India Grand Prix: Ferrari flag up support for murder charge pair Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone

 

New Delhi

Ferrari found themselves beaten on the track by Red Bull yesterday, and increasingly berated off it as their Indian hosts were angered by their decision to race with the Italian navy's flag on their cars as a gesture of solidarity with two sailors who are facing trial in India on murder charges.

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, marines aboard the Italian ship Enrica Lexie, are accused of shooting dead two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast in February, mistakenly believing them to be pirates. After imprisonment, they were granted bail in June on condition that they remain in Indian territory.

On their website, Ferrari said of the decision to place the flag on the car: "In doing so, Ferrari pay tribute to one of the outstanding entities of our country, also in the hope that the Indian and Italian authorities will soon find a solution to the situation currently involving the sailors from the Italian navy."

Syed Akbaruddin of New Delhi's Ministry of External Affairs said: "Using sporting events to promote causes which are not of a sporting nature is not in keeping with the spirit of sports."

As the situation escalated, commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone found himself being dragged into it. "We wouldn't get involved," he said. "We'd look at the national sporting authority here to have a look at that. We are not political."

Ferrari's team principal, Stefano Domenicali, defended his team's decision to wear the burgee. "There is not any political intent or discussion," he said.

It wasn't a great day on the track either for Ferrari or for McLaren as Sebastian Vettel finished the second practice session 0.118sec ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber, himself 0.599sec clear of Fernando Alonso, with the McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button sixth and seventh fastest.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee