Motor Racing: Mosley urges Villeneuve to drop appeal

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The Independent Online
Max Mosley, the top administrator in motor sport, yesterday urged Jacques Villeneuve to drop his appeal against disqualification at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Mosley, the president of the FIA, the international governing body of motor sport, warned that the Williams-Renault driver could be suspended for the season's final grand prix in Jerez, Spain, on Sunday week, giving the world title to his German rival, Michael Schumacher.

"There is a risk that Villeneuve could lose not only two points from Suzuka, but also be suspended for Jerez," he said.

"It would be a nightmare for Bernie Ecclestone [the head of Formula One], but the court is independent," added Mosley, in a reference to the FIA's court of appeal which is due to meet next Tuesday in Paris. "If Williams would withdraw their appeal, I can imagine that they would stick to the two-points deduction.

"I have sympathy for him [Villeneuve] and I understand that he wants to drive as fast as possible, but I want to see him alive after the end of his career. He endangered not only himself, but the stewards, who are volunteers with families."

Villeneuve was disqualified for ignoring waved yellow caution flags during free practice while under a suspended ban for the same offence imposed at the Italian Grand Prix last month. He was allowed to race at Suzuka pending an appeal.

Villeneuve finished fifth in the race won for Ferrari by Schumacher, the French-Canadian's only rival for the title who has 78 points to Villeneuve's 79.