Doubt remains over Raikkonen’s title as McLaren appeal

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2007 | Ferrari mediaKimi Raikkonen is champion for now but the F1 world is waiting to hear the outcome of an appeal by the McLaren-Mercedes team.

McLaren have appealed against the stewards’ decision not to exclude the BMW and Williams drivers from yesterday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

The stewards found that there was not enough evidence to prove that the cars in question used fuel that was cooler than the regulations allow, despite it being recorded on several occasions that the minimum limit was exceeded during pit stops.

The odds are stacked against McLaren however.

The International Court of Appeal may choose to reject their submission. Even if it goes to the appeal court, choosing to change the order of the race and by doing so change the identity of the world champion would be an extraordinarily controversial decision.

Photo: Ferrari media

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87 comments on “Doubt remains over Raikkonen’s title as McLaren appeal”

  1. Damn! I wanted so badly to stick a fork in this season already, but I guess we’ll have to wait.

  2. Well, I still do believe that BMW and Williams still have to be punished for their infringement.

    So I will repeat it again: they should do what they did back in 1995. Punish the teams (and dock their points), but not the drivers (who keep theirs). 1995 was also a fuel violation, remember.

    And seeing that McLaren has already had such a punishment this year, it wouldn’t be such a stretch for the FIA to decide this way.

  3. another lewis fan
    22nd October 2007, 8:21

    BMW should be punished for that for those of you said everything goes hamiltons way it did’nt this time cheating b…..ds!i hope mclaren appeal but it would a shame for lewis to win ch’ship in this way,can’t wait for next year already.

  4. Apparently McLaren’s motivation for appealing is that they want to know how someon can break the rules and not be punished.

    Firstly, this is incredibly hypocritical of McLaren seeing as they broke the rules this year and, in the eyes of many, have not been suitably punished.

    Secondly, there is no proof that Williams or BMW actually did break the rules – the stewards have said that they do not know exactly what the ambient temperature was, thus they do not know what 10 degrees less than ambient temp was, and thus they do not have a reference value to check legality. Hence it is impossible to tell whether BMW or Williams’ fuel temps were 10 degrees less than ambient.

  5. Yup, I’m a big fan of Lewis, but this is no way to win a title, I’m sure that Kimi will still be the Champ after this appeal.

  6. Derek Hopkinson
    22nd October 2007, 9:30

    Well we have to ask the question,Is the problem skin type!!!!

    D Hopkinson (white)

  7. another lewis fan
    22nd October 2007, 9:46

    No proof was found that mclaren cheated either!It’s double standards punish mclaren but when somebody else breaks the rules lets them get away with it cheating is cheaing

  8. Derek – what on earth are you talking about?

  9. ANOTHER LEWIS FAN
    22nd October 2007, 9:58

    so explain this when ferrari won in australia in an ILLEGAL car why were’nt they punished 1 set of rules for ferrari and another set for everyone else!

  10. Everyone take a deep breath, look at the facts this season and in the end McLaren have to thank the stars that they weren’t disqualified altogether. Yes, maybe Ferrari had an illegal car, but then again the only way for McLaren to know that was because they had the information they got, and used, from Ferrari which is why they launched the appeal at the time.
    Now is McLaren really appeal the fuel decision now that’s just really bad sportsmanship, how about they just let it rest, as everyone’s pointed out, the chances for them to actually achieve anything, let alone win the drivers title, are ridiculously slim. If they do it, then it’s just to **** everyone off. Let it rest, Ron, you’ve already lost a lot of your reputation this season…

  11. ANOTHER LEWIS FAN
    22nd October 2007, 10:25

    Alonso is a back-stabbing traitor ron will be glad to see the back of him!

  12. Can everyone please remember this is a forum for discussing F1, not for throwing insults at people. I have deleted several comments that violate the Comment Policy for breaking this rule.

  13. Alonso, and Pedro de la Rosa had to give that info tio FIA, or if proven they will loose theres SUPER licences

  14. Oh, ANOTHER LWEIS FAN, don’t get your hopes up too much, it seems that everyone is sure that Alonso will leave. Alonso is a very good driver and McLaren can’t get anyone close to the same level to replace him. If McLaren can sort it out with Alonso they will, I’m sure of that as Alonso will just harm them more if he’s somewhere else. And to put all the pressure on Hamilton wouldn’t be very smart at all, he’s shown in the last two races that he can’t deal with it at this moment, maybe he will in the future, but he definitely cracked under pressure twice.

  15. Michael K, I just don’t see it happening. Alonso hasn’t been trying to get closer to McLaren, he’s been walking further away from them. And it has been Alonso, not McLaren, who’s been heard more to be in contact with other teams. And if there’s one thing McLaren learned yesterday, it’s that F1 is a TEAM sport.

