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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 June, 2005, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
F1 teams 'ready to boycott races'
Only six cars take the start of the US Grand Prix after teams using Michelin tyres refused to race
Could this happen again in F1?
Formula One teams could boycott future races if they get severe penalties for their role in the US Grand Prix fiasco, Minardi boss Paul Stoddart said.

Stoddart said it would be wrong for F1's governing body the FIA to hand out "draconian bans" to the seven teams at Wednesday's disciplinary hearing.

"Would we race after a (heavy) penalty? I think we'd have a meeting and you wouldn't guarantee it," Stoddart said.

But FIA president Max Mosley countered: "The governing body will always win."

In an interview in Monday's Guardian, Mosley dismissed fears of a strike and said: "I'm not concerned if they take an antagonistic line.

"What are they going to do? If they go on strike, they're simply cutting off their nose to spite their face. That won't happen."

Mosley told BBC Radio Five Live that punishment could range from a reprimand to a ban for life - but he added that he thought the punishment would fall between those two extremes.

What we needed was crisis management and what we got from Mosley as usual was management in crisis
Paul Stoddart
Minardi boss
He told the Guardian he "wouldn't exclude a ban or two" but recognised that other members of the disciplinary council were unlikely to go that far.

"If it emerges that the guilt of certain teams is of a certain level, then a ban will be justified," he told the newspaper. "There are various other possibilities - points being deducted, a fine or reprimand."

Stoddart, also speaking to Five Live, said: "That is positively frightening, because if it is anything more than a reprimand [it would be wrong] - the teams were totally innocent victims, as was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as were the American public.

"It could be anything - I have heard unofficial reports of what it might be, ranging from a $2.5m fine to a suspended ban, to all kinds of possible things. I would hope Max would come to his senses but who knows?"

If the teams were hit with a heavy ban, Stoddart said, "there would be an appeal, it would go to the (FIA) court of appeal, and then it would end up in the civil courts".

Stoddart reiterated his view that Mosley was to blame for the fiasco.

He said Mosley should take "total responsibility" for the failure to reach a compromise at Indianapolis.

Mosley has again defended his decision to block a plan to build a chicane at the circuit's final corner.

Michelin tyres at Indianapolis
The fiasco at Indy was caused by a design aspect of Michelin tyres
He said the FIA could not change its rules just because some teams had not taken the right equipment to a race.

But Stoddart, whose team use Bridgestone tyres and did race in the US, admitted that while Michelin had erred, it had made every effort to solve the problem.

"There was an issue with the bonding between the sidewall and tread (of the tyres)," he said.

"They chartered a private jet and flew in replacement tyres and found they had the same problem. That was force majeure in my opinion. At that point what we needed was crisis management and what we got from Mosley as usual was management in crisis."

Stoddart denied Mosley's claims that to have put in a chicane would have led to legal and insurance problems in the US.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: FIA president Max Mosley


Interview: Jenson Button


Interview: Minardi boss Paul Stoddart



SEE ALSO
Mosley rejects US race criticism
23 Jun 05 |  Formula One
Mosley 'wrecked US salvage talks'
22 Jun 05 |  Formula One
British GP dismisses tyre fears
22 Jun 05 |  Formula One
Michelin makes Magny-Cours pledge
21 Jun 05 |  Formula One
Teams hit with disrepute charge
21 Jun 05 |  Formula One
Fans launch legal action over GP
21 Jun 05 |  Formula One
Mansell criticises farce at US GP
21 Jun 05 |  Formula One


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