F1: Brundle hits back at FIA

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarSunday, December 9th, 2007

 
 

Martin Brundle has hit back in his Sunday Times column against the FIA and its decision to issue a libel writ over a piece he wrote in September questioning the impartiality of its actions.

He says that he believes the legal action is a warning sign to other journalists and publications to choose their words carefully when reporting the Renault espionage decision.

He adds that he is “tired of what I perceive as the ‘spin’ and tactics of the FIA press office, as are many other journalists.

“I expect my accreditation pass for next year will be hindered in some way to make my coverage of F1 more difficult and to punish me. Or they will write to ITV again to say that my commentary is not up to standard despite my unprecedented six Royal Television Society Awards for sports broadcasting. So be it.”

He analyses the differences in tone between the judgments on McLaren and Renault, saying that the former is “about negativity and suspicion of possible use of Ferrari information, but no real show-stopper I could see” while the latter is “one of an understanding and supportive nature.”

And he asserts the right of him and other journalists and commentators to have an opinion about the sport:

Martin Brundle: how can Formula One justify blatant double standards?

AS A RESULT of my Sunday Times column we have received a French writ from Max Mosley and the FIA with regard to comments I made in September about the so-called Ferrari and McLaren spy scandal and the ensuing $100m fine for McLaren. We even appeared on the impressively named World Motor Sport Council’s agenda approving the use of the FIA’s money to pursue us. I had previously debated the energetic manner in which Mosley was apparently pursuing McLaren.

As a former Formula One driver, I have earnt the right to have an opinion about the sport, and probably know as much about it as anybody else. I have attended approaching 400 grands prix, 158 as a driver. I have spilt blood, broken bones, shed tears, generated tanker loads of sweat, tasted the champagne glories and plumbed the depths of misery. I have never been more passionate about F1 and will always share my opinions in an honest and open way, knowing readers will make up their own minds.

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