Contracts board would be toothless tiger

Team chiefs Bobby Rahal and Craig Pollock believe a contracts recognition board would be a toothless tiger, even if one was ever set-up to help resolve disputes over the movements of leading designers in Formula 1

Contracts board would be toothless tiger

The abrupt departure of technical director Gustav Brunner from European Minardi to Toyota midway through his contract and the legal battle surrounding Jaguar Racing's attempt to sign top designer Adrian Newey from McLaren has sparked renewed calls for a contracts board.

But Rahal, whose Milton Keynes-based team has taken its bid for Newey into the High Court, reckons a board would not have any jurisdiction and would lack the power to impose any rulings.

"You have the rule of law in each country so I don't know why you need a contract recognition board," said Jaguar's CEO.

"A contract is a contract is a contract and to have a contract recognition board only tells you who has got the contract," he added. "I don't think you need to have some sort of body out there and I'm not sure if it has any real jurisdiction anyway.

"If it really ever got pressed, would it really have any jurisdiction over the laws of any specific country, I think that might be arguable."

British American Racing boss Pollock agreed and said the only value of the board would be as an independent body where the contracts could be registered.

"I think the contract recognition board is really an agreement between the team drivers and the team principals, and if they all agree to respect it, then it works as an independent party," said Pollock.

"It would not be a party of the FIA [the sport's governing body], it would be just a place where you register a contract so that the terms of the contract are known by an independent body.

"Whether it would work for other team members I just don't see it - and certainly in Europe there is no way it would be accepted," he added.

"I think you should respect contracts. I think if you sign a document it should be respected all the way through. I think as an employer, I would expect my employees to do that. You tend to treat people the way you expect to be treated."

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