Martin Brundle has hit out at the FIA following confirmation on Friday that the sports governing body is to start legal proceedings against The Sunday Times following its reporting into the F1 spying saga.

The row concerns an article dated September 9 - the day of Italian Grand Prix - wrote by Brundle, which is now noted by The Times on its website www.timesonline.co.uk as being subject to a legal complaint.

In it Brundle wrote that the FIA was engaged in a 'witch-hunt against the McLaren-Mercedes team'.

Responding in his latest column in the British 'paper today [December 9], the ex-Formula 1 driver said that French writ was clearly 'a warning sign to other journalists and publications to choose their words carefully' over the latest spy ruling reached against Renault, which he believes 'makes no sense'.

"The timing of the writ is significant, in my view, given the FIA's decision to find Renault guilty of having significant McLaren designs and information within their systems, but not administering any penalty," he wrote.

"It is a warning sign to other journalists and publications to choose their words carefully over that decision. I'm tired of what I perceive as the "spin" and tactics of the FIA press office, as are many other journalists.

"I expect my accreditation pass for next year will be hindered in some way to make my coverage of F1 more difficult and to punish me. Or they will write to ITV again to say that my commentary is not up to standard despite my unprecedented six Royal Television Society Awards for sports broadcasting. So be it."

Brundle also went on to add that he is well qualified to talk about Formula 1 given he raced in the sport from 1984 to 1996 and given he has now been commentating on it for so long.

"As a former Formula One driver, I have earned the right to have an opinion about the sport, and probably know as much about it as anybody else," he added. "I have attended approaching 400 grands prix, 158 as a driver.

"I have spilt blood, broken bones, shed tears, generated tanker loads of sweat, tasted the champagne glories and plumbed the depths of misery. I have never been more passionate about F1 and will always share my opinions in an honest and open way, knowing readers will make up their own minds."

Martin's latest column, under the heading, 'How can Formula 1 justify blatant double standards?' can be viewed by going to the following link:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/formula_1/article3021312.ece