US F1 Owners Face Penalties
By Jonathan Ingram | Senior Writer
On the eve of the first round of the Formula One World Championship in Bahrain, the FIA began looking into penalties for US F1 directors Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor, who failed to get cars to the grid for Sunday’s season-opening race in Bahrain despite an official entry. Elsewhere, the sport’s business manager, Bernie Ecclestone slammed the US F1 team for preventing Stefan GP from getting on the grid.
US F1 may become the first to be disciplined by the World Motor Sport Council under new guidelines for investigations and disciplinary actions. “With regard to the USF1 team’s non-participation in the 2010 championship,” read an official statement from the FIA, “the World Council mandated the FIA President, in full compliance with the new code of practice for disciplinary matters, to take forward the most appropriate action.”
After losing an appeal in an international court over the banning of Renault team principal Flavio Briatore last year, the FIA revised its procedures to separate the prosecution of investigations from hearings by the WSMC. In the case of US F1, the team’s directors could be facing fines.
Ecclestone, who directs Formula One Management, blamed USF1 for the absence from the grid of the cars of Stefan GP. “It was difficult because (US F1) had an entry and kept saying that they were going to be here, that there is no problem and everything is fine. As they had an entry we could not say, ‘Sorry we don’t believe you.’ I said that, and got a lot of criticism. I said that, and it turned out to be the truth. Unfortunately it was not possible to get Stefan GP in at the last minute. You need to do such things a bit more sensibly.”
The FIA has officially opened up the process for nominating a team to take the 13th position in 2011 under the Concorde Agreement vacated by US F1 after declining to hold the team’s entry open for a year.
In Bahrain on Thursday, HRT, the other entrant struggling to make the grid, fired the Cosworth engines in its Dallara-built chassis in preparation for the first free practice on Friday. The free practice will be HRT’s first opportunity to turn laps in the new cars to be driven by Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok.
– Jonathan Ingram can be reached at email@example.comOne Comment