  16. Captain Caveman
    22nd October 2007, 11:15

    I am having to chuckle with some of the comments above and in some other threads i have read. Many are referencing Albert Park, Australia and how ferrari should have been docked points.

    And dare i say it typically from lewis fans….. i get the impression that as most of the lewis fans ( new to the sport) are unafmiliar with the result back in march.

    If Kimi had been demoted etc, Alonso would be champion now..

    1 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:25:28.770
    2 F. Alonso McLaren + 7.242
    3 L. Hamilton McLaren + 18.595

    I suppose i would suggest that we should be careful of what we ask for. or at least be aware of the implications.

    I am an Alonso fan, but vey happy that kimi won the championship. ( well deserved racing driver).

    In hindsight with the points being so tight in the end it looks like Hungary had more to play in the final championship result than we might have anticipated then.I

    am still of the opinion that Alonso was hard done by in his penalty, especially on a track that is difficult to overtake on. (irrespective of whom was at fault at mclaren, or to be specfic whom was at fault first ………..:-)

  17. You have to look at it from Alonso’s perspective as well, there doesn’t seem to be another team to be able to compete with Ferrari other than McLaren. Of course he will contact everyone, this will just help to raise his value should McLaren try to keep him, which I think they will. He will try to get a better status than Hamilton, as he did all year, but McLaren can’t really give him that. They will try and sort it out with a multitude of incentives, I’m sure, maybe some sort of arrangement which really gives him the control of his own tactics. Of course the Hamilton camp won’t be happy with any of it. Whatever the outcome of this sorry saga, McLaren will loose, they already did this year, as you pointed out Journeyer.
    If Alonso wants a big payday in the obscurity of mid-table action, he could go to Toyota, but I don’t think he would do that. If he goes back to Renault it must be because of Flavio, who undoubtedly will use all his player-pimp-charm to get him back, but I don’t think this would help him at all…

  18. The Court of Appeal may even reject McLaren appeal, and that would be the end of it. But I don’t think they will.

    The probable outcome (and what I’m hoping to happen) is that constructors points wil be deducted from Williams and BMW that they would have earned in Brazil, but the drivers keep their points.

    To change the order of the race and make Lewis champion would be F1 into disrepute yet again this season. If Lewis was to win the championship, he should have done it on the track, not in the courtroom.

    As tacky as this sounds, I predicted that the WDC would be decided in the courts this year (but because of Stephney-gate, not this) let’s hope I’m wrong.

  19. To,
    another lewis fan!

    This is to explain to all who want to understand why Ferrari was not docked points or penalized in any other form. The rules were ambiguous, which were later clarified by FIA and amended upon production of facts by McLaren(of course they used the Ferrari dossier, which perhaps explains, their enhanced pace from Malaysia onwards. McLaren WAS SLOWER IN MELBOURNE, PERIOD). Just like Renault which lost future use of the Mass Damper, Ferrari had to modify their car, which perhaps explains their form(rather the lack of it, right after Melbourne). Now that we understand the situation better, we perhaps could look forward to the future(2008) and hope LH is as good as he is advertised to be.

    From a disgusted F1 fan, who knows a fair bit!

  20. Im really surprised anyone thinks Alonso might stay at Mclaren. Ron would have to be mad or extremely naive to think he can successfully manage these two drivers after what happenned this year, esp Alonso blackmailing him. As for the championship result, I can only imagine that someone up there ensured justice was served, since the people down here couldnt do so.

  21. Well, McLaren have just lost the last shred of respect I had for them. This is sickening.

    Even if they were disqualified, though, would Lewis be given the extra points? No-one was given McLaren’s points…

  22. In Mclaren’s defense, they did not appeal any of the penalties handed to them this year, neither in hungary, nor the MASSIVE FINE. I do not think they want thier driver to win a championship in this way. My only surprise is that, the FIA has only created another mess for itself. And its unlikely they will reverse the drivers championship, especially now
    ferrari has won it.

  23. Regardless of the eventual outcome, no one can say it hasn’t been an interesting season. There have been more twists and turns in the sport to rival a best selling novel.

    I think Raikkonen deserves to win. I think both Alonso and Lewis will be stronger moving forward having both missed the championship this year.

    Perhaps the teams need to take stock of where they are and come back fighting even stronger next year.

    I think Vinny Jone’s line from gone in 60 seconds is apt, “it’s been emotional,” Roll on 2008.

  24. Kirk,

    There is a difference between a disqualification and an exclusion.

