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FIA Flex their muscles - FIA vs teams (concord Agreement)

Now I am really confused. As I understand it, as well as Australia, the USA, Canada and several European countries all have very similar laws when it comes to seeking injuctions in this context.

This could have massive ramifications across many countries and the entire furture of the sport. What are the FIA going to do, Only race in countries that they control the laws?

This whole situation is much much bigger that our 2004 aero. In fact its got nothing to do with Minardi, this is pure back room power games.

Stoddie, what the hell is going on? I hope it's worth it.

Anyway from Reuters Website...

FIA casts doubt on future of Australian GP
Sat Mar 5, 2005 04:02 AM ET

MELBOURNE, March 5 (Reuters) - Motor sport's governing body cast doubt on the future of world championship events in Australia on Saturday after legal action by Minardi at the country's Formula One Grand Prix.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) issued a statement reacting to events on Friday, when Minardi boss Paul Stoddart obtained an injunction from the Victoria Supreme Court to allow his cars to compete on Saturday after stewards had declared them illegal.

"If Australian laws and procedures do indeed allow a judge to act in this way, it will be for the World Motor Sport Council to decide if a world championship motor sport event of any kind can ever again be held in Australia," it said.

Apart from the Formula One grand prix in Melbourne, Australia also hosts a round of the FIA rally world championship.

Stoddart withdrew his injunction on Saturday morning after modifying his team's cars to conform with the new aerodynamic regulations.

The FIA said neither the stewards nor the world body were given notice of the legal proceedings and were given no opportunity to be present when the judge heard the case.

"Apparently the judge thought it right to interfere with the running of a major sporting event, overrule the duly appointed international officials and compel the governing body to allow cars to participate in breach of the international regulations, all this without first hearing both sides of the case," the statement said

[Edited on 5/3/2005 by TasM]

[Edited on 5/3/2005 by TasM]


  • and now ecclestone tells stoddie to leave f1...needn't have come to this.

    can someone post the atlasf1 article on ecclestone above please?
  • Additional story from grandprix.com

    I have bolded the interesting comments

    The FIA, Minardi, contracts and the Concorde Agreement
    The FIA spent most of Saturday coming up with a four paragraph statement about the decision of the Victorian Supreme Court which granted Paul Stoddart of Minardi an injunction to race 2004 cars in the Australian Grand Prix. When that happened the FIA appears to have threatened to refuse to sanction other events in Australia in the future unless Stoddart withdrew the injunction and faced by that possibility, Stoddart backed down. That was the responsible thing to do. No-one wants the sport to be disrupted by the arguments over how the rules are made and who had the power to make such decisions.

    No-one has won a victory in this matter but the FIA clearly felt the need to react and on Saturday afternoon issued a statement saying that "if Australian laws and procedures do indeed allow a judge to act in this way, it will be for the World Motor Sport Council to decide if a World Championship motor sport event of any kind can ever again be held in Australia."

    This is not a very productive response. And will almost certainly stir up trouble around the world. The Australian legal system is much the same as the British system and many others and if the FIA wants to exclude racing from Australian it might end up having to threaten the same in many other countries. This is not going to win Max Mosley votes in any FIA presidential election.

    The important point in all of this is that the law is the law and the sport is not above it. It might be if the rules and regulations were not linked to a commercial contract called the Concorde Agreement but a commercial contract is judged by commercial law and that is what the Supreme Court of Victoria did.

    The irony of this is that Max Mosley, Bernie Ecclestone and Marco Piccinini were the architects of the Concorde Agreement. That was back in the early 1980s and after they had won power for the F1 teams Mosley and Ecclestone changed their roles to become the president of the FIA and the commercial rights holder of F1. Suddenly they found themselves caught in a trap of their own creation because they had become the authority which previously they had fought. The teams were once allies of Mosley and Ecclestone but in recent times friction has been building.

    The issue of the Minardi cars in Melbourne was a pretext to provoke a confrontation that would take the issue into a court of law. That is what happened and the court ruled that the Concorde Agreement is the document that governs F1. It gives the sporting and technical commissions of the FIA powers to make rules but they do not override the contract. As this is a commercial contract it is not a sporting issue.

    This is the significance of the Melbourne decision.

    The FIA cannot cancel the Concorde Agreement without the other parties agreeing to that course of action.

    The danger of threatening to remove motorsport from Australia is a very risky move because the legal systems in civilised countries across the world would probably reach the same decision as the Supreme Court in Melbourne.

    The matter is not solved by what happened in Melbourne and it is probable that there will have to be another court showdown between the teams and the FIA to show once and for all who is right.

