New doubts over Italian F1fixtures

The decision of the Italian Supreme Court to reopen the Ayrton Senna criminal case [Jan 28] has serious implications for both the Italian GP at Monza and the San Marino GP at Imola. Clearly no progress has been made in Italy towards eliminating national laws that impose criminal liability for sporting fatalities, despite government assurances to the FIA over four years ago. Following this latest development, both fixtures will again be under review

New doubts over Italian F1fixtures

In December 1998, almost a year before the original case had (apparently) been closed, the FIA requested and received an assurance from the Italian government that it would address the problematical issue of criminal liability in all dangerous sports, which is enshrined in Italian law. At that time, the FIA talked in terms of pulling F1 out of Italy unless the law was changed.

The issue has concerned F1 teams for many years. As a result of the Italian legislation, F1 personnel have been implicated in criminal investigations following the fatalities of Wolfgang von Trips (and 11 spectators) in 1961, Jochen Rindt in 1970, Ronnie Peterson in 1978 (all at Monza), and Ayrton Senna in 1994 at Imola. For a while, there was a real possibility that someone in F1 would be prosecuted over the death of Paolo Ghislimberti, the track marshal struck by a detached wheel in a first-lap accident in the 2000 Italian GP at Monza.

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