  25. Just to clarify, there have been several occasions in the past where drivers and teams have been disqualified from races and the drivers behind them moved up the order and taking their points. For example, when BAR were disqualified at Imola in 2005, and when the Williams and Toyotas were disqualified at Montreal in 2004.

  26. keith your comment 12 explains a lot – sorry about my comments and lets hope that kimi retains title as we have had enough bickering about rules and regs – coming second in youre first year is no mean achievment for hamilton – so lets look forward to next year

  27. Why can’t McLaren just give it up, this season has already been sabotaged by Spygate and yet another appeal is the last thing F1 needs right now.

  28. Alan – that’s a very mature attitude to have – if only McLaren thought the same way you do!

  29. to vertigo – thanks for that – but hope all enjoy a good break and well next years not that far away – soon be practise and testing sessions to come!!

  30. another lewis fan
    22nd October 2007, 13:48

    sorry to change subject but was wondering is anybody else having difficulty accessing itvf1 site cant get to come up at all,used to be able to dont know whats wrong with it advice would be appreciated

  31. Oliver and Keith, thanks for clarifying that. I knew there had been instances of both but couldn’t remember…

  32. another lewis fan – the ITV F1 site generally doesn’t work, in the past two weeks it has just been doing what it wants, so give it some time and it might sort itself out.
    Talking of ITV, 10 million people watched the race on Sunday – I wonder how many of them could name an F1 driver other than Lewis?

  33. To Oliver!

    You seem to be a McLaren fan. I can understand, that it is frustrating, however, McLaren had shot themselves in the foot, head and wherever not! Hungary DQ was due anyways. They ran an illegal gearbox(no crash test was performed for the new part). If they petitioned, they would have lost Driver’s Championship points as well, with which in retrospect they chose for the better of that(petition). Ron is rather thoughtful, trust me.

    Spygate was rather obvious i’d think, Mosley(check on Formula1.com) just commented that McLaren had Ferrari information all along even before the season began. They really had no footing, to go ahead and ask FIA to reconsider, as Ron would have known, as Mosly opined in his latest interview, the one which i referred to earlier, that he would have had rather seen the back of McLaren & it’s drivers for 2007. Just as well, with sanction for McLaren in 2008.

    I understand your passion, sentiment, however, let logic prevail.

    Also about BAR’s DQ in 2005 was more due to fuel delivery system(fuel tank design) to be precise. DQ of Williams in Montreal in 2004 was due to larger than regulation brake pads(Ralf’s interview to F1racing in the following month’s issue clarifies). Do not know about the Toyota DQ however, did not hear much about it. But i guess there must have been some dirt on them, which is why the DQ. Do not forget, even Schu was docked a seasons points for foul play(1997), then think Monaco, 2006.

    However, it is rather becoming obvious that LH can get away with what ever he does. No proof to the contrary, as yet! In-fact, Fuji(erratic driving behind safety car), Quali in Brazilian GP(extra tyre set, and getting away with blocking Raikkonen on hot lap) in Brazil only add up to the theory.

    This is for all you LH supporters. Alonso was only spared in spygate as Lewis would have to be docked just as well. This was not a situation that they(council) wanted, as English press was holding FIA hostage. They bent over backwards to save some negative press. It is rather disparaging to see such petulant behavior from eminent journalists, even reputed ones as such of the F1Racing magazine et all.

    Mosley wanted to dock them both. Guess what went wrong and why wasn’t that done. Let me say Mosley wanted it in the name of fairness, it is others who ruled in the favour of not doing so. It is mighty rich of Mclaren to speak of “Honest/best behavior”. If anything, this was rather to the detriment of Ferrari, as their chief rival was clearly getting away with using their technology. Also, they had to (almost)bid their hopes of driver’s championship, owing to the pressures of English press, which was rather hostile towards FIA.

    Am glad Raikkonen won it on track.

    Regards!

  34. There’s lots more discussion on whether the FIA generally favour Hamilton here: Alonso is not the victim of a McLaren conspiracy

  35. This is another piece of evidence in the logbook of F1/FIA cock-ups. Rules enforcement is at best capricious.

    Spantard :)

  36. It’s “fun” reading F1 forums, so many opinions from so few facts. Journeyer (whom I often agree with) Says: “I still do believe that BMW and Williams still have to be punished for their infringement.” I find that interesting, he’s condemed them even with no evidence. And Oliver (whom I rarely agree with) got it right with this remark: In McLaren’s defense, they did not appeal any of the penalties handed to them this year, …” suggesting they wouldn’t appeal this one. I think all of us would agree (like it or not) Kimi won the race and the Championship and further FIA meddling would only bring further “disrepute to the sport”. It’s time to turn the page and get ready for 2008.
    And we’ve still got Williams and Spyker crying about ‘customer car teams’……..will it never end? Is this really the “pinnacle of motorsport”?

