FIA suing Sunday Times over McLaren article

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The FIA are taking legal action against the Sunday Times over an article concerning the McLaren-Ferrari espionage case, according to an article on Pitpass. The complaint appears to relate to an article written by Martin Brundle over the Italian Grand Prix weekend.

That article is still online but carries the notice ‘This article is subject to a legal complaint’. In it, Brundle compares the FIA’s pursuit of McLaren in September this year with Fernando Alonso’s controversial qualifying penalty at Monza last year and the banning of Michelin tyres from the 2003 Italian Grand Prix.

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Due to the legal proceedings potentially concerning the Sunday Times article, please do not quote any portion of it in the comments boxes below.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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17 comments on “FIA suing Sunday Times over McLaren article”

  1. if the FIA do sue the sunday times, will they get dammages? i’ve just been reading it and i cant really see anything wrong… just one guy saying they dont do there job right… thats what were all thinking and brundle had the balls to put it into words.

    well thats what i think.:)

    97 days to go!!!! WOOOHOOO :D

  2. It’s worth bearing in mind that the article would most likely have been written by Brundle and then a sub-editor would have put a headline on it. I think the headline’s not entirely consistent with the point of the piece. It seems to me that Brundle is arguing the FIA have been favourable towards Ferrari, rather than unfavourable towards McLaren.

  3. oh yeah i see what your saying. Its going to look even worse now then because Renault haven’t been punished.

    wonder what the FIA have against Mclaren then??

    I was going to do a petition on the PMS site but i don’t fancy getting sued! haha

  4. It’s funny, the Sunday Times article really says the same sort of things that most F1 fans have been saying for months now, and I am sure I have read similar articles in other papers. I wonder why the FIA have decided to single out the Sunday Times.

  5. Its max m again! the bloke needs sacking!

    wonder who could take his place? the thing is he’ll have all his followers begging him to stay again.

  6. “I wonder why the FIA have decided to single out the Sunday Times.”

    doctorvee, it’s about fear and it’s about control. the FIA have next to no chance of winning this case. they know and The Times knows it too.

    what they’re doing is targeting a high-profile organisation, so that everybody sits up and takes notice. and then thinks twice about writing anything critical about the FIA in the future.

  7. Just read this article again and it says no more than the majority of us are saying about the fia – it will be mad max who is pursuing this and it may – if they find a court to try it – possibly Italy? – and may result in brundle being banned from the grid until it is resolved – therby getting rid of the only honest voice on itv’s coverage – will we then get an italian commentator with censored sub titles on f1 transmissions? – ridiculous!!!

  8. Guess I’m the only one who supports the FIA at all atm.

    Although having said that, their new aero rules are absurd :(

  9. most fans are not the same sort of things, we see reality
    majority here stands for british, surprise rest of the world is not british
    there are poeople out there see facts for facts
    get over it if Ferrari did not have the goods delivered and there is no proof of delivery clearly someone (brithis perhaps?)did get it for honorable reasons (british ones) and destroyed it without a lookie….

  10. I’m no legal expert but I can’t see any grounds on which the FIA can take legal proceedings over this article. Martin Brundle (who, I’m under the impression, holds more respect around the paddock than most) doesn’t actually say anything libellous that I can see, and he has a right to voice his opinion in a daily Newspaper whose own editors will have proof-read the piece before publishing. This has nothing to do with the McLaren / Ferrari case, or being British – it’s about freedom of speech.

    I bet Jackie Stewart’s feeling relieved; all he got was some dirty name calling (albeit unjust) by Max Mosely for voicing a similar opinion.

    What worries me more is that the FIA are going to start throwing their weight around to silence respected journalists and sport observers (interesting when you consider that they undertook an investigation into the British tabloid’s take on McLaren’s “team orders” in Monaco).

    If the FIA are unable to justify their actions, then they should back down instead of hunting down the people who disagree with them. No doubt as a fan of F1 with an opinion that doesn’t marry up to the FIA’s actions, I will soon find myself in court as well.

