Criticising the move, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said: “Using sporting events to promote a cause which is not of a sporting nature and one which is sub judice is not in keeping with the spirit of sport.”
Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi backed the team soon after Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa had driven out of the pits at Friday’s practice. “This shows that the entire country stands behind the marines,” Terzi tweeted.
Ferrari’s head of press operations said the flags would stay during the Indian Grand Prix. “It’s not a statement, we are asking for the (sailors’) issue to be solved,” said Luca Colijanni. “If the flag is politically motivated, it can be argued that Lewis Hamilton using Bob Marley’s image encouraged smoking dope.”
Later on Friday, Ferrari put up a statement on its website calling the flag “a tribute to one of our country’s outstanding institutions”. “Ferrari wishes to make it clear that this initiative does not have, nor should it be seen as having, any political implication.”
The FIA has long sought to keep politics out of Formula One, calling “political neutrality” fundamental to its role as the governing body of motor sport.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he wouldn’t take up the matter with Ferrari but would be speaking with India’s motor sports federation, FMSCI. FMSCI president Vicky Chandhok, for his part, said they would stay out of the row.
Formula One’s oldest brand, Ferrari has expressed solidarity over several issues in the past, from 9/11 to the Japan tsunami.
The claim by Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi that the whole country supports the two Italian thugs now facing murder charges in India is a lie. Quite a lot of people in Italy would like to see them put on trial.
Indians should learn patriotism from these Italian patriots. Country must be first and fellow citizen's safety and honor highest. Patriotism is not in the DNA of Indians. Concepts like of secularism, social justice, and caste quotas etc., have destroyed the concept of patriotism in Indians. I support this spirit of Italian driver. Dr.Yogesh Sharma
Mr. surojeet banerjee, if Italian citizens and, even worse, Italian State deputies would have to suffer judicial abuse from China or USA as it happened with the State of Kerala, yes, definitively yes: Italy wouldd dare. Grazie Ferrari!
Mr. neeraj You assume wrongly our Marines did actually shot the two fishermen, which is false. But Kerala's Authorities have to demonstrate their culpability despite any evidence. Disrespecting a Sovereign State is wrong, but that's what Kerala Police did by arresting two Soldiers who were acting under a Sovereign State responsibility. Sport should stick to Sport, but Justice should not be influenced by politics!
Mr. Bahadur, Indian courts are so indipendent that Judge Gopinath of Kerala's High Court already stated the culpability of our Marines even if the trial as still to start. He added they are "terrorists", even if there is no reason for Italy to strike terror on Indian people. All of this is because the Kerala Police assumed it was from the "Enrica Lexie" that the shootings which killed the two unfortunate fishermen were done... now, as there is no evidence of this, to avoid losing their face they have to force the truth to fit with their theory. Italian Marines did not kill the two innocent fishermen: someone else did.
have not yet realized that the problem is that they were ARRESTED UNJUSTLY and taken by fraud because the incident occurred in international waters! If they are guilty or not guilty, the court must judge the nation of the ship as provide international standards. Our soldiers will not let them go!
We have police in India who take care of them, first. It happened in India to the 2 Indians.
Today ferrari roared for the two lions of "St. Marco" Battalion and now the world knows the unjust detention of the two heroes
The Ferrari team and Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi are trying to get some cheap publicity and make dome political gains in his country. It will have no influence on the Indian courts. In such matters the Indian courts are fiercely independent. I thought the Italians were smarter.
Don't equate 9/11 of Tsunami with murder of innocent indians by marines as the same was done by them out of racial discrimination. If they have done no wrong, let them prove their innocence in court of justice & should not use lame excuses like diplomatic immunity of pressure technoques of their governments. Sporting events must stick to sports only. If Ferrari is insisting upon using the flag, they should have been debarred from future racing events all over the world, as this is a disrespect to a sovereign state.
Dear sir, can these Italians dare to Ignore the host nation and insult the judicial system in china or USA or any other country?? Pl. answer this these Italians dare to do this, because we have a spineless Govt. But then you cannot buy spine in the market. Regards surojeet banerjee