  37. another lewis fan
    22nd October 2007, 14:22

    thanks vertigo.

  38. Sri:

    I am a fan of F1, and no fan to any particular team. And I also try not to get emotional when I comment.

  39. Number 38, to clarify:

    I’m not condemning BMW and Williams at all. However, it has been stated by the FIA TECHNICAL REPRESENTATIVE (and that’s crucial here) that the fuel had irregularities.

    From grandprix.com:
    The FIA Technical Delegate Jo Bauer reported at the end of the race that the fuel temperatures in the two BMW Saubers and the two Williams-Toyotas were in contravention of the regulations at various points during the race. His report states that Nick Heidfeld’s fuel temperature was measured during his two stops as having been 24-deg C and 25-deg C, when the ambient temperature was 37-deg.

    That’s pretty much black and white, the way I see it. The only reason BMW and Williams did not get punished is due to conflicting data on the ambient. Now, if BMW and Williams prove that they are not guilty, good on them. But if they were, they have to get the corresponding punishment.

    But following historical precedence, that should not affect the drivers. This infringement (if ever) was a one-time deal. In addition, unlike BAR’s 2005 fiasco, it will be much harder to prove that this was done on purpose with the team knowing that it was illegal. And let’s face it: do we really want the title (not to mention what is arguably the greatest comeback in the history of the World Championship) taken away in a courtroom?

  40. I forgot to add, the fuel thingy (as I mentioned in another thread) has also happened in Interlagos back in 1995 (with Schumi and DC). The teams were docked points, the drivers weren’t.

    Nuff said.

  41. Sri:

    I might also want to state that, while Mclaren is no longer scoring points, technically they still score points only it will be wiped off at the end of the season. Their prize money won for champoinship position will form a part payment of their $100M fine. So if they protest, it might have nothing to do with the drivers championship, but more for the constructors championship, because those extra points got if the team points or (team and driver) point are taken away from BMW and Wiliams, then it would mean, Mclaren are infront of Ferrari techinically (constructors). And thats money less to add in meeting up with the fine.

    Also, you make me laugh calling BAR’s disqualification
    …”Also about BAR’s DQ in 2005 was more due to fuel delivery system(fuel tank design) to be precise”…

    That is an over simplification. In actual fact, they were using fuel as a balast. Their fuel tank had a smaller fuel tank in it that was always filled up with fuel to meet the minimum weight requirement. However, the posibility existed, that the ballast fuel could be used up during the race, enabling the car to run far lighter than the minimum weight requirements with the associated performance benefits.

    Toyota and Williams were disqualified for the same reason. The difference in with which their brake “cooling” ducts exceeded the regulations, was by just a few millimetres.

  42. It’s the season that just keeps giving.

    McLaren is within their right to appeal so you can’t blast them for doing it. Personally I think it’s a silly choice but these are big stakes so I see where they wouldn’t agree.

    I just couldn’t believe when I came back in last night I was reading that Kimi maybe hadn’t taken it. I couldn’t believe he did take it either so, I’m not sure how surprised I was.

    I hope/think the FIA will uphold the stewards decision, though. Yesterday’s race was actually one of the few really high points since June or July. This is the stuff that’s supposed to be my escape from the real world. It’s turned into just one more bag of aggro this season.

    Time to say bye bye to 07.

  43. Having deleted another raft of comments containing insults directed at other people can I please remind everyone once again to avoid using insults and be aware of the terms of commenting on F1Fanatic. Debate is great – but if you resort to insults your comment will be deleted.

  44. slightly off topic, but fun nevertheless:

    according to Pitpass, lewis did hit the wrong button and cause his gear malfunction:

    http://www.pitpass.com/fes_php/pitpass_news_item.php?fes_art_id=33292

    all ron dennis has said on the matter is:

    “There was an incorrect command given to the system.”

    he has yet to state by whom the command was given!

  45. If that’s true that would be enormously humiliating…

  46. But while that may be true or false, it is a know fact that Mclaren opened up the gearbox of Lewis just before the race started, because they were concerned that there existed a fault in it.

  47. Kalle Päätalo
    22nd October 2007, 17:10

    Hi everyone…

    Season was exiting etc. when you look drivers championship. Team “game” was boring to watch and almost I lost good taste to F1, because of team “game” what happened at this season.

    All four drivers (McLaren and Ferrari) were brilliant. All these guys want to race on track, not in court or outside of track. Last race was everything you can expect of F1 race. Mistakes, fight, pitstops,.. exciting!!!

    If all GP’s will be same as 2007 last race (Brazil), there will be lot of fan’s and new people watching this sport. But all what is required is clean and pure competition.

