Irvine makes surprise appearance at appeal

EDDIE IRVINE made a surprise appearance at Ferrari's appeal here yesterday in an attempt to rescue his world title ambitions.

EDDIE IRVINE made a surprise appearance at Ferrari's appeal here yesterday in an attempt to rescue his world title ambitions.

The Irishman broke his holiday on Macau to fight his corner at the four-hour hearing. But he faces an anxious night awaiting the outcome, which will be announced today.

Irvine and his team-mate, Michael Schumacher, were disqualified after last Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix when it was discovered that Ferrari had breached technical regulations - a side-pod deflector panel was found to be one centimetre too narrow. That promoted Mika Hakkinen to first place and handed the McLaren driver the world championship.

Irvine was hoping to convince the five judges to reinstate him and take the Formula One championship to a thrilling conclusion in Japan next weekend.

Irvine left the Automobile Club de France, saying only: "I don't know whether it went well or badly - let's just wait."

Ferrari claim their breach of the regulations was an innocent mistake and in any event did not enhance their performance. But McLaren, for whom Hakkinen won the world title with the 10 points he picked up in Malaysia, maintain that rules are rules.

The five-man panel - made up of the Portuguese chairman Jose Macedo E Cunha, the Austrian Gerhard Nurscher, the Belgian Philippe Roberti di Winghe, the Dutchman Jan Van Rosmalen and Vassilis Koussis of Greece - heard four hours of evidence.

The Stewart-Ford team manager, Paul Stewart, was also present, to protect the upgraded placings of Johnny Herbert and Rubens Barrichello, who took second and third in Malaysia following the disqualification.

"Teams have to know where they stand on the regulations," Stewart said. "It's up to the court of appeal to decide if Ferrari is in the right or in the wrong."

After the hearing, Ferrari's Swiss lawyers, Jean-Pierre Martel and Henri Peter, gave a brief account of the hearing but would not be drawn on the arguments of the case.

They did, however, confirm that Irvine spoke in his team's defence. "We had a very fair and in-depth hearing," Peter said. "In a fair trial there is no hidden evidence and that's how it was. Eddie Irvine felt he should be here to answer any questions and as a matter of respect. It is not really surprising he came given the importance of the decision and that he is the main person affected by it."

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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower