Michael Schumacher was a long and wide champion in 2001 when Formula 1 had to travel to Indianapolis for the United States Grand Prix. At least… Bernie Ecclestone thought otherwise when Schumacher refused to drive at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The year is 2001. Less than a week after the devastating 9-11 attacks in the United States, the Formula 1 circus lands at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix with the United States Grand Prix on the horizon two weeks later. Several drivers indicate that they do not want to travel to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Ralf Schumacher called going through the GP a joke and absolutely did not want to take his family to the US and more of that kind of noise was heard. Brother Michael also indicated that he is considering the race The Brickyard to skip, but Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone made short shrift of the German’s intention, who at that time was already a long and wide champion with his points lead.
“Let me make one thing very clear. Michael Schumacher is not yet the world champion of 2001”, it sounded menacing: “Anything can happen. He could just lose his points during the next three races. That won’t happen, but it will fall cannot be ruled out either,” it was stated at the time in the Sunday Times.
If drivers wanted to skip the race, they had to sit on the blisters themselves, Ecclestone said: “I can’t control what the drivers do, of course. But the race goes on anyway and on and there may be consequences (not participating, save .).”
The race went ahead because Ecclestone and Formula 1 did not want to give way to terrorism, not at the expense of agreements: “It was not a difficult decision to let the race go on. It is very simple. We have an agreement and we want it.” we comply, as we always do.These attacks have shocked the world, but my idea is simple: “We do not bow to terrorists. If we do, then they have their way. Everyone in America and in the rest of the world must carry on as usual and must not give in to them.”