    Let us hurry up and get to the showdown so that the focus of the sport can go back to the race track and away from the unseemingly quibbling that blights F1 at the moment.
  • Fuck Mosley :spank:
  • From Itv.com

    Meanwhile, F1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone has weighed in on the increasingly bitter dispute between Stoddart and the FIA, saying that he believes the Australian should quit the sport.

    “Paul’s been a bit of a nuisance since day one, but we have protected him,” Ecclestone told The Sun. “Regretfully, there is now no place in Formula 1 for someone like him. If you can’t sustain running a team then you should get out.

    “That’s precisely what dear old Eddie Jordan did, and that’s what Paul should be doing. This is an expensive game to be sitting in on and if you can’t afford the ante you shouldn’t take part in the school.”

  • Well, Ecclestone said it. You can't constantly make threats and not expect comeback. The other countires are not at risk since no injunction has been launched in other countires.
    PS did you hear Stoddats explanation for withdrawing the injunction?
  • No - what is it?
  • "I think it was a landmark decision that a court saw fit to apply the law against the FIA regulations. There was no point in us continuing beyond the point of us proving that what we need is good governance, what we need is stable regulations and we need stability in this sport for its long-term future.

    "We've done that and after a lengthy series of meetings that ended roughly around midnight last night, in the interest of the Australian Grand Prix - which had been embroiled in this mater - together with the interest of the sport and of Formula One as a sport, we have decided to discontinue the action; we don't feel there's anything more to prove, we've taken it as far as we needed to take it and throughout the night – and I've been here most of the night – we've managed to convert two cars to 2005 specification and we'll be running, as far as we are concerned.
  • The Crew saved his tukus.
  • This makes more sense. Mosely threatened to cancel the whole shibang unless he withdrew it.
  • After reading grandprix.com story I'm wholly with Stoddart on this. FIA is not above the law. Mosley should be fired for making his threats. His actions are starting to look more and more like Mafia extortion: If you don't agree to my illegal rules, I'll transfer my bussiness elsewhere.
  • That Max is a crazy guy, isn't he?

    [Edited on 5/3/2005 by Lease]

    From FOX sports Australia

    Aussie GP under threat
    March 5, 2005

    FORMULA ONE plunged into crisis today after the sport's governing body threatened to strip Australia of its Grand Prix.

    Storm ... Minardi owner Paul Stoddart.

    The warning came from the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) after Minardi owner Paul Stoddart's successful Supreme Court action yesterday.

    Australian Grand Prix Corporation boss Ron Walker said the statement had "implications for many other countries which host rounds of the FIA Formula One World Championship."

    And Stoddart responded by threatening to take the FIA to the High Court in London and "wipe the floor with them".

    He strongly implied that if the race was struck off the calendar F1 teams would veto the schedule.

    The drama snowballed after Stoddart yesterday won a court ruling overturning a decision of the race stewards to block his cars from competing tomorrow because they did not comply with 2005 regulations.

    The court decision drew a furious response from FIA president Max Mosley who slammed the Australian legal system.

    "Apparently the judge thought it right to interfere with the running of a major sporting event, overrule the duly appointed international officials and compel the governing body to allow cars to participate in breach of the international regulations – all this without first hearing both sides of the case," the FIA said.

    "If Australian laws and procedures do indeed allow a judge to act in this way, it will be for the World Motor Sport Council to decide if a World Championship motor sport event of any kind can ever again be held in Australia."

    The row is headed for a showdown at the meeting of the council on March 30.

    The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) sided with FIA and said it "shares the concerns expressed in regard to the way a competitor sought to involve the Supreme Court of Victoria in issuing an ex parte injunction without notice to the FIA and CAMS".

    Stoddart, who modified his cars overnight to comply with the new rules and ran them in today's first qualifying session, called for Mosley to step down.

    "It really is seriously pathetic, but it's typical of the very reason that we're having all the problems," Stoddart said.

    "If there ever were chances of bringing the sport into disrepute they want to start looking at the author of this letter.

    "He retired once in July and he needs to do it again," he said.

    He accused the FIA of "grandstanding" and said it was out to destroy the support he has among the other F1 teams.

    "I don't give this any credibility at all. It's the actions of somebody who doesn't respect any issues."

    Stoddart said he went to court not to challenge the FIA rules but the right of the stewards to make their decision based on the secret Concorde Agreement which sets out the regulations governing the sport.

    "If that case had been tried – and by the looks of it now I'm glad it hadn't – I'm pretty confident the outcome would have been that Max was wrong," he said.

    "Putting out a statement threatening a country as great as Australia's Grand Prix doesn't half motivate you to take them to task in the High Court in London and wipe the floor with them."

