Mosley defends F1 technical checks

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The Independent Online

FIA president Max Mosley has defended the technical checks after Formula One races that caused the disqualification of McLaren-Mercedes' David Coulthard after he finished second in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

Mosley, admitting the post-race checks "take long and are wearisome," said they were necessary to ensure fairness.

"You'll agree with me that it would be unfair to withdraw a result from a driver and a racing team without the absolute certainty that the car carries an irregularity," Mosley said in a letter published Tuesday in Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"But at the same time it would be just as unfair if a result were to be awarded to a car that does not conform to the rules."

The FIA's International Court of Appeal will meet Monday in Paris to hear McLaren's appeal to the disqualification.

Coulthard finished behind Ferrari's Michael Schumacher but was disqualified when stewards ruled the front wing of his car was two millimeters (.08 inch) out of tolerance.

The powerful McLaren team, without a point in the first two races, is expected to argue the bumpy track conditions caused wear on the front wing end plates, taking them out of tolerance.

Mosley, who heads the world governing body of auto racing, said FIA officials measured Coulthard's car several times in front of McLaren officials.

"We try to give any team in this sort of situation the maximum chance to prove their car is legal," Mosley told the London-based The Guardian newspaper. "But none of this prevents McLaren from offering whatever defense they think appropriate when it comes to the appeal hearing."

Five months ago, the FIA's 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 centimeter (3/8 inch).

The FIA admitted at the time its measurements were "not sufficiently accurate" and said some of its rules were fuzzy.