DECEMBER 8, 1997

Stewart's finances

JACKIE STEWART learned the hard way last week that it is better not to talk too loudly against FIA policy. The Scotsman has been very high profile in recent weeks, making known his views about tobacco advertising. In a gentle reminder that it is best to follow the party line, the two Stewart entries were listed by the FIA as being dependent on the team being able to "provide the FIA with proof that it will be in a position to take part".

This led to embarrassing questions about the team's financing - which is absurd given the fact that the whole operation is being underwritten by the Ford Motor Company. Stewart reacted angrily. "I cannot understand why the FIA thought it appropriate to ask for re-assurances from us," he said.

The FIA later said that Stewart's entry had been accepted following confirmation that the team had the necessary finance.