JULY 5, 2005
Safety, according to Max Mosley's letter to David Coulthard this morning, is "of paramount importance" to the FIA. This is an admirable statement but clearly 22 drivers do not agree that this was in the forefront of Mosley's thinking last week when he was on the telephone to David Coulthard about the Scottish drivers involvement in signing a letter in support of the Michelin teams over the mess at Indianapolis.
The FIA spokesman will tell you that none of the letters were written by the drivers but rather by team principals trying to stir up trouble, but this is not the point. Racing drivers are not well-known for their literary skills - indeed some of them can barely write - but all of them signed the letters they signed and we are happy to accept that they all understood what they were signing and did so of their own free will.
The best evidence suggests that no-one was forced to sign anything. We have, on the contrary, heard stories that some drivers were not allowed to sign the original letter.
There are lots of rumours and not a lot of facts.
What is a fact is that the drivers are "concerned to learn that during the course of this telephone conversation you suggested the FIA might withdraw support for the ongoing safety initiatives of the GPDA".
This is a claim which needs to be explained in more detail by one of the parties involved. Mosley will surely have a story to explain away the apparent contradiction of what he wrote to Coulthard this morning and what he is supposed to have said on the telephone last week. But for reasons which are not entirely clear Coulthard has shut up and is not saying anything.
He did not even sign the second letter.
Such mysteries are not new. Indeed there are a string of mysteries which go back to last December when BMW and Honda suddenly backed off from pursuing an arbitration claim against the FIA for changing the 2006 engine regulations. That has never been explained.
It has never been properly explained why Paul Stoddart backed off in his legal action in Melbourne to save the Australian Grand Prix. Why was it under threat?
It has never been properly explained what happened on the morning of the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis. Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George could have actioned a clause in the Concorde Agreement which gives the promoter and organiser of a race the right to make decisions with regard to their individual events that cannot be influenced by the FIA. When asked by a group of those involved why he was not using that mechanism to save the race all George would say was: "I can't do it. I just can't do it!"
If it was within his rights to take such an action, what stopped him doing that? What made him refuse to take actions that would have saved the race?
It would be good if all concerned would come clean about all these incidents if only to clear the air and stop the whispering that is going on.
Leaking out documents is all the rage at the moment, why does not someone try and leak the whole truth?
In the interests of complete transparency.
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