FIA to cancel guilty verdicts

As we exclusively predicted yesterday, triggering leaks from those involved to other media organisations, the Michelin teams and the FIA have found "new evidence" that means that the recent FIA World Council guilty verdict is to be reconsidered and the FIA Senate is recommending that the verdicts be cancelled. It is hard to see what new evidence would have been placed before the FIA Senate that was not used in the World Council but this is not really the important point as it is all clearly a way to move the sport away from the mess into which it descended after the guilty verdict.

The Senate is a body which takes FIA decisions when circumstances do not permit a meeting of the World Councils. Its decisions must be confirmed by the next meeting of the World Council. The Senate consists of eight members under the President Michel Boeri (Automobile Club de Monaco). They are Max Mosley (FIA President), Jean-Marie Balestre (former FIA President), Robert Darbelnet (Deputy President, Touring), Marco Piccinini (Deputy President, Sport), Otto Flimm (former President, Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club), Rosario Alessi (Automobile Club d'Italia) and John Large (former President of the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport). Decisions of the Senate are carried by an absolute majority with the FIA President getting the casting vote.

The Senate recognised that teams were contractually bound to Michelin and had been expressly prohibited from racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and that the teams and the FIA could both have faced serious legal difficulties had they not observed their respective rules and contractual obligations, and concluded that disciplinary proceedings against the teams are no longer in the interest of the sport.

The recommendation will be put to the World Council in a fax vote and will be confirmed shortly.

The decision is part of a very clear move towards compromise to save F1 from doing itself further damage.

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