DECEMBER 10, 2007
The FIA responds
The FIA has responded to a column written by Martin Brundle in The Sunday Times saying that it was regrettable that instead of applauding the achievements of motor sport's champions, who were presented with their prizes af a gala prize dinner in Monaco on Friday, Brundle "chose to continue his campaign against motor sport's governing body". The FIA spokesman went on to say that Brundle is "perfectly entitled to his opinion but he should try to understand that to accuse the regulator of a worldwide sport" of something it considers to be untoward is "a very serious charge".
The interesting point is that The Sunday Times agreed to let Brundle run a second column on Sunday which tends to suggest that the orgnaisation's lawyers are not worried about the FIA law suit. The most usual defence against libel is to prove that the information published is true. If that is not possible there is the often-used defence of fair comment, which covers opinion which cannot be deemed to be true or false. These comments must be based on fact, made in good faith and published without malice. There is also the defence that it is a matter of public interest.