Lol, it was too reasonable for you. The rule was badly written. Merc asked. The FIA laywer gave the green light to Brawn's interpretation. Others didn't like it. Didn't Todt's FIA argue for a more severe penalty?
The IT squared things up, within reason. The wording of the rule gave Merc the opportunity, together with a senior FIA official.
Things were not black and white, as the Tribunal recognised to their great credit.
No, things weren't black and white. The regulation was unclear. I spent the whole period while we were waiting for the tribunal arguing exactly that, which is why I thought Merc had a reasonable defence, since there was a possible inerpretation of the rule whereby they hadn't broken the rule, and the FIA had leant considerable weight to that interpretation.
But on the substantive issue as far as Mercedes goes, which was legality, the tribunal ignored Mercedes' main argument. Merc opened their testimony by saying "we're not guilty, we didn't undertake the test, we checked with the FIA before we participated in the test to ensure we wouldn't be deemed to have undertaken the test and we thought we had the go-ahead." But in the tribunal's findings, they start by saying that the regulation is clear and that Mercedes are guilty, then they deal with the issue of the alleged FIA approval only as a factor in potential mitigation
. So they failed to demonstrate in their judgement that they had given any consideration at all to Merc's argument that they hadn't breached the regulations, they failed to make a clear finding about what the regulation in qustion actually means, and then they proceeded to make a load of findings for which there is little or no rationale in the judgement, all of which are exactly the findings you might have expected to come from a negotiated settlement of the matter.
And by the way, the idea that parties to an internal regulatory/disciplinary dispute would resolve the dispute by negotiation and mutual agreement is about as controversial as saying that litigants in the civil courts sometimes elect to settle before the matter goes to judgement. If I understand the tin foil reference, I should point out that what I'm saying is about as far from a conspiracy theory as you could get. It's the FIA's own tribunal, not a court. If the paries agree on an outcome in advance it is entirely in the tribunal members' interests to deliver the outcome the FIA and the other parties ask for - they still get paid either way and it makes life a great deal easier for them. It also makes it much more likely they will get further work from the tribunal in the future - the FIA appoints the members and choose which ones to invite to hear any particular case. It's no big deal, it's not a proper tribunal it's an internal FIA body, and there's nothing inherently more sinister about the idea it would be nobbled by Todt than there is about the idea that Mosley might, on occasion, have leant on the WMSC in its judicial functions.