FIA Level Severe Charges Against Teams

The seriousness of the charges levelled against the seven Michelin teams that withdrew from last weekend's United States Grand Prix was made evident today, when the FIA published the letters summoning the teams to a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council next week

FIA Level Severe Charges Against Teams

The identical letters, written to the seven Michelin teams, express a number of serious breaches of the regulations.

The teams have been called up on suspicion of committing: "one or more acts prejudicial to the interests of a competition, namely the 2005 United States Grand Prix, and/or to the interests of motor sport generally."

The accusations leveled at the teams, according to the letter, are that they:

» failed to ensure that they had a supply of suitable tyres for the race

Â" wrongfully refused to allow their cars to start the race

Â" wrongfully refused to allow their cars to race, subject to a speed restriction in one corner which was safe for such tyres as they had available

Â" combined with other teams to make a demonstration damaging to the image of Formula One by pulling into the pits immediately before the start of the race

Â" failed to notify the stewards of their intention not to race, in breach of Article 131 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.

Article 131 of the Sporting Regulations states: "The starting grid will be published four hours before the race. Any competitor whose car(s) is (are) unable to start for any reason whatsoever (or who has good reason to believe that their car(s) will not be ready to start) must inform the stewards accordingly at the earliest opportunity and, in any event, no later than 45 minutes before the start of the race.

"If one or more cars are withdrawn the grid will be closed up accordingly. The final starting grid will be published 45 minutes before the start of the race."

The teams are expected to be sent a full dossier of the charges within the next 24 hours and have been invited to send any written comments to the FIA prior to the meeting, which takes place in Paris on June 29.

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