    Stoddart said he withdrew any further court action after hearing early this morning that Mosley had threatened to withdraw the race.

    "If they did (strip Australia of a GP) there would be a complete veto from the teams.

    "We would come and do a non-championship race.

    "The stupid politics have to come out of it. Max has to back off and agree to sit down with everybody and talk calmly and away from all the cameras and do it properly," Stoddart said.

    Stoddart described the FIA statement as "fiction" and said it was "factually incorrect.. He accused the federation of trying to blackmail him over his court action.

    "It was the FIA and their lawyers that requested, at about midnight last night, that I withdraw this action, stating that, "otherwise Max is threatening to cancel the Australian Grand Prix", Stoddart said.

    "I stated at the time my total disgust at such threats and, in the presence of most of the senior members of the FIA, CAMS, AGPC and their legal representatives, I agreed in the interests of the Australian Grand Prix to comply with their request to withdraw.

    "It is blatantly untrue to suggest otherwise."

    Stoddart compared the dispute to the European Arrest Warrant, under which various countries could have a Formula One team boss extradited if he was found to be culpable in an on-track injury or death.

    He said Mosley had threatened to cancel all the European Grands Prix unless the relevant governments agreed to exempt the FIA from their laws.

    "The majority of those governments advised Mr Mosley that he is not above the law and, needless to say, we still have all those European Grands Prix on the schedule," Stoddart said.

    "The Australian judicial system is similar in many ways to those of the world's other major democracies and it cannot give comfort to the relevant motorsport bodies in those countries when the FIA president issues statements such as this," he said.


    [Edited on 5/3/2005 by TasM]
  • How some of you cannot back Stoddart in this boggles the mind.

    We could of course just shut up and let natural attrition take it's course in a few years when a manufacturor gobbles us up like they did with Ken Tyrrell. But just like there is no more Tyrrell there will also be no more Minardi.

    If Stoddart's going down, at least he's going down fighting. The AUSTRALIAN way, and don't you all fucking forget it.

  • How could the rules be illegal. Stoddart only obtained an injunction. The case still had to be heard that means both sides.
    Its not just motorsport either. Lets say an athlete commits a doping offence. He can say, I don't agree with the rules and get an injunction to compete?
    That does'nt happen cos under IAAF rules the appeal is to an Arbitration panel and then the Court of arbitration. Every competitor agrees to that if he wants to compete.
    Its the same with Stoddart. Process is FIA world council, then the court of Arbitration.
  • I've got nothing wrong with going down fighting. But blatant disregard for procedure only results in Chaos. If Stoddart believes he would win let him try the case in the High Court. Eddie Jordan tried the same thing with Vodafone.
  • Obviously Stoddart didn't think that the FIA World Council was going to bother to convene in time did he?

    Stoddart wants to race. Hell, he probably HAS to race to keep what sponsors we've got. He took the pragmatic approach and did the only thing that seemed timely to get the cars on track.

    Sure, there are procedures, and if this was the offseason i'm sure the procedures might have been followed more closely.
  • No FIA world coumcil would convene after the injunction had been heard. Thats at the Second hearing after Qualifying when boths sides lawyers would argue. The problem is once the thing is in the courts the FIA procedures have been disregarded. Thats something you agree to once you lode your entry. Thats whats pissed the FIA off.
    Better yet would be for Stoddart to try the case in the High Court in London. Let ruth reign and the cards fall where they may.
  • The truth which reigns is that this entire thing has almost nothing to do with 2004 vs. 2005 spec cars. Stoddart had to have a pretty good idea how this would unfold, he accomplished what he wanted by highlighting Ferrari's isolation and coming out with a perceived 'win' vs. Max and by proxy, Bernie. You quit as soon as someone outside agrees with you and claim victory. Which is why Max is whining so loudly today.

    I have no problem with increasing Ferraris isolation or questioning how rules are make, but am wondering what the benefit to Minardi is? I can't see this episode as furthering the unification of the 'Group of Nine' which from a political standpoint is all PS should be concentrating on if he is indeed the leader.
  • I don't know if you get the Times or Telegraph. But all Sympathy for Stoddart evaporated whebn the Stewards threw the appeal out.
    Not Max, Bernie or TOIT but the Stewards. The independent arbiters.
    Its one thing to fight a cause when your own house in order. But look at Minardi. Bernie won't be handing out financial support easily now. I have been crying out for the team to secure a title sponsor ever since |Stoddart took over.
    But clearly that was never a priority for him.

