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FEBRUARY 15, 1999

Mosley on BAR

FIA President Max Mosley says that British American Racing's launch of two cars branded in different liveries was "like putting two fingers up to the FIA". The team is facing the possibility of being banned from Grands Prix this year as a result of its dispute with the FIA over liveries.

BAR has been invited to the next meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in March to answer allegations that it has committed acts "prejudicial to the interests of motor sport" and that it has "pursued an objective contrary or opposed to those of the FIA". The governing body is understood to be particularly upset about a challenge to its authority lodged by BAR with the European Commission.

Cleverly, Mosley has introduced a new justification for the controversial twin-livery ban which BAR was opposing. He says that the team was pushing too far with its tobacco advertising at a time when the sport is saying that it will reduce its dependency on cigarette companies. "We have concessions from governments to run with tobacco advertising," said Mosley, "but we mustn't exaggerate it, we can't overdo it." Mosley said that if the twin-livery rule had not been introduced there might have been 24 cars running with 24 different cigarette brands.

Mosley also warned that if the team turned up in Melbourne with an unacceptable color scheme the stewards of the meeting could stop the team taking part in the race.