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1996 World Champion, Damon Hill, now President of the British Racing Drivers' Club, fears that another spy saga will do serious damage to the sport's credibility, as he also takes another dig at the FIA for its inconsistency in implementing the law.
On the day the FIA revealed that Renault has been summoned by the World Motor Sport Council in December, to answer a charge of spying, Hill claims that another 'cheat saga' will seriously damage the sport.
"I'm not a lone voice here," he told The Daily Telegraph. "There are a lot of people who love this sport and have got a lot out of it, who want it to be a healthy sport and to attract people to it. When there are episodes like we had in the last season our hearts sink because we think that they're not doing it any good.
"Last season was the best in F1 for a long time," he admitted, "most notably because there were four drivers who could have been world champion. That brought about a massive amount of interest in the sport for the right reasons. It did not need any more controversy or sideshows."
The Englishman is concerned that the FIA doesn't appear to be even-handed when handing out the punishment, once again hinting at a possible witch-hunt, a move that led to Fellow World Champion, and former BRDC President, Sir Jackie Stewart, being labelled a "certified halfwit" by Max Mosley.
"I would like to understand how the Ferrari-Toyota case, which ended in court, did not lead to the same outcome as the Ferrari-McLaren case?" he said, referring to the former Ferrari engineers in the employ of Toyota who were subsequently found guilty of industrial espionage. Why was there no punishment of the team (Toyota)?
"There was an uncomfortable feeling that there was something more to the McLaren outcome than the issue being investigated," he continued. "The way that justice was meted out raised some questions about the way the FIA handle these breaches.
"If breaches occur then those things should be investigated and dealt with sensibly and appropriately. But in that case there were lots of questions about what really happened that went unanswered."
Hill also raised the question of the FIA's perceived bias in favour of Ferrari, an issue that has been discussed on message boards and forums, not to mention the F1 paddock, for some time.
"Why, were Ferrari just given a slap on the wrist and told not to do it again after winning the first race with a device that was illegal?" he asked, referring to the flexible floor used in Melbourne. "This brings about a lot of the problems relating to justice and consistency.
"In this country we are quite sophisticated sport and political spectators. If things don't stack up, and continue to fly in the face of what we regard as being just and fair, then the danger is people will just walk away. It's a problem that has existed for a long time in this sport, not knowing whether to believe things or not."
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