FIA Senate clears Michelin teams of guilt

The FIA Senate has recommended that the seven Michelin-supplied teams found guilty of bringing Formula 1 into disrepute following the US GP fiasco at Indianapolis should have their verdicts overturned. Following an emergency meeting of the Senate in Monaco, attended by McLaren boss Ron Dennis (representing the teams) and Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner, on Thursday, the FIA claimed new evidence brought forward absolved the teams of any guilt.

The FIA’s statement, which followed the meeting, points the finger at tyre supplier Michelin, which instructed its teams not race. The French company claims its tyres were unsafe to use during the race after a series of failures through practice at Turn 13. The teams argued successfully on Thursday that they were legally bound to follow this instruction. “Having examined the new evidence… the Senate was satisfied that the teams were contractually bound to follow the instructions of their tyre supplier and that their tyre supplier had expressly prohibited them from racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in its licensed configuration,” read the statement.

“Recognising that for both sporting and legal reasons it was impossible for the FIA to authorise a change to the circuit configuration and that both the FIA and the teams could have faced serious legal difficulties in the United States had they not observed to the letter their respective rules and contractual obligations, the Senate was of the view that having regard to this new evidence, disciplinary proceedings against the teams had ceased to be appropriate and were no longer in the interest of the sport.

The statement continued by saying all charges against the teams, which are set to appeal the verdicts in a World Council hearing on September 14, should be dropped. “It is anticipated that this recommendation will be put to the World Motor Sport Council by means of a fax vote in the next few days,” said the statement.


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