  48. Unfortunately F1 fans around the world watched yesterday ,maybe, the most embarrassing final in F1 history.
    It would be by far more fair for the f1 fans to be announced the new world champion by Max Mosley than to watch a theatrical play on TV of how McLaren lose the driver’s championship.
    Suddenly only in the last race Alonso was 45 secs slower than the ferraris.
    Suddenly only in the last race Hamilton’s gearbox shifted to neutral and then started working properly only when Lewis was 16th.
    Suddenly the Big bosses of McLaren accepted the above performance of their team like we was back in 2001, but just for the one and only final race.
    Suddenly there wasn’t any safety car during the race even though turn 1,2 and 3 was full of debris from accidents (Renault,Spyker etc.).
    Suddenly all f1 fans around the world became STUPID and believe that the above are coincidences.
    I try to find Max Mosley’s e-mail address to send him a proposal. I think that in next season’s debut he’d better announce us who will take the two titles (drivers & constructors), in which race of the season, whether or not his beloved team (Ferrari) will be ruling all the sport AGAIN, which teams must obey all the rules and which must obey some of them, what new measures he’ll take to help Ferrari AGAIN, which GP we must visit in order to see a real and CLEAR RACE and which not. Finally I want to Remind to dear Max that he shouldn’t forget NOT to disqualify BMW or Williams for their fuel temperature (equality against rules) because that will be against Ferrari’s benefit.
    PLEASE anyone that knows his e-mail send to me at enatos04@yahoo.com.

  49. Hi

    I agree with Kalle (no.47) the racing this season was brill. I would say that All 22 drivers were excellent! Robert Kubica being just one who springs to mind.

    Roll on March 2008(but leave the politics in 2007), cos I’m missing F1 already!!

  50. Sanity from Luca:

    Di Montezemolo also suggested that the FIA should reconsider how the technical regulations were enforced and appoint professional stewards rather than the current unpaid officials.

    “Enough of that, let’s look ahead and let’s send professional stewards to the races instead of amateurs at large,” he said.

    “It must be said that the complexity of today’s cars creates difficulties in checks and verifications, from the electronics to the fuels, aerodynamics and everything else. Everything is about hundredths of seconds.”

  51. @John – interesting comment there ,but i am afraid that you are seeing it one sided, we have got many people here who argue that the FIA favoured Hamilton a lot, also i fail to understand how the FIA can cause a technical problem in the McLaren car ?

    But nice conspiracy theory :P

  52. Mclaren have a neck on them, after being show as non sporting team once already this season, they are showing again….have they no shame?
    Its despicable, please also remember that Raikkonen felt Hamilton blocked him in Qualli and no appeal was made, Hamilton cheated on Fri by using extra tryes and was given a ‘soft punishment’.

    I feel for Kimi in all this, he has been out of the spotlight all year, and racing away staying outta controversy and wins the title……deservedly in my opinion!

    Mclaren, Please, forget this year, and come back as a sporting team next year!
    Its time to look to 2008!

  53. KB: You are absolutely wrong! Its about the lack of clear & enforceable rules. The FIA handles the races in an entirely ad hoc manner. How is this to change?

    This has nothing to do with McLaren.

  54. People seem to be mostly concerned with WHERE the championship is decided rather than that it be decided FAIRLY. I find this strange. In an ideal world we would all have the championship decided on the track but in the event of a rule being broken and it only being caught AFTER the race has finished wouldn’t we rather justice was done? Are you saying that if you make it to the chequered flag without getting caught then you get away with your crime? Is the statute of limitations on F1 technical regulations violations really just 70 odd laps?

  55. Phil: You’re trying to make too much sense. The fanatics cannot handle it.

  56. I agree with you sean, the fact most people dont like the way the FIA has handled most Mclaren issues, doesnt mean they were not handled right. But in this particular case, the FIA is clearly contradicting itself. And I’ve read somewhere, that, BMW have already been warned twice before concerning these low fuel temperatures.

    There is also the fact that the rules got broken during the race, and not even during testing, which automatically should attract a stiffer penalty than at any other time.

    Ultimately, the appeal may not be based on points, and from what I hear, they are not contesting for the points, but rather, the consistency of the stewards decisions, because it appears from the look of things that they have contradicted themselves.

    The FIA made its own mess.

  57. Look I am a Hamilton fan. I think I need to say this up front. KIMI IS THE CHAMPION. No doubt about it. If Sauber BMW and the Williams cheated it should have no effect on wo is champion. I for one would not want a title this way. At 22 Hamilton has alot of great years ahead of him. All that being said Ron Dennis is 100% right to pursue this. He has a right to challange the FIA. Most of the FIA decesions regarding McLaren have been suspect including now so a proper decision is warrented.

