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Sapere aude - dare to be wise
Monday, June 20, 2005
American Legal System vs. Formula One
Posted 7:36 PM by Brian D.
The joke of a race known as the 2005 U.S. Grand Prix has resulted in legal action. Larry Bowers, a race fan from Colorado, filed a class action lawsuit today in Indianapolis against the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (host of the U.S. Grand Prix), Federation de l' Automobile (FIA is the sanctioning body for Formula One), Formula One Group, Formula One Administration and Michelin Tires (manufacturer of the potentially faulty tires used by the 14 cars that pitted after the presentation lap).
The lawsuit claims Formula One, the FIA, Michelin, the teams equipped by
Michelin and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway forged an agreement allowing the
Michelin teams to participate in the formation lap and then exit the track prior
to the start of the race.

Mr. Powers is seeking a refund for his five tickets in addition to related costs for attending the race.

Some fans are blaming Formula One for failing to relax their notoriously rigid rules, thus assuring a no compromise would be reached that would allowed all 20 cars to race. However, in a statement by Formula One it revealed one reason they did not allow a last second alteration to the race course was a concern about their liability in a lawsuit.

A chicane [Ed. a movable barrier in a turn that forces cars to slow down] would have forced all cars, including those with tyres optimised for high-speed, to run on a circuit whose characteristics had changed fundamentally - from ultra-high speed (because of turn 13 [Ed. Turn 1 of the oval track used by the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400]) to very slow and twisting. It would also have involved changing the circuit without following any of the modern safety procedures, possibly with implications for the cars and their brakes. It is not difficult to imagine the reaction of an American court had there been an accident (whatever its cause) with the FIA having to admit it had failed to follow its own rules and safety procedures.

EDIT: This is truly the electronic age. The class action plantiffs are using a website to gain more people. That didn't take long.

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