Archive for August 1, 2007

Hungary Story Video, Guide with Kimi | Court of Appeal *Updated*

Size – 68.3MB

Duration – 05.18 minutes

It’s from Italy’s Sky Sports channel. But even
if you don’t speak or understand Italian, re-cap on the recent races of
the Hungaroring- Kimi has won pole position and the race in 2005 and
claimed one of his 3 pole positions there last year with McLaren. Let’s hope Kimi’s love of the circuit ends in success this weekend.

Raikkonen says title still possible
"Finishing ahead of all the other three drivers who compete for the
title: that’s the only way for me to make up ground," said Raikkonen. "I’m more or less in the same situation as I was at the Nurburgring,
but it’s clear that I can’t allow myself another race without points.

"I still believe that it’s possible for me to win the title: just
look at the last race and you can see that everything can happen. A bad
race for my competitors is enough to immediately reduce the gap. Very
often the race here in Hungary has been nicknamed the Finnish GP.

"Many of my fellow Finns fill the grandstands here at the
Hungaroring and it is really nice to see so many white flags with the
blue cross in the wind: and this time we will see them together with
the red flags of Ferrari. I think this is the closest I can get as a
home GP, if Bernie does not have any more surprises."

"Looking at the races of this season one can see easily that starting
on the clean side of the track is very important at the start. Beyond
that, on this track here it’s really difficult to overtake, which makes
the qualifying even more important."

Hehe, that’s our Kimi! Maybe when he becomes F1 world champion, Bernie might consider a Finnish Grand Prix…. – Hungary destination guide with Kimi Raikkonen
“I really enjoy Budapest,” says Kimi Raikkonen. “It’s a very
beautiful city, with lots to do – lots of clubs and outdoor bars. Many
Finns come to the race because there are some historical links between
Hungary and Finland, so it’s the closest I get to a home grand prix
during the year. The track is quite slow, but it’s very physical, so
it’s a good challenge over a race distance.”

“I need to be careful what I eat over a GP weekend,” says Raikkonen, “so I tend to go to the Italians, such as Articsoka or one of the street restaurants near to my hotel.”

Accommodation in Budapest ranges from simple hostels in converted flats
to some of the most luxurious hotel chains in the world, such as the
Kempinski, where Raikkonen stays. Inbetween, there are plenty of mid-range hotels.

“If I had a few days to kill,” says Raikkonen, “I’d take a trip up the Danube and go outside the confines of the city, just to see what the countryside’s like.”

In other news from Hungary – Ferrari truck got stuck –

Court of Appeal – *Update further below*

This espionage case between Ferrari and McLaren has been a heated subject for the most part of July, as fans try to understand why and why not have McLaren been punished despite being guilty. Now it carries itself into August with the momentum of the letters between FIA President Max Mosely and Italy’s automobile federation president Luigi Macaluso. The FIA sends spy case to Court of Appeal and Ferrari are pleased and simply wait for FIA’s aid to help them once again…. 

In the letter from Macaluso to Mosley, he says "In the present case the infringement is very serious since it has been
assessed that the team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has repeatedly
breached such provision, over several months, through several top team
representatives, to the detriment of its most direct competitor and
therefore to its direct or indirect advantage and knowing that such
infringement would still be ongoing would it had not been fortuitously

Obviously, as Ferrari were unusually making a great deal of noise, they’ve taken action and are to appeal the FIA’s decision. However, the main keywords between what McLaren and Ferrari are saying is ‘team’ and ‘individual’. Ferrari believe the team, as a whole, were aware of Coughlan and the documents and they’ve directly or indirectly benefitted from it.

In  Max Mosley’s response to Macaluso, he says "However McLaren’s case was that, except for a tip-off in March and a
drawing shown briefly to a colleague as a historical curiosity, no one
at McLaren knew of or had access to any of that information. According to McLaren, it was acquired privately by a disgruntled
employee who intended to leave. They inferred he never used Ferrari’s
information to help McLaren because it was part of his private database
as technical director for another team." This is the basis of which the FIA gaves it’s verdict, an if everyone tried to understand that, there would be no such angry responses to their decision, as Max later says "these suspicions did not amount to proof to the standard the Council
felt was necessary in order to reject the evidence of McLaren’s Team
Principal and Managing Director and convict the team of an offence so
grave as in all probability to warrant the exclusion from the
Championship. In the absence of unambiguous evidence that McLaren as a team had
received and used the Ferrari information, the Council was left with
McLaren’s responsibility for its employee. Exclusion or withdrawal of
points did not seem appropriate if it was really just a case of a rogue
employee illegitimately acquiring information for his own purposes. ".

Interestingly, Ferrari seems oblivious to the fact that Stepney and Coughlan are both in the wrong, and for McLaren as a team to be punished for the actions of one individual, then so should Ferrari be punished over their irresponsbility over Stepney. And also, if Ferrari were so sure of blood being on McLaren’s hands, where was the proof and relevant evidence when it was needed? It’s like pointing the finger and accusing, completely unfounded.

Max Mosely finishes "Your letter suggests that the outcome may have been different if the
Council had given Ferrari further opportunities to be heard beyond
those that were in fact offered.". So, this is Ferrari’s chance to actually justify what they’re saying with evidence.

McLaren being disappointed with Mosley’s decision is no suprise either – "Having considered in great detail the full submissions of both
Ferrari and McLaren, the World Motorsport Council determined that there
was no evidence that any information, passed by a Ferrari team member
to a McLaren employee, had been brought into the organisation or
provided any benefit whatsoever to the McLaren programme.
McLaren is not aware of any new information or arguments that have
arisen since the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council and therefore
assumes that these same materials will now be considered by the FIA
International Court of Appeal.
Whilst this is both disappointing and time-consuming, McLaren is
confident that the FIA International Court of Appeal will also
exonerate McLaren and we will in the meanwhile continue to focus on our
current World Championship programme."

So, take a step back and look at the situation from the FIA’s point of view (for once!). Some will have approved of the FIA’s decision not to punish McLaren based on the laws, and some are against it basing their views on justice. Not only is it by the law that McLaren were not punished because there was NO evidence (even the floorboard complaint was irrelevant, because also other teams like BMW had them removed), it is actually JUST that the team should not be punished based on a individual’s personal intentions! People say McLaren aren’t as innocent as they seem (well surely more innocent than Ferrari) so where’s the proof then?

If the FIA accept Ferrari’s appeal solely based on lies and punish McLaren, then you can really say this is a time when a team won their championships off track. Yes, Kimi too, as innocent as he is. I’ll never forgive Ferrari for ruining Kimi’s record of achievments. I’ll leave it there.

UPDATE : McLaren hit out at Ferrari – Ron Dennis writes to Macaluso: "The reason McLaren was not penalised is that the World Motor Sport
Council rightly concluded that it should not be blamed for Mr
Coughlan’s actions. It based its decision on solid facts and not false
innuendo. McLaren’s reputation has been unfairly sullied by incorrect
press reports from Italy and grossly misleading statements from Ferrari.

This is a fantastic World Championship and it would be a tragedy if
one of the best World Championships in years was derailed by the acts
of one Ferrari and one McLaren employee acting for their own purposes
wholly unconnected with Ferrari or McLaren."