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F1 teams cleared of US Grand Prix guilt

July 23, 2005 12:00 IST

Formula One's governing body has formally cancelled guilty verdicts made against the seven Michelin teams after the US Grand Prix tyre fiasco.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement on Friday that its world motor sport council had voted overwhelmingly to wipe the slate clean after examining new evidence.

The move was a formality after the FIA senate recommended last week to annul the verdicts.

"Nobody came out of Indianapolis with anything positive and perpetuating the negatives was clearly not constructive to Formula One," said McLaren boss Ron Dennis.

"I am delighted that the senate and the world council have held that way too."

The June 19 race at Indianapolis turned into a fiasco after just six cars started. The Michelin teams -- championship leaders Renault, McLaren, Williams, Toyota, BAR, Sauber and Red Bull -- withdrew because of tyre safety concerns.

The seven were cleared of three charges but found guilty at a hearing in Paris on June 29 of failing to ensure they were in possession of suitable tyres and wrongfully refusing to allow their cars to start the race.

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart, whose Bridgestone-equipped team did take part in the race, said the verdict is good for everybody.

"The most important thing out of all of this is that Formula One is a sport and we need to get on with the sport," he said. "It was the right decision and I am glad it was made now ... and hopefully we can put that chapter of Formula One behind us and move on."


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