MAY 13, 2002
The reaction out there...
FORMULA 1 is in the firing line today after yesterday's Austrian Grand Prix and it is not just the people in the grandstands and the world media that felt cheated by Ferrari's insistence that Michael Schumacher win the race yesterday.
People all over the world have been sending in messages to www.grandprix.com expressing their views. Here are some of them:
"The Ferrari Formula 1 Team should be ashamed of what they did today, championship or not," wrote race fan Rene Wittevrongel. "I'm not proud to be a fan any more. It was a very very sad day for the sport."
"I was in a crowded petrol-head pub watching the race live," reported Phil Branagan from Melbourne, Australia. "To a man the place burst into spontaneous boo-ing... Yes, the rules may allow it, but the punter thinks it's a fraud..."
British race fan Martin Lascelles said it illustrated "pathetic brand-destroying tactics" and "even as a devoted Ferrari supporter I felt physically sick".
Even Brazil's President Fernando Henrique Cardoso joined in the debate saying that as far as Brazil was concerned the race had been won by Barrichello while former World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi said: "It was embarrassing."
In the F1 paddock there were similarly strong views.
"It was a terrible decision," said former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger. "This does damage the sport. There was no need to do this so early in the season, I just don't understand it."
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