Pitpass have an interesting article up this morning that mirrors a printed article in the Independent On Sunday from the same author. The article asks some pertinent questions relating to the Stepneygate saga, specifically the way the FIA handled the matter and the fine that was imposed on McLaren after they were found guilty of bringing the sport into disrepute. According to Pitpass’s Christopher Sylt and motor sport lawyers Jonathan Lux and Avnish Shah, Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt have no right to sit on the WMSC.
The article essentially uses one piece of evidence for its arguement, but to be fair, it is quite a compelling piece of evidence; it comes from the words written by FIA themselves. The Federation has statutes by which it must comply – these are a list of rules and they are published on their website to the public domain. Here’s the part that Sylt and his team noted, and then questioned.
The World Motor Sport Council shall consist of :
- the President of the FIA;
- the Deputy President;
- the 7 Vice-Presidents;
- the 17 Members;
a total of 26 Members who, with the exception of the President of the FIA, must represent an ASN having at least one event entered on the International Sporting Calendar of the current year, of whom 21, with the exception of the President, the Deputy President and the 3 Members by right, shall be of different nationalities. FIA Statutes, Article 14.
ASN stands for Association Sportif Nationale; the national association of motor sport. So, which national bodies do you think Ecclestone and Todt are in charge of? They’re not, and for Bernie it would be a conflict of interest if he were as he often negiotiates with these associations when he deals with the grands prix. And this is why Pitpass feel the decision made on 13th September, 2007, and also other decisions that have been recently made by the WMSC, are void.
Whether or not their story will be noticed or dealt with is another matter, but what it does show is that the FIA are not squeaky-clean as they might want us to believe. To be fair, Formula One fans have known that for a long time, and the recent saga to embroil the Federation (specifically, its president) only further highlights that. It would seem silly to suggest that the FIA did not know their own rules, it would be even sillier to suggest, as Pitpass do, that the FIA may have made a typo. It seems perfectly reasonable, to me at least, that the FIA wanted Ecclestone and Todt on the council, and to them, rules are there to be broken.
Isn’t it is about time the FIA were fined $100m for bringing the sport into disrepute?