Ferrari escape further sanction

FERRARI avoided further punishment from the World Motor Sport Council yesterday following a hearing into their use of prohibited team orders at the German Grand Prix.

The Council upheld the $100,000 fine imposed by stewards after the race at Hockenheim on July 25 when Felipe Massa allowed by team-mate Fernando Alonso to take the lead and eventually the victory.

The WMSC, clearly believing the fine was sufficient punishment in itself, have also decided to refer the regulation that prohibits team orders to the Formula One Sporting

Working Group for review.

The decision keeps Alonso firmly in the title hunt ahead of the final six grands prix of the season, starting with Ferrari’s home race in Italy on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Formula One’s governing body has ruled out the possibility of a new team joining the grid in 2011. In March the FIA invited parties interested in becoming the sport’s 13th team to come forward, but the governing body deemed none of the expressions of interest to be strong enough to warrant inclusion on the entry list.

The sport was left with a void to fill following the collapse of the fledgling US F1 team prior to the start of this season.

A joint venture involving 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve and Italian constructor Durango, and an application from Epsilon Euskadi had been among the front-running candidates to be awarded the slot.

Driver conduct was also on the WMSC’s agenda, with the council announcing new guidelines which could see drivers stripped of their super licence – the document which permits individuals to race in F1 – should they be convicted of a road traffic offence. The announcement comes just days after Lewis Hamilton was fined just under £300 in an Australian court after being found guilty of performing boy racer stunts on a public road on the eve of the grand prix in Melbourne in March.

Meanwhile, the WMSC confirmed the F1 calendar for next season, which runs to a record 20 races and features a new grand prix at Delhi in India, which remains subject to final FIA approval. The 2011 season will be a gruelling one for the F1 fraternity, with the opening race held in Bahrain on March 13 and the finale in Brazil on November 27 – eight and a half months later.


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