NOVEMBER 17, 1997

The FIA ignores its own rules

ONE aspect of the Schumacher Affair which the mainstream media failed to appreciate is that the FIA chose to ignore its own rules in the judgment. Article 123 of the FIA International Sporting Code states that "the entrant shall be responsible for all acts or omissions on the part of the driver". In practice, therefore, Ferrari should have been excluded from the 1997 World Championship for failing to control its driver.

When questioned on the subject Max Mosley said that the World Council had decided not to invoke Article 123. The implication is that the governing body only abides by its own rules when it wants to do so - which cannot be in the best interests of the sport.

Another question which the World Council failed to address was whether or not there would be any public sanction against the stewards at Jerez, who had dismissed the Schumacher-Villeneuve incident, which was clearly a dereliction of their duty.