Press slams F1 for YouTube conspiracy

Fri, 5 October 2007, 11:41

Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost has admitted alerting the FIA to the YouTube evidence that in China could jeopardise Lewis Hamilton’s push for the drivers’ title.

Tost, whose Faenza based team is powered by McLaren’s arch espionage enemy Ferrari, told the Daily Telegraph in Shanghai that the evidence shows that championship leader Hamilton was at least partly to blame for a collision between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel in Japan a week ago.

Vettel, Toro Rosso’s German rookie driver, was penalised ten grid places for the incident that until Thursday was believed to have occurred away from the view of any video footage.

It is now believed that FIA stewards are investigating even more than the single YouTube clip, such as a different replay angle.

“You could see quite clearly that Hamilton slows down quite unexpectedly,” Tost said in Shanghai.

“Sebastian would have had to have gone between the cars (Webber and Hamilton) and there was no chance.

“It was totally unexpected. It looked like Hamilton was stopping, that is why I went to the stewards.”

The news that Hamilton is being investigated primarily on the basis of an amateur video captured on a mobile phone, however, drew derision from within the British press ranks, who have not cheered a countryman to a world championship since Damon Hill in 1996.

‘PA Sport’ writer Ian Parkes conspiratorially points out that penalising Lewis Hamilton would almost certainly delay the title being decided until the finale in Brazil.

“Now wouldn’t that be fitting,” he mockingly wrote.

The Sun added: “Formula one bosses? They’re not fit to run a quiet, country petrol station in Chipping Sodbury … Let alone the multi-billion pound business that is grand prix racing.”

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