  58. bernie's nemesis
    23rd October 2007, 2:23

    I agree with you there Phil. It would seem though that most people are perplexed with the inconsistancies of the FIA.
    I mean, with this philosophy, Ben Johnson would be the fastest man on earth!
    If you recall who Bernie has been supporting during the season, he seems to switch continually to whom ever will attract the largest audience and prolong the championship.

  59. I have two things to comment on. First, the tire infringement on Friday practice was not Hamilton’s decision and the punishment was fair. I’m a BIG Ferrari fan but anyone who things Hamilton was getting special treatment on that is crazy. Remember that Button and Sato broke the same rule and got the same punishment.

    Second, john, your conspiracy theory is absurd. You think the FIA had to do with Alonso being 45 seconds slower than the Ferrari’s? Didn’t the same thing happen at Spa? Even though it wasn’t 45 seconds, the Ferrari’s were very dominating. Also, didn’t McLaren do the same thing to Ferrari in Monaco? Oh, they were only 70 seconds faster than the first Ferrari.

  60. BrendaninBrazil
    23rd October 2007, 4:54

    The FIA can make this really simple. If you or your car break any rules you are disqualified from the race – end of story. It shouldn’t matter when it is detected, why or how. Ben Goldberg saying the tyre infringement wasn’t Hamilton’s decision is like a sprinter saying “my coach must have put steriods in my drink!” – irrelevant.

    FIA – please, set the rules, black & white, then ENFORCE THEM CONSISTENTLY!

  61. I don’t see how using two sets of wet tires on Friday can deserve the same punishment as say blocking someone during qualifying or purposely crashing into someone during a race. Let the punishment fit the crime. Disqualifying someone for breaking any rule during a race weekend is almost as absurd as the three strikes law.

  62. quick followup from comment 44 – hamilton admits he did mistakenly ruin his own race on sunday:

    “My finger slipped on the steering wheel and I accidentally pressed the button used for the starting sequence.”

    http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/22102007/13/hamilton-admits-human-error-cost-title.html

    ooops!

  63. Ooops indeed. But kudos to him for being man enough to admit it. ;)

  64. To Oliver!

    You seem to be a fairly knowledgeable chap. Glad that you read my write up. Yes, i’d agree that you were right, when you say that i “oversimplified” Bar’s DQ. Thing is, most people really have no clue what they are talking about, so i thought let’s keep it simple. Still, it does make the point that BAR’s DQ was on different grounds & not the same as BMW & Williams in this season or that. Hence, McLaren may not find any favorable conclusion to their end. Also, stewards also cited difficulty in proving that they did cheat with the fuel temperatures. So i guess, it’d be a dead end that McLaren are looking at.

    However, you may find that FIA did cite Williams-BMW’s(Montreal) DQ on the basis of brake ducts(Source: Ralf Schumacher in F1Racing mag interview in the following month’s issue), not the fuel tank/fuel being used as ballast. As far as Toyota, i did not read much about it(could not find anything on it mate, post some links if you know of any), so would not comment, as i said earlier.

    I know how the penalty handed over to McLaren works mate. In-fact, you could find pdf’s of FMSC indicting McLaren on the net. Just google it. I got them, read them( would mail, if you want, leave me an email address). As per my understanding, in the recent interview to Formula1.com, Mosley clearly indicates that he was lurking in wait for McLaren to petition after hungary cos Ron lied through his teeth to him about not all employees knowing about the Ferrari docs. Everyone in the team, in-fact did!. As per Coughlan’s testimony, Neil Oatley, Martin Whitmarsh and a couple of significant others had known about the information. In-fact, they went ahead(as per Coughlan) and installed a firewall on McLaren’s mailing system to prevent mails from Stepney, at one point. My only question is, if they are so upright, honest and sporting as Ron Dennis claims, why did they not notify FIA or/& Ferrari? Why keep the information(tech document of 780 odd pages), if you did not intend to use it? Something smells foul, don’t it? Also, do not doubt for a second that, Ron’s sharp mind would not have warned him about Mosley waiting to trouble him. Which is why, i suspect, the absence of a petition from McLaren.

    I’ll go ahead and say that I’am a Ferrari fan. However, even if it as Ferrari, who did it. I’d support motion for them to be thrown out of the championship. Well, they did not. McLaren did. They sat on the Ferrari information for about a good 8 odd months. Do you think it’s fair? Let me rephrase, would you be okay, if your competitor business were to be handed over your secret recipe, your corporate clientèle list, etc.? I hope you get the picture. Ferrari complained. McLaren lied. Consequences for McLaren could have been severe. It is the rabid British press, my friend, which saved Ron’s & McLaren’s hind & skin.

