Todt hits out at seven 'rebel' teams' "false", "injurious and defamatory" allegations

12/03/2020
NEWS STORY

With mounting fears in the Melbourne paddock, as two more team members are placed in self-isolation bringing the number of suspected cases of coronavirus up to five, FIA president, Jean Todt has ensured further tension by hitting out at the seven teams threatening legal action over the sport's governing body's handling of its investigation into the legality of Ferrari's 2019 engine.

Having met the deadline imposed by the seven teams in responding to a number of questions they posed over the saga, Todt hit out, accusing them of making "false", "injurious and defamatory" allegations.

Writing to the seven teams, Todt said: "Building on a totally inaccurate and biased fact pattern, not only do you challenge the decision of the FIA, you openly question the integrity of the Federation and its representatives, suggesting a fraudulent collusion between the FIA and Scuderia Ferrari.

"Your attitude goes well beyond a legitimate request for further clarification, which would have been welcomed by the FIA," he added. "It is a source of damage to the FIA F1 World Championship by itself.

"The FIA strongly rejects and denies your allegations. Teams thoughtlessly brought extremely serious charges against the FIA and key officials, notably the president, which are injurious and defamatory."

As the situation develops, the unrest within the seven teams is clearly about the FIA's stance as opposed to the rights and wrongs of the Ferrari power unit.

Indeed, the teams are calling on Ferrari to waive confidentiality over its settlement with the FIA following its investigation.

"Our allegations are not directed at another team," Red Bull consultant, Helmut Marko told Speedweek, "but at the technical control of Formula 1 and how irregularities are dealt with by the FIA.

"As a team, we cannot accept that after an irregularity is detected, this is what happens," he added.

"May I remind you that McLaren was disqualified in 2007 after the espionage case and had to pay a $100m fine."

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Published: 12/03/2020
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