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Michelin teams could be cleared
Alan Baldwin |
July 14, 2005 12:53 IST
Seven Michelin teams are expected to present new evidence on Thursday that could see them cleared of bringing the sport into disrepute at last month's U.S. Grand Prix.
High-level Formula One sources said team representatives would join International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Max Mosley at an emergency meeting of the governing body's senate in Monaco.
They said fresh information would be put forward for consideration.
While the FIA refused to confirm details of the meeting, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said he would be in the Mediterranean principality.
McLaren's Ron Dennis will represent his own Mercedes-powered team, championship leaders Renault, Williams, Toyota, BAR and Sauber.
The teams were found guilty on two of five counts after the June 19 race at Indianapolis -- failing to ensure they were in possession of suitable tyres and wrongfully refusing to allow their cars to start the race.
Just six cars from the Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi teams competed as angry fans threw cans and bottles at the track.
Michelin, the French company that told teams not to race because they could not guarantee the safety of their tyres through the final banked corner, has already agreed to refund race day tickets and pay for the first 20,000 in 2006.
While the FIA's world motor sport council deferred any sentencing until September 14, the teams have appealed against the guilty verdicts.
They have maintained that they had no choice but to withdraw, given Michelin's advice and the FIA refusing to allow a temporary chicane to be introduced.
The appeal hearing has been scheduled for September 28.
Thursday's meeting comes against a backdrop of thawing relations between the FIA and the teams after the sport teetered on the brink of crisis in the immediate aftermath of Indianapolis.
Minardi boss Paul Stoddart has called for Mosley to resign but others have made more conciliatory noises recently.
"Max Mosley has done a very good job in recent years," Renault team boss Flavio Briatore said at the British Grand Prix last weekend.
"He is an intelligent, capable man who has good ideas. That doesn't mean that everything he suggests is perfect but I am in agreement with his most important points."