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Hill and Mosley talk of Ferrari bias

NEWS STORY
22/10/2007

Even before the fuel saga had broken, and British fans were still lamenting the failure of Lewis Hamilton to secure the 2007 title, organizers of the British Grand Prix were pumping out a press release in which Murray Walker and 1996 World Champion Damon Hill gave the McLaren star their full support.

Both men had been watching a private screening of the Interlagos race in the BRDC along with 150 fans, cheering on Britain's hero.

With the "congratulations Lewis" press release obviously consigned to the bin, Hill and Walker paid tribute to Hamilton's valiant efforts before race fans were reminded that tickets are now on sale for the 2008 British Grand Prix.

It was a busy day for Hill, for only a couple of hours later, he was talking to Radio Five Live accusing the Race Stewards in Brazil of double standards.

"Rules are rules," said the Englishman. "The FIA have found some teams are in breach of the regulations. If this had been something McLaren had done during the season, do you think the FIA would have insisted that their cars were legal or illegal?

"I think on past performance they're prepared to persecute McLaren for any infringement that they've made this season," he added, a move sure to have him branded as a "certified half-wit" in the not too distant future.

"It does get quite difficult to see where the consistency lies because if you go back to the beginning of the season, McLaren's argument is that Ferrari won the very first race using a device which was later found to be illegal by the FIA," he continued. "They removed it but the result stood.

"It's very unsettling to have this appeal, but there is so much at stake and the FIA have to find somehow a way of being consistent. I can see how a couple of degrees fuel temperature can be regarded as being so negligible that it wouldn't make any difference. But we're talking about such tiny differences all the time in Formula One, there has to be a line where you're one side or the other."

The former Williams, Arrows and Jordan driver then expressed a feeling shared by many within the sport, believing that when it comes to Ferrari the FIA has double standards.

"There is that feeling," he said. "You have to say there's no doubt there does sometimes seem to be one rule for Ferrari and another for everyone else. Ferrari are very important to the sport."

Indeed, only on Sunday in an exclusive interview with the official Formula One website (Formula1.com), Max Mosley admitted once again that in his opinion Ferrari is more important than other F1 teams.

Asked if Ferrari is the most important team, he replied: "Yes, firstly, because it holds a historically important position, as the team has been involved in Formula One since 1950.

"The second point has something to do with existential orientation," he continued, " imagine that there were only one British team and all other teams were Italian, that the commercial rights holder was Italian, as was the FIA President, the race director and his assistant and the sport's commissioner. Wouldn't it be understandable that this team would be very careful?

I therefore use my neutrality with a huge amount of responsibility and stay in close contact with Ferrari to assure them that no British 'mafia' or cartel tries to take advantage of them. But should we find it necessary to impose our technical or sporting regulations, than Ferrari is treated like any other team. Should we find irregularities on a Ferrari - like the moveable floor after the Australian Grand Prix - it is removed and banned."

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