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FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE L’AUTOMOBILE CASE:
Appeal lodged by the Motor Sports Association (MSA) on behalf of its licence-holder Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, against Decision N° 49 taken by the Panel of Stewards on 7 September 2008 at the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, an event run on 7 September 2008 and counting towards the 2008 Formula One World Championship
Hearing of Monday 22 September 2008 in Paris
The FIA INTERNATIONAL COURT OF APPEAL ("the Court"), comprised of Mr Philippe NARMINO (Monaco), who was elected President, Mr Harry DUIJM (Netherlands), Mr Erich SEDELMAYER (Austria), Mr Xavier CONESA (Spain) and Mr Thierry JULLIARD (Switzerland), met in Paris on Monday 22 September 2008 at the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, 8 place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris.
The Court, ruling on the appeal submitted by the Motor Sports Association (MSA) on behalf of its licence-holder Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ("McLaren") against Decision N° 49 taken by the Panel of Stewards on 7 September 2008 at the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, run on 7 September 2008 and counting towards the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship, heard presentations and considered arguments presented by the MSA/Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and by the Fédération Internationale Automobile (Â“FIAÂ”).
The Commissione Sportiva Automobilista Italiana (CSAI) notified the Court on 12 September 2008 of the request of its licence-holder Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro (Â“FerrariÂ”) to be heard in the present case in accordance with article 21 of the Rules of the International Court of Appeal. The Court therefore heard the presentations and considered the arguments presented by Ferrari.
Attending the above hearing were:
MSA: Robert Jones (Secretary General)
for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes:
Mark Philips QC (Lawyer)
Lewis Hamilton (Driver)
Philip Prew (Race Engineer)
Martin Whitmarsh (Chief Executive)
Sue Thackeray (Legal representative for Mr Hamilton)
Tim Murnane (Legal representative)
Matt Bishop (McLaren)
David Ryan (Team Manager)
Tom Cassels (Legal representative for McLaren)
Ben Allgrove (Legal representative for McLaren)
for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:
Nigel Tozzi QC (Lawyer)
Stefano Domenicali (Team Principal)
Luca Baldisserri (Team Manager)
Massimiliano Maestretti (General Counsel)
Andrea Fioravanti (Legal representative)
Henry Peter (Legal representative)
for the FIA:
Mr Paul Harris (Lawyer)
Mr Pierre de Coninck (Secretary General FIA Sport, on behalf of FIA Sport)
Mr Sébastien Bernard (Head of Legal Department)
Mr Charlie Whiting (Race Director)
The parties presented oral arguments at the hearing. The witnesses or knowledgeable parties answered questions put to them by the parties and by the Court. The hearing took place in accordance with the applicable rules, with the aid of simultaneous translation; no objection to any element of the simultaneous translation was raised by anyone. During the discussions, the adversarial principle was respected.
Reminder of the facts
1. This case concerns the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, an event that was run at Spa Francorchamps (Belgium) on 7 September 2008, counting towards the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship (Â“the eventÂ”).
2. On lap 42 of the event, the car belonging to the Ferrari team, driven by Mr Kimi Räikkönen, was leading the race at turn 18. The car belonging to the McLaren team, driven by Mr Lewis Hamilton, drew level with Mr Räikkönen’s car on the approach to turn 19, cut the chicane and took the slip road. Mr Hamilton thus found himself in the lead, in front of Mr Räikkönen’s car, at the exit from turn 19. On rejoining the track, Mr Hamilton allowed Mr Räikkönen to overtake him in order to cede back the latter’s