Debate: Should McLaren appeal against spying verdict?

Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2007 | Daimler ChryslerAfter being hit with a record fine plus expulsion from the 2007 constructors’ championship, should McLaren lodge an appeal?

It’s the only chance Ron Dennis has of clearing his name and the team’s.

But it carries enormous risks with it – further unsavoury details of the espionage could come to light and the penalties imposed on McLaren could be increased.

Why McLaren should appeal

It’s the only way the team can clear their name.

It’s the only way the team can overturn the severe penalties imposed upon them.

The team has alleged that the practices it was involved in were not uncommon and has claimed that a former McLaren employee had taken their intellectual property to Renault.

Why McLaren should not appeal

It runs the risk of having the penalty increased, to potentially include disqualification of the drivers – which Max Mosley feels should have happened anyway.

The FIA found against them on seven counts, presenting an enormous obstacle to overturning the verdict.

Further negative stories about McLaren may come to light.

Dennis has already said he craves ‘closure’ following the verdict – another appeal would postpone the resolution of the dispute even further.

It would be a further distraction from the team’s focus on the 2007 championship battle and preparations for 2008.

Photo: Daimler Chrysler

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11 comments on Debate: Should McLaren appeal against spying verdict?

  1. I think it would be quite dangerous for McLaren. Info that is getting out of the last week’s hearing suggests, that the “racing” part of panel was for the “soft” solution, the legal part of the panel called for tougher penalty. If what Todt says about the apeal, that it is judged only by lawyers, the chances are, McLaren would end up worse ….

    Re clearing their name – Dennis already admitted that all that was in in the decision has happened, and all he contemplates is appealing against the size of the fine …

  2. They won’t do it, bernie and max are trying to tell not to do it.
    And probably they said that straight to Ron :)
    It’s a big blow, but it could become worse.
    And I feel Ron knows this and will leave it with this.

  3. I think if they appeal they are more than likely to get an increased penalty and I will be surprised to see them not apply.

  4. By not appealing, many will see it as an admission of guilt on McLaren’s part but looking at the evidence it would be very hard for them to have it all overturned.

    The sensible option, from the business’ point of view is to not appeal as the risks are too great – from Ron’d point of view he will want to appeal to clear his name.

    But common sense will prevail and they won’t appeal in my opinion.

  5. Given Max’s outburst on ITV on Saturday – about McLaren “polluting” the championship and how the $100M fine will be seen as too lenient in the future – I think Ron & Co had best just man up and take it on the chin.

  6. Actually, this is not the last chance for McLaren’s name and reputation to be cleared. There are court cases pending in Italy and Britain that may well find a lot more evidence than did the FIA – that is their job after all. Should they find that industrial espionage did not take place (and it’s not entirely impossible or why would there be a court case at all?), the WMSC verdict will be revealed for what it is: a kangaroo court’s pre-emption of the properly constituted legal courts.

    Ron should not appeal because we all know that the FIA’s courts are not to be trusted. Mosley has already issued veiled threats as to what will happen if an appeal is made; can we remain in any doubt that the verdict of these committees set up by the FIA will ever do anything other than Mosley’s bidding?

  7. I think Mclaren will be keen to put “spygate” behind them and concentrate on getting results at the final three races. Speaking in PR terms it could be a disaster to further drag out the whole affair and Mclaren would be better off focusing people’s attentions back to what they do best, racing! Ferrari may have gained the constructors title and the prize money with it but, on the weekend it’s confirmed, all people can talk about is Mclaren – the Eau Rouge corner, the 2 point gap, the court case results! I doubt Ferrari’s backers, who would want all of the publicity associated with backing a winning team, are happy…Maybe Mclaren will have a mini-revenge on the prancing horse after all!

  8. Exactly what Clive has said. Except that I guess they won’t expect much change out of the Italian court.

    I think it is worth them appealing their 16 point fine at Hungary though, as the outcome of that is not likely to incur any further penalty and as points-mean-prizes it will effectively reduce their WMSC fine. The FIA will realise this of course.

  9. Pardon me if I don’t have a full understanding of McLaren’s wrongdoing if it was information the gentleman already had- if we’re talking about breaking-in-entering to get the information, that’s a bit different, and if we’re talking about a contract violation, that’s a bit different too; I just fail to grasp why it would violate a rule in the Formula 1 competition.

    I also fail to understand why the penalty must be so stiff that it comes straight from the dialogue of Austin Powers, why McLaren bother to run Alonso if he was the big whistleblower, and why a driver would know anything about the incident in the first place.

    Having said all that, I think McLaren should appeal the size of the penalty if they have already confessed to wrongdoing.

  10. Yasser Tariq said on 18th September 2007, 10:11

    If McLaren appeals then I am sure FIA will find more evidence against the team and penalize them even more heavily. And probably McLaren’s drivers would be left jobless for the next season.
    So if McLaren has left any sanity, which I am sure it has, then it should not appeal but rather try to concentrate on the three remaining races.

  11. I want them to appeal, that would surely mean that the drivers too would be thrown out. I am digusted at Mclaren antics, now Renault too are embroiled.
    Ron Dennis…..take a redner, I am embarassed for you, your morals and your team.

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