Fatal crashes: F1 seeks exemptions from arrests

ROME: Formula One is stepping up its fight to make itself exempt from European arrest laws in the case of fatal crashes. 

Max Mosley, president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) that governs the sport, met with Italy’s Justice Minister Roberto Castelli on Wednesday to strengthen opposition to the new European-wide arrest warrant law, which came into force this year in eight EU countries. 

“It’s a very dangerous sport and we don’t want people exposed to prosecution if we are unlucky enough to have such an accident in the EU,” Mosley said. 

Mosley contended that the law, designed as an anti-terrorism measure, could result in immediate arrests of team members in the case of a fatal crash during a race. 

The law eliminates the need for lengthy extradition procedures, allowing immediate arrests to be made across borders within any abiding EU country. So far, Parliaments in Germany, Italy, Greece, Austria, and Holland have not passed laws enacting the EU-wide warrants. 

Italy hosts two Grand Prix races every year, in Imola and Monza. 

Among the nations already enforcing the new warrant law are Spain, Belgium and Britain, which host F1 races. 

“Nobody is asking that the law should be different for different people, but that the law should recognise that some activities are different than others,” Mosley said. 

The 1994 death of three-time Brazilian world champion Ayrton Senna in Imola resulted in a probe which led to criminal charges against racing officials. – AP 

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