Sunday, June 19, 2005

Boycott Michelin!

I just witnessed the travesty that was the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis, and I can only say that I'm very glad I wasn't able to go this year.

I had attended the 2000 and 2001 GP's, and found them to be amazing spectacles of engineering and driver talent. Nobody who knows what it takes to put a competitive F1 car on the grid would ever claim that it's not the pre-eminent form of motor sport in the world. These machines are magnificent works of engineering art. If you're a techie and you like racing, F1 is for you.

What happened today will be spun and politicized by all sorts of people, but the bottom line is this. The idiots at Michelin got it all wrong. They owe everyone with a ticket to the race a complete refund of their money and travel expenses.

Figure 140,000 people at around $500 a piece to lodge and buy a ticket to the event...I think it'd have been much cheaper for them to have brought a tire to the race that could handle a 6 degree bank at 185 MPH, even if it was a little slower than the Bridgestones. No, they realized that there was no chance they could win, so they all quit. Like a bunch of spoiled 3-year-old's. Tres' French.

Since you will probably never see a refund check from Michelin, the best you can do is to never buy a Michelin product of any kind ever again. This shouldn't be asking too much. First of all, the company is French...enough said. Second of all, if they can't be trusted to make a tire that can last 350km while spending probably a grand total of two minutes during the race on a simple 6 degree banking at speed, I'm not sure we should trust them to make the tires on our family's cars that will go 30,000 - 50,000km.

Bridgestone got it right - their tires performed very well, and would have lasted 100 laps (the race was 73 in total). Amazing that Bridgestone (who owns Firestone) has the "reliable" tire, and Michelin suddenly is scared of their own shadow.

Buy Bridgestone. Buy Firestone. Even if you hate the commercials (I know I'm sick of them by now). Send a message with your checkbook.

I just hope F1 will be welcome in America again - it sure seems that quite a few people have tried very hard to ruin it for us.

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