FIA goes limp over Indy
PARIS (AP) -- Formula One's governing body said Thursday it will recommend guilty verdicts be dropped against the seven teams that boycotted the United States Grand Prix because new evidence showed they did nothing wrong.
FIA ruled last month that the teams were guilty of failing to provide suitable tires and wrongfully refusing to allow their cars to race in the June 19 event at Indianapolis, but put off any sanctions until Sept. 14.
BMW-Williams, Mercedes-McLaren, BAR-Honda, Toyota, Sauber, Red Bull and Renault all withdrew from the race after tire manufacturer Michelin said its tires were unsafe for the Indianapolis circuit.
Michelin wanted a series of turns to be installed to slow cars on the Indianapolis course, but FIA refused.
FIA said Thursday it couldn't alter the circuit for "sporting and legal reasons."
FIA's senate, made up of eight senior officials including president Max Mosely, backed down at a meeting Thursday in Monaco and said the teams were right to follow Michelin's instructions to pull out. The teams were "contractually bound" to do so, FIA said in a statement.
It also said the teams and FIA could have faced legal action in the United States if they hadn't followed contractual obligations.
A recommendation to drop the guilty verdicts will be made to FIA's World Motor Sport Council for a vote in the next few days, the statement said.
Last month, Michelin offered fans refunds and free tickets for next year's Indianapolis race.