grand Prix weekend, as they are in the likes of Champ Car, the Indy Racing League and NASCAR. And why aren’t the FIA, who also played a role in last year’s farce by failing (or refusing) to help arrange a compromise solution, not offering any recompense?

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