    Well, if you ask, personally speaking, i never was a McLaren fan. However, respect for Ron & his professionalism was immense. He was someone, who you would want to look up-to. Kept the name of McLaren alive and kicking and made them very very successful. For that i really respect him. However, with this, i must say, that, Ron & McLaren have lost some credibility & face. To be fair, for this offense of lying, FIA/FMSC, could have easily hurled them out the F1 door(they have provisions and all the world and donkey would have asked for it if it were Ferrari but they(council) did not. So, i say they got away easy.

    As they were still allowed to retain the prize money won, which would be offset from their penalty. Mosley had 2 years exclusion in mind(minimum). Think of the financial loss then. Sponsors walking out, perhaps and whatever else. Just answer this, would you be okay, if Ferrari were dealt in the same manner, If it were them in place of McLaren. I bet most of the press would be baying for Ferrari’s blood. I’d win that bet easy, don’t you think?

    I know there was Stepney involved, but, i doubt that Ferrari would do something as stupid as that, as they would know the consequences of that. Mosley clearly stated though special, but are not above the regulations and just another team when they infringe. Ron knows, Todt’s knows, Mosley is someone, who they dare not push around too much.

    Anyways, if you think that FIA still favours a team excessively(i meant Ferrari), please read all the press, when rules for season 2005 came into existence. They were to stop Ferrari from winning, which they did. Don’t trust me, read F1Racing mag for yourself and whatever else publications you read. Now is that fair? How can you penalize a team for being successful? Well, all others(teams) did and got away with murder( a poor job at being competition, that is). People said, “F1 is getting boring because of Ferrari”. Well, they must consider this. How can one team which does its homework proper, be wrong? What about other 10-11 teams(depending on what season we talk about)? Can they be allowed to get away with a shoddy job which they did? Think of McLaren’s lunching on it’s own engines/gearboxes and a host of other parts. Let me ask, how would you feel, if you were asked to part with your hard earned success(fame/money)?

    Well, it’s part sport & part business my friend. We wish it was only sport, but, it is merely wishful thinking my friend. If only wishes were horses… Personally speaking, i’d rather have the sport nothing to do with Bernie. I know he has done a lot for the sport & still does. Most of it, you must agree, i’d believe is to fill his coffers. Nothing to make it exciting for you and me. At the end of the day, it is Bernie’s business, please do not be mistaken. Also, why ever do you think other driver’s were spared from Brazil’s Quali? Well, he would have to turn the screws on Hamilton just as well, if he did on the others. It would be bad business wouldn’t it? All the world’s press(read as: chiefly British) would indict him to be a rogue/villain and would quote a Ferrari conspiracy. Just to prove my point, damn i could not find that link, but planet-f1 had a link yesterday where they spoke about that they really did not pay much attention to the fact that we have a new champion. Which is why, i was glad that Kimi won it on track. Not that am saying everyone is an airhead, but some of them clearly act like one. Would you not agree?

    p.s: Hey… it’s nothing personal, it’s just an opinion, just like yours. I guess it’s a sport that i love, i want to understand intricacies of the same, which is why i read a lot about the sport when i can. Trust me, where i live(India) its hard to find any material on it, except on the net. Damn i have to go about a dozen odd kilometers to buy a copy of F1Racing every month. Good to hear from you.

  65. Apology… error is regretted… please read WMSC instead of FMSC which is just a spelling mistake.

  66. Sri, thanks for making the effort of writing this all up, what you say is completely true. I have only skimmed through the docs of the WMSC, but enough to know that anyone defending McLaren in the Spygate has either not read information that is freely available or is just an ignorant fool. What McLaren has been doing all season and is continuing to do right into the off-season is to shoot themselves in the foot at almost every opportunity, I wonder how long this behaviour can be sustained until the sponsors really start to rebel. If I was any of the main sponsors I would be on the phone screaming at them to stop this farce as it definitely is hurting everyone who has associated their name with McLaren…
    Now Mercedes have already shown that they really don’t care about bad press through their despicable behaviour in the DTM, but surely someone like Vodafone must think that enough really is enough. It’s not like they are paying peanuts for this. I think they might be thinking that leaving Ferrari was a mistake for more reasons than the obvious one…

  67. TO,
    Michael K!

    Thanks for replying mate. It’s good to know that you read through pretty much a page full of stuff.

    However what you say is right. How long before sponsors start worrying about their image being projected by this Formula Scum? It is a serious loss of face over this past racing season for F1 as a sport. It’s not long that other markets also give up on F1, just like the US did(well i guess they have other distractions). This really can’t be sitting well with new fans(youngsters, or people from new markets), can it? Bernie has to rethink. Period!

