Scuderia Alitalia vs F1RWRS Commission

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Scuderia Alitalia vs F1RWRS Commission was a prolonged legal battle between the aforementioned F1RWRS team and the series organiser. Alitalia team boss Alessandro Linari had been accused of bringing the sport into disrepute, with the Commission citing a variety of events for their decision.

Inter Corse vs Melrose Racing Team

The controversy began before Scuderia Alitalia had even completed its purchase of Trueba Racing Team and gained entry to F1RWRS. Virgin Inter Corse, who had competed in the 2013 season of F1RWRS, were looking to make a return to the sport after dropping out at the end of the previous season. However, their lead sponsor Virgin had switched their sponsorship to Melrose Racing Team, despite Inter Corse having a multi-year deal signed with Virgin.

However, VIC losing their F1RWRS entry voided the contract, and the court case was ruled in favour of MRT. The F1RWRS Commission were not happy however, complaining that the two teams had brought the sport into disrepute.

Penalties and appeals

The F1RWRS Commission were not light with the punishment doled out to the two offenders. MRT were handed a 100 credit penalty, however Scuderia Alitalia were given a massive 500 credit penalty, the maximum allowed by the rules. However, the Commission's main justification, above the team's other smaller infractions since purchasing Trueba, was the VIC vs MRT court case, despite the fact that Scuderia Alitalia had no relation to VIC - aside from Linari being the team principal of both on different occasions. On those grounds, Alitalia elected to seek help from the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The F1RWRS Commission had also accused Scuderia Alitalia of lying about their financial state, and had cited Alitalia's other lawsuit against The Fox, in relation to racist remarks about Sammarinese members of the F1RWRS paddock - a lawsuit that was settled in favour of Alitalia. They also referred to criticisms of F2RWRS organisers, accusing bias towards champion Mitchell Macklin and his MRT team, and had accused the F2RWRS organisers of sabotaging his cars, and the car of Alitalia young driver programme member Bastiaan van Nieuwenhuijzen (which, ironically, was later proven to be true in the latter case). They also referenced his strong criticism of F3RWRS driver Joel Melrose, who had been involved in a reckless accident on his debut, and then attempted a mass boycott of the series' season finale when he was entered as part of Tropico's one off entry for the Surfers SuperPrix.

CAS accepted Alitalia's appeal against the penalty, with the Italian team arguing that the F1RWRS Commission themselves were putting the sport into disrepute with their own actions, that they had not followed protocol and that they were penalising Scuderia Alitalia for actions committed by another unrelated team (Virgin Inter Corse).

Resolution

However, CAS was not forced into a making a decision on behalf of both parties. Instead, they were finally able to reach a radically different settlement.

The financial penalty against Scuderia Alitalia was nullified, and instead punishment was aimed at the team principal Alessandro Linari instead. The Scot was made to resign from his position as team principal immediately, with Andrea Sassetti promoted to become his successor. He was also banned from entering the paddock at any RWRS event until the end of 2015. Also as part of the settlement, he founded the charity Road Safety Initiatives Ltd, now the official charity of the Reject World Race Series, funding it from his own personal wealth.

No further sanctions were brought afterwards, and the case closed.

Related links

Full transcript from CAS proceedings