Stewart fears for F1 future

Stewart fears for F1 future

13 September 2007 – Sir Jackie Stewart has said he fears for the future of Formula One if the spy scandal hearing fails to deliver a sensible verdict. Later today the World Motor Sport Council will meet in Paris for the second time in two months as new evidence came to the attention of the World Motor Sport Council.

In McLaren's worst case scenario the team could be removed from the 2007 Formula 1 championship. Former team owner Sir Jackie Stewart has said it is not doing any good for the sport itself to have these kind of spy scandals at the World Motor Sport Council. ""I'm not trying to take sides, and I don't want to take sides, but I believe this situation has grown from a molehill into a mountain," Sir Jackie Stewart told PA. "It is dangerous for the infrastructure of Formula One because the multi-national corporations are the heart of the sport's activity. A car takes tens of millions (of pounds), if not hundreds of millions, to fund for a full season because the manufacturing facilities are among the most sophisticated in the world.

"The cost of that infrastructure means Formula One is the highest capital investment sport in the world. I understand the sensitivities of these multi-national corporations because I am a businessman, and on the board of a multi-national corporation myself. Looking at this, I would judge the whole sport by the manner in which it conducts itself.

"Of course you put your house in order, but you don't have to do it in such open forum. The sport is washing its dirty laundry in public, which is beyond defence the way it has been done, and totally inappropriate. It could have been dealt with in-house very easily, and should have been dealt with that way."

Stewart hopes that the World Council will come with a correct decision today after the whole affair was played public for over a month. "There will be a lot of hurt and wounded people, which is why I have maintained that preventative medicine is less expensive and less painful than corrective medicine," Stewart said. "They (the World Council) need to deal with this in an extremely intelligent, sensitive and thoughtful manner because the way it has been going these past few weeks has been completely out of order. It is why I fear for the future of Formula One if this is not handled correctly tomorrow.

"The two most influential people, Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley, have to see the wisdom of defusing this to a level where it can be dealt with in a corrective and undestructive fashion. If they do, it will be a feather in both their caps. All I am looking to do is defuse the World Council's position on this so it becomes a very calm and collected issue because we are looking at the entire entity and its future. Don't damage that future."

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