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After 14 Formula One race car drivers withdrew due to safety concerns over the Michelin-made tires on their vehicles, German driver Michael Schumacher won a less-than-satisfying victory at the United States Grand Prix. The race, held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis will go down one of the most controversial Formula One racing events in history. Michelin had determined that the tires they had supplied for the Grand Prix could not withstand the banked turn and asked the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the sanctioning body for Formula One races, for permission to send another batch of tires. The FIA refused, citing its mandate that only one set of tires be used in a weekend. The organization also refused Michelin's request to alter the layout of the course to slow down cars before the 13th turn. This was despite the fact that the speedway's chief executive and 9 out of the 10 teams in the race agreed that the track could be altered. The only team that didn't agree with the changes was Ferrari, the team of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello (who ended up finishing second), a team that used Bridgestone tires instead of Michelin. The result was that 14 cars with Michelin tires stayed in the garage for the Grand Prix while the six remaining cars that actually raced were from the Bridgestone-outfitted Ferrari, Minardi and Jordan teams. Many disgruntled fans left early, while others threw beer bottles and other debris from the stands and booed the victory ceremony, during which a subdued Schumacher declined to spray the customary bottle of champagne into the crowd. The teams that used Michelin tires issued a joint apology to fans and sponsors, while Michelin later reimbursed some ticket holders for the event. Though many faulted Michelin for not providing adequate tires and agreed that the FIA and Ferrari team had the right to insist that the race course not be changed, many felt a compromise would have benefited Formula One racing as a whole, especially in the United States, where it was still seeking to build a solid fan base.
United States Grand Prix - 2005