todtatparishearing.jpgNothing?! Not even a ruddy fine? “The WMSC is satisfied that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes was in possession of confidential Ferrari information and is therefore in breach of article 151c of the International Sporting Code,” says the verdict, “However, there is insufficient evidence that this information was used in such a way as to interfere improperly with the FIA Formula One World Championship. We therefore impose no penalty“. Oh well, clearly it is no big deal to be in breach of article 151c of the International Sporting Code then, so why have it in the first place? I still can’t get my head around the fact that 780 pages of Ferrari confidential information including car design, performance data and strategy permutations were clearly proven to have been in the possession of a chief rival, and still nothing was done about it. Unless there is a sub-clause to article 151c that says “You can violate article 151c till your eyes bubble, but no sanctions shall be imposed to deter you from the same”….or perhaps sounding a tad more legal as Ferrari has worded it in their press release – “possession, knowledge at the very highest level and use of highly confidential information acquired in an illicit manner and the acquiring of confidential information over the course of several months, represent violations that do not carry any punishment“.  I think it is fair to say that a chief designer has some say in the design of the car? Right then.

Now that it is apparent that 151c is nothing more than a filler between articles 151b and 151d and nobody attributes any real importance to it, whatever happened to Respondeat Superior? You know, the thingie that says the employer shall be held liable for the professional misdeeds of the employee? Oh right, I forgot, the mysterious subclause stipulates that it is not exactly a professional misdeed to swipe confidential documents from a rival or to be privy to their car data as long as you don’t put “Made in Maranello” stickers on your car parts. If reports are to be believed and certain persons in the top management were aware of the possession of Ferrari data, that would explain why they did not deem it fit to fire or suspend Coughlan immediately and inform Ferrari of the same, and instead chose to wait around till the information was outed by the local photocopier shop. If only Ferrari had taken the time to scan the sub-clauses in the International Sporting Code properly, they could have at least saved on the flight tickets to Paris. Well,  Montezemolo had the right idea though by keeping his ‘body in Maranello’ which is what I believe they charge flight tickets for (“My body is in Maranello but my thoughts are in Paris. We must absolutely expose disloyal behavior in Formula One“).

Now FIA has informed us that they will holding a hearing for Stepney and Coughlan to allow them to justify their behavior and argue why they should not be banned for a substantial period of time. What behavior? It has all been deemed perfectly legal as far as I can understand…is your head spinning a bit too? Here we are at FFN striving to bring some humor into F1 proceedings, while FIA seem capable of achieving the same with no apparent effort…it’s just not fair 😉 . That is what this championship has been reduced to anyway – one grand joke. Just like article 151c….not to mention the FIA and their ‘extraordinary meetings’. Extraordinary indeed! As always, Forza Ferrari.