Looking Back On Formula One's Embarassing 2005 U.S. Grand Prix

Photo: AP Images

The 2005 U.S. Grand Prix was an absolute disgrace for the sport, the fans, and the drivers. There were a number of behind-the-scenes communication and planning breakdowns that caused the race to ultimately start with only six cars on the grid—and result in Tiago Monteiro’s only career F1 podium. The video below helps break down exactly what happened, and in what order, to cause such a farce.

At nearly 10 minutes long, this video is well worth watching in its entirety. As a long-time fan of the sport, I had a minimal understanding of how such a large-scale failure could be allowed to happen, but this breakdown helped.


Effectively Michelin didn’t build a strong enough sidewall for the lateral load required to get through the banked Indianapolis turn because the track had been resurfaced and they didn’t have enough data. From there, even though multiple solutions were offered, the FIA dug in their heels and allowed the race to proceed with only the six Bridgestone-equipped racers.

Image: AP Images

Literally everyone was mad about the outcome. People were still upset about it two years later when I attended the final U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis in 2007.

Image: AP Images

As Paul Harvey would say, now you know the rest of the story.

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About the author

Bradley Brownell

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.