FIA sets Coulthard appeal date

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The Independent Online

Motor racing's world governing body will convene its International Court of Appeal in Paris on Monday to hear McLaren's protest over the disqualification of driver David Coulthard from second place in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

FIA spokesman Francesco Longanesi said a decision was expected as early as Tuesday by the appeals panel, which is expected to be made up of at least three jurors.

Coulthard placed second behind Ferrari's Michael Schumacher in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix but was disqualified when stewards ruled the front wing of his car was two millimetres (.08 inch) out of tolerance.

Five months ago, the FIA's same appeal body seemed to bend its rules by reinstating Ferrari's 1-2 finish in the Malaysian Grand Prix after stewards ruled aerodynamic deflectors were out of compliance by one centimetre.

Coulthard, who is hoping for the same kind of leniency, hinted at favoritism in the FIA's decisions.

"It all depends on how the world championship lies and who is supposed to be winning at the time," Coulthard said. "But we'll have to see what the appeal court says. It's one of those things that rules are rules. Sometimes, though, it feels like the regulations just don't make sense."