FIA president Max Mosley remains adamant that there will be a full grid of 20 cars at this weekend's French Grand Prix, despite rumours that the seven Michelin-shod teams may take further action if they feel they have been punished too harshly by the governing body over the USGP boycott.

Speaking to Britain's Guardian newspaper, Mosley said that any future absence from a race would be like the teams 'cutting off their nose to spite their face', insisting that it simply would not happen - despite claims from Minardi boss Paul Stoddart that further action may be likely.

Mosley was responding to comments made by Stoddart on the BBC's Five Live radio station at the weekend and, while not denying that penalties could be meted out for the seven-team withdrawal at Indianapolis, said that he could not see the dispute affecting the on-track action at Magny-Cours this weekend.

"I'm not concerned if they take an antagonistic line," he said, "What are they going to do? If they go on strike, they're simply cutting off their nose to spite their face. That won't happen."

The president remains stuck firmly to his version of events, and who exactly is to blame for the Brickyard situation.

"The teams had gone into headless chicken mode [at Indianapolis]," he said, "One of their suggestions - made more after the event - was that everyone should run with the chicane and only the Bridgestone teams would score points. I was only confident the Ferraris would go out. I wasn't confident about Jordan and Minardi, but I hoped some would race using the pit-lane option. Only on the warm-up lap, did I get a call saying they were probably going to pull in.

"They were incredibly stupid because there are no winners in a situation like this - except the American lawyers. It was crazy. I felt intense irritation because I also suspected the tyre problem was not as grave as they represented. I felt the situation had been created artificially and deliberately."

The seven Michelin teams will attend a hearing with the World Motor Sport Council in Paris on Wednesday where, according to Stoddart, anything from heavy fines to suspensions could be handed down if the WMSC feels that the teams have acted improperly. Mosley confirmed that 'a ban or two' would not necessarily be out of the question, but admitted that he did not expect the punishments to be so heavy.

"If it emerges that the guilt of certain teams is of a certain level, then a ban will be justified," he explained, "but there are various other possibilities, [such as] points being deducted, a fine or reprimand."

The comments mirror those made to the BBC on Sunday, when Mosley admitted that the penalties had yet to be defined.

"Obviously, you don't sanction people unless they are guilty, and the first thing you've got to do is listen and see what they have to say, because there are two sides to every story," he told Five Live, "If they were found guilty, then [the range of punishments] goes all the way from a reprimand through to being banned for life. I don't suppose either of those two alternatives would arise, but there's a big range of things in between."

 

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