Recent Features

More Japanese GP grid
More Qualifying blow-by-blow
More Qualifying times
More Friday form guide
More Free practice times
More Fuji circuit reaction
More Fuji practice pictures
More Win a VIP trip to Singapore
More Mike Conway column
More F1 people: Herbie Blash


‘Indygate’ lawsuit dismissed
Saturday, 17, June, 2006, 15:58
Click to enlarge

A United States federal judge has dismissed a class-action lawsuit arising from last year’s US Grand Prix debacle.

Disgruntled fans were seeking punitive damages and compensation for ticket costs, travel expenses and food after the Indianapolis race was reduced to a six-car procession following the withdrawal of the Michelin teams on safety grounds.

But in a 12-page ruling, Judge Sarah Evans Barker threw out the action – which consolidated 10 separate suits – against F1 promoter Formula One Management, Michelin and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The judge ruled that there was no breach of contract because those buying tickets for sporting events do so in the knowledge that participants may be sidelined for one reason or another.

In any grand prix, for example, drivers and cars may be eliminated from competition due to accidents or mechanical failures, just as players in football or basketball games might be suspended or benched.

“The power to make these decisions is the implicit – perhaps even explicit – risk that sports fans assume when they buy a ticket of admission to a sporting event,” Barker stated.

“It’s to be assumed that the Michelin teams made the decision they believed to be in their best competitive and professional interests, and in doing so, they owned no legal duty to let the preferences of the spectators trump their own good judgement.”

The plaintiffs’ attorney Henry J. Price told the Associated Press that he would appeal the ruling next week.

Michelin, whose warning to its seven teams that it could not guarantee the safety of its tyres triggered the mass withdrawal, issued refunds to 2005 ticket holders as well as 20,00 free tickets for the 2006 race – efforts that were noted by the judge.

The French manufacturer has also scheduled a series of fan events in the run-up to this year’s race in an attempt to rebuild F1’s reputation with the American public, which was left in tatters last summer.

It remains to be seen what impact the ‘Indygate’ affair will have on attendance at this year’s event, the last on the current contract between FOM and IMS.

Recent News

Hamilton stuns Alonso with Fuji pole lap
2007-09-29 10:55
Watch the Japanese GP on ITV
2007-09-29 07:15
Lewis thrilled with last-gasp pole
2007-09-29 10:39
Alonso upbeat despite lost pole
2007-09-29 11:11
Raikkonen ready to take on McLaren
2007-09-29 10:30
Jens bullish on chances if rain stays
2007-09-29 10:35
Vettel delighted with 'fantastic' quali
2007-09-29 10:00
Heidfeld had hoped to split Ferraris
2007-09-29 10:07

Related Links

F1 News Features Calendar TV Schedule Championship F1 Photos