  • True enough, but Max has done Paul a willing favor by proving himself the greater fool in this by responding like a spoiled baby instead of simply saying, 'Rules are as they are and we're glad Minardi is complying, although we're not quite sure what all that fuss was about.'
  • Looks like a shot against the bows for any other participant considering similar action. No GP organiser will want their event threatened with the money they pay to Bernie and co.
    Nor is this a new tactic by Moseley. A similar approach was taken with Italy and the continuing investigation of Sennas death. They threatened to pull out of Imola and Monmza.
    Its interestng in that it was a civil procedure regards the Senna inquiry, ie Tort law where it could be argued that Williams owed Senna a duty of care and his death resulted in a breach of that care, Tort of Negligence. You lawyers will have to excuse me if I'm wrong, as I'm but a mere physician.
  • What 'similar action?' You mean actually allowing due process according to the laws of the land? The event organizers didn't present the case did they? That was Paul, whom I don't think signed a waiver of rights. Ill advised bluster is all it is. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and while it should never have been initiated, a good save by PS.
  • I was way less uneasy when Stoddart was firmly in the Max'n'Bernie camp (though he got slagged off for that here too). He isn't going to win this one, even if the fundamental points that he (and Ron, Frank and the rump of the GPWC teams) are making are largely valid. Max is behaving like a high handed autocrat.

    I'll support this team until it's twitching in it's grave, but the only outcome I can see is an FIA/Bernie victory, either through a financial compromise and assurances to the grandees (Stoddart out in the cold) or maybe with a couple of manufacturers leaving in a sulk (Stoddart out in the cold).

    What the hell is the Stoddart victory scenario? Max forced out, Bernie called to heel by the banks, and everyone shares the cash in 10 even slices? Nevergonnahappen. Stoddart's a courageous guy, but is he getting sucked in to someone else's fight, blinded by some sort of red mist?

    Bernie's position still puzzles me. He usually slags off Stoddart, like he did today, when PS is doing his bidding. Curious. Is the whole thing designed by Max and Bernie to scare off another manufacturer or two, and force the rest to come crawling back? I bet the Renault and Toyota boards are starting to wonder why they are involved in this farce.
  • Stoddart's a courageous guy...
    Or is it naivety?
  • Stoddart is not naive.

    Some of you guys just don't understand that many guys, and certainly a good share of Aussies, live by certain principles.

    Stoddart has made a stack of money and some fame or notoriety by standing up against bigger more powerful and usually arrogant competitors.

    He finds a niche where focussing on a few factors which the big guys haven't taken so seriously, he attracts a market, and then does nicely. OK he hasn't won races in F1, but we all know what a challenge that is for Minardi.

    Actually, Minardi and Stoddie have a lot in common in fighting spirit, underdog, determination and love of the sport.

    Minardi fans should not forget that!
  • I've been trying to think at the bigger picture and the reason this has all happened.

    I still don't know. If it only took a night to get our cars into 05 spec then there has to be a bigger reason.

    We can speculate all we want. But we are all baffled with the real reasons. Time will only tell. However Bernie and Max are starting to loose their grip on the sport. And from the smallest team. Doesn't say much for them and only strengthens the GPWC.
  • Drawing a bit of a long bow here, but...............

    As I understand it, the FIA still intends to review the OZ GP's future at their next meeting March 30th.

    Whilst the pretext is the business over the court thing, there could be other reasons for pursuing this course.

    Back in 2003 there was a dispute between the organisers of the WRC round in Perth and the FIA.

    Tobacco sponsorship laws get tougher again in 2006, &

    Melbourne has problems finding a slot to fit the 2006 GP into as the Commonwealth Games are on at that time.

    I'm starting to wonder if Melbourne 2006 may indeed be a non-happenning thing.

  • i don't think we need to understand any of the things that happened/developed in the minardi saga in australia...all those things happened as a continuation of the bigger fight between gpwc and the fia/b.e. continuing from p.s.'s long long letter on behalf of the other teams (read mercedes and bmw and renault)...

    the new development has now emerged which is: the fia and b.e. has now recognised that p.s. is too dangerous not to be driven out of f1...but then p.s. would also have known this result was to be expected and he wouldn't mind this the least bit as he has made up his mind that minardi would be better served out of this f1 and be with the other gpwc f1...

    simple? ;)
  • I too believe this was Paul's final act prior to making a full commitment to the GPWC.
  • just don't be the first bunny. Bring Renault/ Honda/ BMW/ Mercedes/ Toyota with you to the table... and then see what happens.

    Ron Walker has said on telly this morning that he Paul shouldn't be in F1. I agree with Fifi, "that p.s. is too dangerous not to be driven out of f1". They've started the PR juggernaut on his ass, but are just looking like they are protecting their event beyond 2007. They can have an F1 event, but it won't be with the GPWC teams...
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