AUGUST 19, 2003
Ralf goes up before the judges
Ralf Schumacher's World Championship chances will be effectively over if he loses his appeal today against the decision of the stewards of the German Grand Prix to give him a penalty of 10 grid positions at the Hungarian GP for having caused an avoidable accident at Hockenheim. Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Kimi Raikkonen will all be in Paris today to argue the case as will Ralf's team boss Sir Frank Williams. The Williams team fears that if Ralf is pushed back down the grid in Hungary - famous for the near-impossibility of overtaking - his chances in the World Championship will be blown. Ralf is currently fourth in the World Championship 18 points adrift of his brother Michael with four races to go. In order to stay in the running for the title with Juan Pablo Montoya and Raikkonen, Ralf needs a good result in Hungary.
The lawyers representing Williams are expected to argue that the punishment is too harsh for the crime because it was an accident which can be blamed on any one of the drivers involved. Schumacher did not help his own case at the time by telling the stewards that he admitted to paying no attention to the position of the other cars when he moved left across the track to take a better racing line into the first corner.
The International Court of Appeal will be televised for the first time.
The result will be issued tomorrow afternoon.
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