Arbitration to lead to race annulments?

It's been suggested that if Williams and McLaren are successful in their arbitration case against the FIA, the results of the first three races of the season could be made invalid. The two teams stated their arbitration intention earlier this year...

It's been suggested that if Williams and McLaren are successful in their arbitration case against the FIA, the results of the first three races of the season could be made invalid. The two teams stated their arbitration intention earlier this year after being unhappy about the way the FIA introduced rule changes, saying F1's governing body was in breach of the Concorde Agreement.

The situation is still ongoing but if Williams and McLaren are successful in the legal action, it leaves a way open for a team to challenge the legality of the first three races. This would be on the basis that they had taken place under rules that teams had not agreed to. The San Marino Grand Prix would not be included as teams and the FIA met before the event and agreed on the regulations.

There has been no recent word from the FIA, Williams or McLaren on the legal situation, although Ron Dennis last commented that discussions had been favourable. Ironically, if the two teams do win the arbitration, it would be McLaren that stood to lose out if the scenario of the first races being annulled arose -- David Coulthard won in Australia and Kimi Raikkonen in Malaysia. However, although a legal challenge is possible, for the moment it's only theoretical.

It's not currently a certainty that Williams and McLaren are still intending to go ahead with the arbitration but the ban on driver aids has been delayed until 2004. This was because the FIA did not want to commit extensive finances to policing electronic devices, or the lack of them, given that the governing body could lose the case.

Meanwhile, Williams and McLaren have lost a legal action against Bernie Ecclestone. They claimed that they and the other teams should have benefited from the sale of shares in SLEC, which owns the commercial rights to F1, back in 2001. The International Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland disagreed.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen
Teams McLaren , Williams