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Parr clarifies Ferrari legality comments

Adam Parr, Williams, 2009Williams CEO Adam Parr has insisted he never meant to imply that Ferrari and Renault had been using an illegal car for years in Formula 1, as he moved to clarify remarks he made at this week's FIA International Court of Appeal hearing.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali and Flavio Briatore have been upset by suggestions Parr made in the Paris hearing, where he stated that if rivals thought his team's diffuser was in breach of the regulations, then they had to accept their own machines had been illegal for years.

Parr has made it clear, however, that his remarks were simply a response to Ferrari's own assertions in the trial that the Williams was illegal.

"I think that there has been a very fundamental misunderstanding of what happened in the court on Tuesday," said Parr, responding to a request from Domenicali to clarify his remarks.

"Part of the case presented against us related to what we call as the use of multiple vertical transitions. Essentially, you have to have a reference plane, which is like the plank, and 50mm above that you have the step planes. One of the key issues in the case was: when do you have to have a transition between those two?

"Essentially you have to have a vertical transition between the two when the step plane is visible directly above the periphery of the reference plane. Where you don't, it is explicit that you don't have to have one. So one of the key issues in the case was that if you don't have to have one at certain points then by definition you can have many transitions.

"Ferrari's case was that you could only have one or at best only one on each side. The problem that they had was that for many years cars have had multiple vertical transitions because at the front, where they have turning vanes or bargeboards, they have had a slot in that transition that creates more than one.

"So, they actually said in their submissions that on a strict interpretation of their case, their cars were illegal. Then they gave various reasons why that should not matter, but they said in their submissions and in their evidence, by their interpretation of the rules, that those cars were illegal."

He added: "To be absolutely clear, it was never our case that their cars were illegal. It was, if anything, their case. So we rejected that as being quite wrong. I want to be absolutely clear, on the record, that we have never said and we do not believe that for one minute either the Ferrari cars, or Renault cars, or anyone else's cars, for the last eight years have been illegal. What we say is that they, and we, have used the same principles for eight or nine years."

Parr said he would go and talk with Domenicali to clear up any misunderstanding between them over the matter.

"Stefano Domenicali is a man who you cannot but respect," said Parr. "I've always found him to be incredibly straight. It is not just that he is a charming guy; he is an intelligent, straightforward man.

"I think he is about a week older than me, and in some ways we have a similar education he is from a legal/economic background although he has worked for years in F1 unlike me. He is just someone you just get on with, you trust and you like instantly.

"We've known him in his previous role for many years and one of the first things I did when he became the team principal was, when I spoke to Tim Newton (Williams team manager) he said Stefano was a guy you could always trust. I would just hate anybody to think that there was any disagreement between myself and Stefano, or between Williams and Ferrari."

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