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Mosley refers McLaren-Ferrari case to Court of Appeal 31 Jul 2007

Max Mosley (GBR) FIA President.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 7 July 2007 Ron Dennis (GBR) McLaren Team Principal in the FIA Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 6 July 2007 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari drives prize winners in a Ferrari 599 and Jean Todt (FRA) Ferrari Sporting Director (Right).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, French Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Magny-Cours, France, Saturday, 30 June 2007

The World Motor Sport Council’s (WMSC) decision not to sanction McLaren for possessing Ferrari data could yet be overturned after FIA President Max Mosley referred the case to the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

It follows a plea by the Italian Automobile Club and Italian Motor Sport Commission (ACI-CSAI) on Ferrari’s behalf and means the team will now be able to formally present evidence in the case - something they were unable to do at last Thursday’s hearing.

In a letter to Mosley, ACI-CSAI President Luigi Macaluso said the body could not comprehend how McLaren had not received a penalty, given the Council’s findings that the team had indeed breached the International Sporting Code. He also implied that the result might have been different, had Ferrari been able to give evidence.

In response, Mosley admitted that there had been “suspicious elements” in McLaren’s defence, but agreed with the Council that these elements did not constitute proof of wrongdoing. However, in light of Ferrari’s lack of representation and the importance of the case, Mosley agreed to refer it to the Court of Appeal.

Replying to Macaluso, he said: “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.

"Because of this and the importance of public confidence in the outcome, I will send this matter to the FIA Court of Appeal under Article 23.1 of the FIA Statutes with a request that the Court hear both Ferrari and McLaren and any other Championship competitor who so requests and determine whether the decision of the WMSC was appropriate and, if not, substitute such other decision as may be just.”

A date for the appeal has not yet been announced.