Formula One Controversy
Funny Business In Malaysia
Formula One has been rich this season in sheer circus and soap opera. Witness last Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, the next-to-last event of the season. Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, out since July with a broken right leg, returned and dominated the race until he slowed with three laps to go and allowed teammate Eddie Irvine to go by him and win—thus enabling Irvine to overtake Mika Hakkinen in the season points race.
However, FIA officials disqualified both Ferraris for illegal bodywork—the cars' design was said to violate rules governing aerodynamics and, in turn, the speed of the cars—and declared Hakkinen, who'd finished third in a McLaren, the winner. That decision appeared to clinch Hakkinen's second straight world championship going into the season-ending Japanese Grand Prix on Oct 31. But Ferrari, which claimed the same cars had been deemed legal earlier this season, appealed and was to get a formal FIA hearing on Oct. 22.
Could Ferrari's disqualification be overturned? The FIA's record is mixed on such issues, but it would hardly be unprecedented.