  11. Part of a good dictatorship is that you silence any form of disagreement with censorship and either jailing or disposing of any opposition.
    This article has no great difference of content from that widely voiced here and in the public domain by fans of F1 racing – whether the fia like it or not any organisation is subject to critismn at times – admitedly the fia by its nature and recent rulings has left itself open to comments – for and against it.
    The world and modern communication systems have done away with restrictions in both information and free speech – this is the reality that the fia and its members who live a very cosseted and it seems unreal existence have to understand – with each recent decision and finally this announcement they are seen to be tottering on the edge of reason – in other words a bunch of nutters!! who may drive the fans away to other motor sports

  12. Sidepodcast – I see how that could be, but that surely won’t work. If the FIA were to lose this case — as most people seem to believe — then it will just end up making the FIA looking even more stupid, and it will give everyone else a free license to write similar things about them in the future.

  13. I wrote to Max Mosley on 1st November questioning in so may words, why his apparent self expressed statement on an F1 website that his ‘very personal’ and ‘special’ relationship with Luca di Montezemolo the Chairman of Ferrari was not raised in BBC’s Hardtalk interview in the middle of October. He kindly took the trouble to reply stating that the interview overran and was omitted. I keep asking the BBC if we I can view the unedited edition but no reply so far. As a man in the street, a VERY long time follower of Motor Racing I am utterly depressed at the where things are going right now.
    Yes, I do feel there is a witch-hunt against McClaren and after all Mr Brundle was only expressing what I guess so many of us are feeling right now. Does the FiA want lone entrepreneurs like Ron Dennis knocking the pants off corporate manufacturers I wonder ?

  14. Interesting. Brundle should sue the FIA. Let’s see what impact the FIA had on the driver’s championship.
    Australia, Ferrari driving an illegal car, but driver and manufacturer points remain.
    Nurburing, Hamilton, although being laps down was turning same times as Massa and Alonso coming up behind, yet was given blue flags for both drivers, resulting in about a 10 second loss. Loss of point finish..just under 10 seconds.
    Alonso and Hamilton having an internal tiff in the pits, FIA steps in a penalizes Alonso, thus most probably deriving him of points.
    Ferrari wins the driver championship.
    Mclaren apparently had an illegal car, according to the FIA, yet it was allowed to race even though all points were stripped. If the car was not illegal, why were the points stripped.
    Mosley, in an interview, stated, that any team found with other teams documentation would be severly penalized. And then comes Renault. So much for that statement.
    Mosley states that the 100 million fine was because McLaren could handle it. They would not have done the same if it had been Super Aguri. This is injustice in any court of law.
    And Mosley claims this is not a witch hunt against McLaren. Right, and I have a bridge for sale. How many members of the FIA board are either serving members or past members of the Ferrari organization?
    And now the FIA has come up with all of the new regs with respect to motor develpment, wind tunnel testing etc etc etc. The FIA is quickly being relegated to just another racing league and not the prima donna castle of technology it was once noted for
    Sue their pants off Brundle

  15. Nicola Jane Johnson
    11th December 2007, 7:37

    Im am now slightly concerned that a group i started on face book will get me into trouble – “id like to receive technical information without penalty” ????

  16. Does the F in FIA stand for Ferrari?

  17. Unfortunately MM is in a position of absolute power ( there is a rejoinder there if anyone wants it). Teams who wish to race in F1 have to sign up to an agreement that they will abide by the governing bodies rules and decisions. No where is it written that MM cannot be guilty of croneyism, bad judgement, favouritism, results fixing or megolomania. Consider it part of the exciting world of F1.

    I, like most who follow F1 in this country very much respect MBs contributions to F1 through his commentaries, both verbal and written. What we should be asking is how can we help change the headlong dive F1 is taking at the leadership of MM.

    Kind regards,


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