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Ferrari prepared to launch civil action against the FIA

ESPNF1 Staff
August 23, 2010 « Webber may not race in F1 beyond 2011 | »
Max Mosley thinks Ferrari should be stripped of its points © Getty Images
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Ferrari would be prepared to launch civil action against the FIA if the team is stripped of its points accrued from the German Grand Prix at the World Motor Sport Council hearing next month, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport .

The Italian team was slapped with a fine after race leader Felipe Massa moved over to let Fernando Alonso past to win in July. But several of the sport's leading figures, including former FIA president Max Mosley, have said that the team should be stripped of its points as well.

"In this sort of situation, the best policy is to respect and to trust in the highest level of the sport's governing body," said a Ferrari statement.

Ferrari's most likely defence would be to argue that team orders should be permitted, so long as they do not impact the races of rival teams. The team may also defend the team order as an innocent explanation of the true situation to Massa by race engineer Rob Smedley that Alonso was indeed the faster driver and that the team did not want to risk a racing incident.

According to Mosley, however, the FIA has a duty to the watching public to uphold the integrity of the sport.

"Most teams are calling for the withdrawal of team orders, which I can understand, because it's in their interests," Mosley told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday. "But if we are to meet the needs of the public, who are in their millions, watching races all around the world and ultimately funding the sport, then we need to keep the ban.

"Both cars and both drivers should lose the points they achieved in the German Grand Prix. I will not make any recommendation, but on the facts at the moment there should have been some sporting sanction and not only a fine."

"I'm sorry particularly for poor Felipe Massa, but there is a rule strictly against team orders."