Last Friday the WMSC gave Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, permission to pursue legal action towards the Sunday Times newspaper, seeking libel over an article the paper published in September. The article, written by former Formula One driver and now respected commentator Martin Brundle, spoke about a witch-hunt against McLaren being carried out by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile. Today, Brundle has followed up his original piece and offered a rebuttal to the FIA, claiming they are trying to deter the media for speaking against them and accusing the organisation of imposing double standards on their punishment policies
You can read Brundle’s recent column here: How can Formula One justify blatant double standards?
As a former Formula One driver, I have earnt [sic] the right to have an opinion about the sport, and probably know as much about it as anybody else.
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. Martin Brundle.
Brundle goes on to say how conversations between himself and other Formula One luminaries almost always end up on the McLaren/Renault punishment topic, and how the general perception is that the FIA are using double-standards. And in absolute fairness to Martin, that is pretty accurate: most people, I believe, do feel that the FIA have done wrong by punishing McLaren but not Renault.
It is highly unlikely the FIA will actually get anywhere with this writ, but suffice to say I’m sure journalists up and down the pitlane will be choosing their words very carefully in the future. And this, my dear reader, will only dilute the already weak flow of information from the sport.
If a respected former participant of the sport cannot intelligently discuss what just about every fan can see with their own eyes (and let’s not forget, Brundle is also a fan himself), then we are all poorer as a result.