Formula 1 Insight

Max, Charlie and Movable Floors
A couple of days ago, Sidepodcast dot com was kind enough to mention me in his post entitled The FIA Transcripts (Part 2). It is stated that I am less interested in the details that emerged in the meeting but that is a slight exaggeration. I am interested but feel that they are less important than the matter of the legitimacy of the WMSC's findings.

Ferrari F2007

At the risk of boring my readers, who must be thoroughly fed up with F1 politics by now, I must mention one detail that I find very revealing as to the suitability of the WMSC to judge the issue before them. It arises in the brief exchange regarding movable floors, a strange interlude that occurred during the examination of Paddy Lowe.

The Ferrari lawyer, Nigel Tozzi, is at pains to prove that the Ferrari cars were not illegal during the Australian GP and he attempts this by reference to article 3.17 of the regulations, an article intended to clarify the earlier article 3.15. There is some discussion as to whether anything can be totally rigid but this is just fudge; the intent of article 3.15 is quite clear - the floor of the car must not flex.

But the most interesting point is Max Mosley's intervention. He says:

"I do not think that anyone on the World Council would seriously consider that the Ferrari device was illegal at the time, any more than the Renault mass damper before it was eliminated."

That may be true but it shows how competent the WMSC is to judge such matters. Compare Max's statement with this exerpt from Charlie Whiting's reply to McLaren's query regarding movable floors:

"The test described in Article 3.17.4 is intended to test the flexibility of bodywork in that area, not the resistance of a device fitted for the purpose of allowing the bodywork to move further once the maximum test load is exceeded.

"Quite clearly, any such device would be designed to permit flexibility and is therefore strictly prohibited by Article 3.15 of the Technical Regulations.

"We have no objection to a device in this area which is fitted to prevent the bodywork from moving downwards, provided it is clear that it is not designed to circumvent the test described in Article 3.17.4."

Charlie is the ultimate FIA authority in technical matters; it is to be presumed, therefore, that he knows what he's talking about when it comes to complying with the regulations. And he makes quite clear that it is article 3.15 that matters, 3.17 being merely a description of the limits that the FIA test will run to. Flexibility beyond those limits is still illegal, even if undetectable by the existing test.

The inescapable conclusion must be that the Ferraris (and the BMWs and anyone else circumventing the test in this way) were illegal at the time of the Australian GP. The whole business is irrelevant to the case before the WMSC at the time but it does illustrate rather nicely the inability of the committee to understand the FIA regulations. It is not for me to question Max's motives in choosing to interpret the matter in a way that suited Ferrari at the time; that I leave to you.

In fact, I would ask how we can seriously consider fitting a verdict that convicts on the grounds of supposition and inference when the body delivering that verdict has obviously fudged a much clearer issue that did not serve their purposes. I only ask because I want to know.

apologies for misinterpreting your initial take on the transcripts.

for me the primary interest was - what could i glean about car setup, aero revelations and general team insider information, i figured that most people were less geeky than me.

plus, i couldn't really introduce your post by saying - please read clive's thioughts because he's a whole lot smarter than us, could i?

Date Added: 22/09/2007

No problem, Sidey - you were quite right that my first thought was on the more general side. This whole business has made me wonder whether my mind is more interested in the law than I had previously suspected. I was employed in one branch of law many years ago but never thought of it as a career - maybe I was wrong. ;)

But I protest at your last sentence. We are all very smart in our chosen specialities, I'm sure, and I wouldn't have the first clue about how to make a podcast!
Date Added: 22/09/2007

Dan M
"were not illegal during the Australian GP"


Didn't you just graduate grammar school Clive? : )
Date Added: 24/09/2007

Ahah, you've been waiting to catch me out on grammar, have you, Dan? Rules are made to be broken by those who know how to do it - and, in this case, Mr Tozzi was trying to refute the claim that the cars were illegal. It gives more stress on the matter to insist that they were not illegal, rather than just maintaining their legality. A fine difference but a difference nevertheless. :D

And I graduated so many years ago that I can't remember a thing!
Date Added: 24/09/2007

Max Mosley - Dan
As you have admitted to breaking a rule I suggest a 100million dollar fine.

Your posts will also be scrutinized before posting is allowed on anything dealing with the 08 season.
Date Added: 24/09/2007

In consultation with my lawyers, I have decided that, for the sake of the image of F1 blogdom, I will not be appealing...
Date Added: 24/09/2007

Alianora La Canta
And in the finest spirit of F1 blogdom, I convict Max Mosely (Dan) of incredible stupidity, short-sightedness and exceeding due jurisdiction.
Date Added: 25/09/2007

Just like real life, ain't it? :D
Date Added: 25/09/2007

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