SEPTEMBER 22, 2006
Turkey to appeal?
The word is that the organisers of the Turkish Grand Prix are to appeal the $5m penalty handed down earlier this week by the FIA World Council. It is not clear whether an appeal is possible but Turkish newspapers are arguing that the problem is being handled by no less a figure than Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin, an indication that the Turkish government is involved.
There is no doubt that such a fine would be a huge burden for the two bodies and could cause either or even both into bankruptcy. In order to protect the Grand Prix, the government would then have to step in and pay the fine in order to keep the event alive.
The FIA has, nonetheless, backed down from early statements that "political neutrality is fundamental to the FIA's role as the governing body of international motor sport" and that "no compromise or violation of this neutrality is acceptable". By choosing a fine rather than a ban has made life easier for the Turks as without a Grand Prix the future of the circuit would have been dire.
It will be interesting to see if there is an appeal - and the outcome if that does occur.
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