This came in on my phone while, ironically , I was talking to someone from AMD who wanted to get involved with some stuff we’re doing: as it turned out it was a bad fit anyway. Beforehand I’d mentioned to a couple of Microsoft folks that AMD sponsor Ferrari, and why I won’t buy anything from a Ferrari sponsor; so all other things being equal I’d rather not use equipment provided by one or appear on a stage with the their logo. I think that might have worried them. I’ve written a few times recently about buying the brand, not just the product. My reason for not buying this or that brand isn’t valid for everybody and any customer should look at the sum of a prospective supplier’s products and business practices and decide where they should spend their money. And rather than getting hung up on my personal boycotts, ask if there’s any kind of sponsorship that would put you off a company. I mean … you wouldn’t knowingly buy something made for the best price by using child slaves (would you ?) so if bad choice of sports team to back seems trivial (as it might) then where between those points would you draw the line ?
Interestingly Lewis Hamilton features on the FIA home page – at least the version served up to UK visitors right now, although I suspect his feelings towards them could be better communicated with a different hand gesture.
It is interesting to read the Appeal hearing document. The Opening words on the the title page are INTERNATIONAL COURT OF APPEAL (I.C.A.) of the FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE L'AUTOMOBILE . OK it’s the FIA court… page 4 tells us.
6. The FIA, in its submission of 19 September 2008, claims that the Court should:
– declare the appeal inadmissible pursuant to Article 152 of the International Sporting Code;
– if the appeal is admissible, dismiss the appeal as unfounded and confirm the contested decision in its entirety.
7. Ferrari, as an intervening party, claims that the Court should:
– declare the appeal inadmissible;
– if the appeal is admissible, confirm the contested decision in its entirety.
So the FIA has asked it’s own court to do EXACTLY what Ferrari have asked it to do . If you’ve got a better definition of corruption, do share it.
The court did as asked, and declared the appeal inadmissible. But read the final page of the appeal hearing document, where court says “the governing body pulled strings”.
The Court, in a judgment of 12 October 2007 rendered in the Toro Rosso case concerning the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix (driver Vitantonio Liuzzi), concluded, in similar circumstances, that the appeal against a decision to impose a 25-second penalty was admissible. However, none of the parties concerned had raised the inadmissibility of the appeal in that case, the FIA for its part leaving the matter to the sovereign appreciation of the Court
When an appeal doesn’t go against the interest of Ferrari, the FIA gives its own court freedom to decide. If Ferrari’s interests are at stake the FIA tells its court to do what Ferrari wants.
I’ll leave the Final word on “Ferrari International Assistance” to the BBC
There is also the issue of the FIA's perceived bias in favour of Ferrari.
FIA president Max Mosley rejected those claims in meetings with the press at Monza, dismissing them as "nonsensical", and saying the sport could not survive if they were true.
Nevertheless, the number of incidents in which rulings have come down either for Ferrari or against their opponents in recent years - and the climate of fear that pervades F1 when it comes to criticising the FIA - makes it easy to see how such feelings have taken root.
The Spa controversy was just the latest in a large catalogue of those.
And for the sake of its own credibility and that of F1, the FIA needs to find some way of changing those perceptions.