Spaniard removed from FIA appeal panel

Thu, 30 August 2007, 08:10

A Spanish lawyer has been pulled from the panel of the FIA’s International Court of Appeal ahead of the upcoming espionage hearing.

The panel was to feature Xavier Conesa, but due to his Spanish nationality – the same as reigning world champion and McLaren driver Fernando Alonso – he has been stepped down to minimise suggestions of favouritism, according to the newspaper Diario As.

To further scrutinise McLaren’s involvement in the so-called ‘Stepney-gate’ spy saga, and requested by Italy’s motor sport authority, the Paris appeal is scheduled for September 13 — the Thursday after Monza.

A five-man panel will be made up of lawyers from Belgium, the US, Portugal and Monaco. The fifth member, replacing Spain’s Conesa, will be known soon.

‘As’ also claims that lawyers for Renault have been working alongside Ferrari in the case against McLaren; their common paddock enemy.

It is believed that Ferrari-Renault’s argument will be the peculiarity of the World Motor Sport Council finding McLaren in breach of the International Sporting Code, but applying no sanction.

In its ruling last month, the FIA said McLaren faced exclusion from the 2007 and 2008 championships if it is “found in the future that the Ferrari information has been used”.

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