MARCH 14, 2002
Phoenix fails to make scrutineering
THE PHOENIX FINANCE Formula 1 team failed to appear for scrutineering in Malaysia and when the entry for the event was signed off by the FIA stewards in the middle of Thursday afternoon, all theoretical rights which the organization is claiming are thought to have disappeared as the Concorde Agreement apparently states that. Teams are not allowed to miss two consecutive races.
Thus, even it was eventually concluded that Phoenix had acquired the Prost entry, the rights associated with the entry have now disappeared, making the purchase worthless.
According to documents which have now been made public in France, the owners of Phoenix (whoever they may be) accepted that there was a risk that the rights purchased would be ruled worthless and agreed not to try to recoup the money from the liquidator of Prost Grand Prix. Thus Phoenix has spent $2.6m and bought nothing but a few old racing cars. This desperate situation might perhaps explain the team's weird decision to fly cars to Malaysia despite the fact that the FIA had ruled that the team had no right to appear.
The matter proved to be irrelevant anyway as the cars were impounded by customs authorities in Malaysia when they arrived as they were ruled not to be part of the F1 package which is covered by a multi-million dollar bond which allows the teams to import and export the cars without having to pay duties. In order for the cars to be released by the authorities it is thought that the Malaysians were asking for a bond of $1m.
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