Court to decide on disqualification of Ferrari drivers

Judges from world motor sport's court of appeal will likely meet later this week to decide on the fate of Formula One championship contender Eddie Irvine and his Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher, a spokesman said Monday.

Judges from world motor sport's court of appeal will likely meet later this week to decide on the fate of Formula One championship contender Eddie Irvine and his Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher, a spokesman said Monday.

The International Automobile Federation's court will rule on an appeal from the Ferrari team following both drivers' disqualification from the Malaysian Grand Prix over an illegal deflector panel.

FIA spokesman Francisco Longanesi said the earliest the court could meet would be Òthe end of the week or the beginning of next week.Ó

'They will listen to the parties and then they will take a decision,' said Longanesi.

FIA's Paris-based appeals court is made up of 15 judges from around the world, and at least three are needed to hear a case. Longanesi said the process of establishing which judges were available was starting Monday.

Irvine won Sunday's race, with his teammate Michael Schumacher in second place. The win kept alive his hopes of taking the title at the last grand prix of the season, in Japan next Sunday.

But organizers later disqualified both Ferrari drivers, promoting Finn Mika Hakkinen to first place and giving him an unassailable lead in the overall standings.

Ferrari said its appeal would be based on the grounds that the infraction did not give drivers and advantage, and that the same deflector panel had been used at previous races without being ruled illegal.

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