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banner Friday, 15 March, 2002, 09:52 GMT
Phoenix remain defiant
Gaston Mazzazane in a Prost at the 2001 Malaysian Grand Prix
Mazzacane raced for Prost in Malaysia last year
Britain's planned new Formula One team insists that it did have the right to compete in the 2002 Formula One World Championship.

Phoenix Finance Limited released a letter from the French liquidators of the defunct Prost team to Max Mosley, president of the world governing body, FIA.

They claimed it proved they had bought an entry into the championship along with other assets.

FIA had said earlier in this week that Phoenix had not bought the right to enter the championship in its 2.5m purchase of the Prost assets.

'Seriously flawed'

Phoenix turned up in Malaysia for Sunday's race with two 2001-spec Prost chassis.

Charles Nickerson, managing director of Phoenix Finance Ltd, said: "It seems that the legal advice which the FIA have received is seriously flawed.

"Either the FIA's advisors have misunderstood the judgement of the French Court or were not in possession of all the information when they gave their advice."

Nickerson, who is not in Kuala Lumpur, added: "We are sorry that we have been blocked from participating in the 2002 Malaysian GP.

"Phoenix intends to redress this situation and to take up its rightful position on the starting grid as soon as possible."

That will not be easy, though. The FIA insist that F1's rules dictate that it is not possible to buy and sell and entry into the championship.

See also:

05 Mar 02 |  Formula One
New F1 entry dismissed
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