November 16, 2007

The FIA Does It Again.

McLaren's appeal on the cool fuel controversy in Brazil has been heard, and the FIA has very, very quietly announced their verdict. 

It seemed like a relatively simple question: did BMW and Williams have fuel that was more than 10 C. below the ambient air temperature, or not?  If yes, why didn't the stewards penalize the teams?  If no, why did the gauges used report that the fuel WAS too cool in the first place?  Certainly the results of this simple question could have far-reaching ramifications, but at it's core, it's a basic "yes/no" answer. 

But this is the FIA we're talking about here.  They've invented new ways to screw up for fifty years, and they didn't disappoint today.  After hearing the case presented to them (and listening to a Ferrari lawyer shred McLaren for an extended period... and just what was Ferrari doing there anyway?  They weren't involved in the actual question...), over the course of a full day, and delaying the release of the verdict until Friday night London time, the four-judge court of appeals came out and said "the appeal is inadmissible, we shouldn't've been hearing this case in the first place.  Appeal denied on procedural grounds."

In other words, nothing to see here, move along.

Except it's more than that, of course.  This is the FIA's way of sweeping the entire mess under the rug and putting a chair over the unsightly lump.  It solves nothing, and just makes Team McLaren even more sympathetic, as now it looks like the FIA is just playing with them.  They have a legit complaint, and they're turning it away because the team didn't fill out the correct paperwork?

Ridiculous.  Don't expect this to end anytime soon, either.  Next season's going to be a nightmare of charges, claims and allegations, mark my words.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:35 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Is there any possibility of appeal? For instance, could McLaren take this to the courts?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 17, 2007 08:30 AM (+rSRq)


OJ Simpson could use that bunch of lawyers.  

Is there actually a rule book in FIA, or do they just make it up as they go along?


Posted by: Mallory at November 17, 2007 10:44 AM (rdHAh)


Mallory, there IS a rulebook!  I have a pdf copy of it... I'm just not sure that the FIA does.

Steven, it's not entirely unheard of.  The problem is, the FIA is a sporting independent entity, and, like baseball or football, has their own rules... including rules saying that the various teams have to abide by the FIA rulings.  The previous civil cases relating to F1 have all been specifically between teams (like Ferrari and McLaren in Italian court this year), not between a team and the FIA.

It'd be like the St. Louis Cardinals suing MLB; I guess it could be done, but I can't imagine under what circumstances it would occur... and there's nothing preventing the FIA from kicking a team out of F1 altogether if it felt like it.

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 17, 2007 05:12 PM (DcSb+)

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