FIA Senate Absolves Michelin Teams

Michelin's F1 teams have successfully convinced the FIA that they were innocent of disrepute charges over not racing at Indianapolis, as exclusively revealed by Autosport-Atlas on Wednesday

FIA Senate Absolves Michelin Teams

An emergency FIA Senate hearing was called for today to listen to new evidence presented by McLaren chief Ron Dennis - representing his own squad, championship leaders Renault, Williams, Toyota, BAR and Sauber - and Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

The teams were found guilty on two of five counts after the Indianapolis race, but the fresh information put forward for consideration in Monaco today has led the FIA Senate to suggest to the WMSC to shift the blame entirely onto Michelin.

"Having examined the new evidence and discussed it with Mr Dennis and Mr Horner, the Senate was satisfied that the teams were contractually bound to follow the instructions of their tyre supplier and that their tyre supplier had expressly prohibited them from racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in its licensed configuration," said the FIA Senate in a statement.

"Recognising that for both sporting and legal reasons it was impossible for the FIA to authorise a change to the circuit configuration and that both the FIA and the teams could have faced serious legal difficulties in the United States had they not observed to the letter their respective rules and contractual obligations (particularly had there been any kind of accident), the Senate was of the view that having regard to this new evidence, disciplinary proceedings against the teams had ceased to be appropriate and were no longer in the interest of the sport.
 
"The Senate will therefore recommend to the World Motor Sport Council that the guilty verdict of 29 June against the teams be cancelled.  It is anticipated that this recommendation will be put to the World Motor Sport Council by means of a fax vote in the next few days."

The fresh evidence provided by Dennis and Horner effectively seals the FIA's stance that Michelin was entirely to blame for the events at Indianapolis.

FIA president Max Mosley has made no secret of the fact that he believes the French tyre manufacturer was responsible, and with the teams having now effectively shifted blame away from themselves, the tyre company can no longer plead any innocence over the events.

There is even a chance that this latest twist will eventually result in a move to get Michelin out of F1 altogether. Quite how that is achieved remains to be seen, with Michelin already having at least one contract in place for next year, but Mosley has made no secret of the fact that he ultimately wants a single tyre supplier in the future.

The World Motorsport Council will decide on the matter via a fax vote and the seven teams should be cleared of any charges within days.

The WMSC deferred any sentencing until September 14, but the teams appealed against the guilty verdicts, claiming their only choice was to withdraw from the race after receiving advice from Michelin based on safety grounds.


Full Statement from the FIA Senate

FIA Senate Meeting

Following receipt of a dossier of new evidence relating to events at the 2005 United States Grand Prix submitted to the FIA by BAR, McLaren, Renault, Sauber, Toyota and Williams, the FIA Senate met in Monaco on 14 July.  Ron Dennis attended the meeting, having been appointed representative of six Michelin teams.  He was accompanied by Christian Horner from Red Bull Racing.

Having examined the new evidence and discussed it with Mr Dennis and Mr Horner, the Senate was satisfied that the teams were contractually bound to follow the instructions of their tyre supplier and that their tyre supplier had expressly prohibited them from racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in its licensed configuration.  Recognising that for both sporting and legal reasons it was impossible for the FIA to authorise a change to the circuit configuration and that both the FIA and the teams could have faced serious legal difficulties in the United States had they not observed to the letter their respective rules and contractual obligations (particularly had there been any kind of accident), the Senate was of the view that having regard to this new evidence, disciplinary proceedings against the teams had ceased to be appropriate and were no longer in the interest of the sport.

The Senate will therefore recommend to the World Motor Sport Council that the guilty verdict of 29 June against the teams be cancelled.  It is anticipated that this recommendation will be put to the World Motor Sport Council by means of a fax vote in the next few days.

Paris, July 14, 2005

shares
comments
Analysis: F1 Dances to a Different Tune
Previous article

Analysis: F1 Dances to a Different Tune

Next article

Montoya Sets the Pace at Jerez

Montoya Sets the Pace at Jerez
Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga Plus

Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga

The appearance of a revised Aston Martin in Spain caused controversy but PAT SYMONDS explains why the FIA investigation found the Silverstone team had no case to answer

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Plus

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 2, 2022
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Formula 1
Jul 1, 2022
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022