Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

More about the FIA decision // The cool fuel result raises more questions than it answers

Published by Mr. C

The announcement from the FIA on Friday told us very little about what went on during Thursday's Court of Appeal hearing. In fact, it would be fair to say that the FIA did pretty much everything in their power to withhold information.

Rather than revealing any detail, the official press release announced the result and then stated:

The full text of the International Court of Appeal’s decision is available, on request, from the secretariat of the FIA International Court of Appeal in Paris.

Compare if you will, how the FIA handled the McLaren spy hearing, where it was so keen for the world to hear about the penalty imposed upon McLaren, it went as far as rushing out the PDF transcripts before they'd been properly checked.

Thankfully, grandprix.com went to the trouble of playing along with the FIA's silly little games, and published the full decision text on their site.

Reading through the document, the main thing we learn is the reason why the appeal was deemed inadmissible:

Article 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the International Court of Appeal indicates that the International Court of Appeal may hear "Appeals from decisions of the stewards of the meeting, lodged by at least one of the parties concerned".

The International Court of Appeal finds that the term "parties concerned" in the Rules of Procedure of the International Court of Appeal does not cover all parties whose interests may be affected by the decision in question.

Basically, the stewards findings relating to the cars of Williams and BMW was none of McLaren's business. There is however provision within the rules to allow for McLaren to protest:

The International Sporting Code has foreseen in a formal fashion that in cases such as these the only recourse would be that set out in Article 174 d of the International Sporting Code which foresees that "Protests... referring to the non-compliance of vehicles with the regulations and concerning the classification established at the end of the event shall... be made within thirty minutes of the official publication of the results."

So McLaren made a mistake in appealing the stewards descision, when they should have, in fact, been protesting the results of the race. A minor technicality you might suggest, but an important one in the grand scheme of things. How the team managed to make such a mistake will probably be revealed soon, but no doubt at the time they believed it was the correct thing to do.

What the text doesn't go into is the discussions that went on regarding fuel rigs and ambient temperature sensors, as discussed yesterday by Sam Michael.

The last thing to note is the costs of the appeal will be paid by McLaren. As if it hasn't been an expensive enough year already.