BAR explain court hearing

Further to the seizure of B*A*R assets at the Magny-Cours circuit yesterday, the team is pleased to confirm that the court order obtained by PPGI was successfully overturned in court in Nevers, France this morning, the judge agreeing with B*A*R's...

Further to the seizure of B*A*R assets at the Magny-Cours circuit yesterday, the team is pleased to confirm that the court order obtained by PPGI was successfully overturned in court in Nevers, France this morning, the judge agreeing with B*A*R's submission that the original seizure order was invalid because he had no jurisdiction in this matter.

B*A*R's cars and equipment, which were sealed in its two transporters overnight pending the outcome of this morning's hearing, have now been released unconditionally and the team will recommence its preparation for Sunday's French Grand Prix.

Lawyers representing the team were in court at Nevers at 0900CET in front of the same judge, Monsieur Girard, who had granted the original seizure order. The case for the team was presented within 15 minutes of the start of the hearing but the judge informed the court that he was not in a position to make a decision until 1130CET.

The result of his action was that Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button were unable to take part in this morning's free practice session, however both drivers will be participating in this afternoon's first qualifying session at 1400CET.

In a procedural error, the case was heard by a commercial court rather than a civil court, and presided over by Monsieur Girard, who is a lay justice of the peace rather than a professional judge. In addition, at the first hearing on 18 June, the court was only presented with the case for PPGI, and therefore the judge was not fully aware of all of the facts. The team was confident that, once the court was made aware of the full situation this morning, the original order would be overturned.

Further to proceedings at the time of the Monaco Grand Prix, the team's lawyers had been in discussion with those of PPGI, with the clear objective of reaching a mutual agreement. In order to facilitate this process, PPGI provided written assurance to the team that they would not seek any further legal intervention prior to 30 June.

The timing of the court's orders on 23 and 25 June is clearly in breach of this agreement, which was in good faith, and the subsequent material damage which has been inflicted upon the team this weekend will necessitate a counter-claim by the team on PPGI.

In addition the judge ordered PPGI to pay a proportion of B*A*R's legal costs.

-bar-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Jacques Villeneuve