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Friday, September 14, 2007

Reasons For Vehemence

In his latest article for Pitpass, Mike Lawrence wonders why the FIA (and Ferrari) are seemingly dead set on bringing down the McLaren team or rather Ron Dennis. And indeed, in light of recent comments by Todt and Montezemolo, this isn't an unreasonable observation.

On the face of things, one might simply suggest that the FIA are merely following standard operating procedures and clamping down on unsporting and dishonest behaviour. But as Pitpass' Lawrence quite rightly points out, the charges against Toyota were much greater in weight. The evidence all to plain to see in the shape of the TF103 which seemed to be a clone of the Ferrari F2002. And yet in that case, the FIA didn't seem too eager to throw out the automotive giant. By contrast this year's McLaren seems an evolution of past racing cars and it is plain to see that the design is conceptually far different.

So why the seemingly disproportionate actions against Woking? The answer I believe lies in events earlier on in the year. Events that the management at Ferrari are seemingly sort about. Last year it was the flexi wings. This year they made entire bottoms that wobbled with the wind. This is specifically banned in the regulations. It was a key technology and it was whisked away from Maranello and I suspect to the chagrin of Messrs Todt and Monty. Someone ratted on them to McLaren and in turn to the FIA and they want blood.

But the fact remains that Ferrari were using illegal devices. And whether or not the information obtained to blow the whistle on them was acquired legally or not, the fact is they were using illegal devices. And now they're mad because they can't use their illegal devices. Illegal mind you. As opposed to countless innovations introduced by other teams that were legal and were banned by the FIA at ferrari's insistence.

As for information about the use of Bridgestone tyres, remember that it was the FIA that insisted on a single tyre manufacturer. The Michelin teams clearly would have liked to keep on using the French rubber. And so, if teams are forced to abandon their tyre of choice shouldn't they all share the same information on these tyres. Why should an FIA decision and rule (which by the way, should be apply equally to all participants) benefit a select few? Or should I say, just benefit Ferrari?

One might argue that getting the flexi floors banned and obtaining information of the best use of Japanese rubber tipped the scales Woking's way. Hold on a moment I say. The scales were tipped. But it was tipped to balance both sides. McLaren's advantage was simply because they built a better car and arguably have better drivers.

However, from Todt and Montezemolo's viewpoint, balanced rules and regulations are simply unsporting. For them you see, the scales should always tip in Ferrari's direction.

Ron Dennis and McLaren have angered the Ferrari International Assistance (FIA) and he must pay. Max Mosley himself has personal grudges against Ron. And now that he has allies in Maranello, allies that bring with them a tangible case, here is an opportunity to finally bring the great man down.

Fight them all the way, Ron. Both Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan I am sure will be forever barred from motorsport participation. I somehow don't think he will for fear of further damaging his reputation and employement prospects elsewhere but I think Nigel Stepney should simply come out and reveal where all the dead bodies are buried at Maranello. I assure you, there are plenty of them.

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