    All i can say is, not one party has behaved responsibly in all of this. Not Media(obviously biased in favour of McLaren & Hamilton), neither the teams(McLaren, when you think about this year), nor FIA(letting off McLaren scot free to start with and then reverting on their original decision).

    This is all very hilarious, cos where i come from, not many understand the sport. Trust me when i say this, you need them(fans), more than they need you(hoped US would have taught you that Bernie!). All this only makes them wonder whether you are worth the time and effort. Me, am just another fan who has been following the sport for more than a decade, as we speak. Well Bernie, you are damned close to lose me as a fan just as well! Also there would be a million others like me, equally disillusioned!

  68. Honestly, if the fuel temp really improve the timing so much that would allows BMW to overtook both McLaren, it just proved that McLaren are idiots for spending millions in the wind tunnel looking for something they cant find which BMW found by lowering their fuel by 2c.

    There are times when Ferrari were beaten by BMW too this season. So why McLaren cant take the defeat as it was.

    If rules are rules then we should have stricter punishment this season such as McLaren banning for 2 years… Go figure Ron

  69. But that’s the point surely – teams aren’t allowed to gain an advantage by lowering their fuel temperature beyond a certain level, that’s why there’s a rule against it.

    Besides which it’s entirely likely that, as two teams broke the same rule, this was just an oversight by the their employees. It was much hotter than expected at Interlagos and they probably neglected to ensure they took that into account when preparing their fuel. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t gain an advantage.

    Having said that I don’t expect to see Hamilton promoted in their place. I can’t imagine for one second that the governing body would want to change the winner of the championship after the final race unless they absolutely had to.

  70. Hamilton has said that he doesn’t want to win the title in the courtroom, so I will be surprised if McLaren go ahead with their appeal.

    I do think it would be interesting to find if there is sufficient evidence to back their case. If it worked out that Hamilton should have won the Championship however, – even if he is not made the official champion – it still takes away Kimi’s glory. Hamilton even said that he is the ‘rightful champion’.

  71. Question is really how much more fuel did go in the tank due to the lower temperature? In the sum of the whole equation it should not make a big difference! More fuel means they go slower and in return maybe can stay out one more lap. Just as a guess if they get 1-2 liters more fuel in the tank I can not see the advantage since it is not enough for 1 lap. I think it is a pointless appeal from a common sense view.

  72. In all fairness Ferrari should get a credit of points for the race in Japan when the message about full rain tires screwed Kimi’s race….

  73. Stefan, its not just more fuel going in. Its also better performance. Combustion is not just about burning fuel, its also the rate of change of temperature. Granted, the performance would not have lasted indefinitely, but it may have been sufficient for a car to stay ahead of another car, despite pitting earlier and carrying a heavier fuel load.

    However, Mclaren’s appeal is about the FIA’s interpretation, and not about the championship, so please understand that. Because if they don’t get clarity from the FIA it may come to hunt them or another team in the future.

    If a team has been disqualified over 1 or 2 millimeters in the past, and during racing conditions, then how much so when there is a difference of over 13 degrees centigrade in fuel temperature from ambient temperature, dont dont forget, that differnce may be anything from 15-25% depending on ambient temperature. And specifically 20 -40% above even the allowable margin.

  74. Ok, let’s not start spreading unfounded “facts” here. The FIA rule of the maximum of 10 degrees cooler than ambient temperature fuel says that it can’t be that cool anywhere IN the car. This rule was made against certain teams that were using fuel coolers in the car to gain advantage (think it was Toyota).
    Now the reading that everyone is discussing was taken at the bottom of the fuel tank in the pits. So in order for there to have been an infrigement it would mean that it would have to be proven that the fuel was breaching those limits IN the car. Let’s start with the fact that if you measure the temperature in any fluid it will be cooler at the bottom than at the top, but let’s say the fuel left the pit tank with that temp as I guess the pump will be at the bottom.
    Then it enters the fuelhose which some people say had at least 40 degrees in the sunshine, this will already heat the fuel up. But now comes the real point, the cars fuel tanks reach up to 60 degrees during a race, and they most certainly will have reached that temp in Interlagos, if not more. It’s not only the fuel that is still in the tank that is hot, it’s the whole car!! This means that even if it would’ve entered the car cooler it would heat up significantly when it enters the car. This just to point out before all the other facts, like that the teams got a different temp which makes the difference legal, that there are no sensors in the car that could prove this without doubt etc..
    That McLaren say they are doing this for the good of the sport it just bollocks, of course they know they don’t have a hope in hell to win this, but this takes away from the spotlight that Ferrari would otherwise get. All it is, is tactical sour grapes of the lowest kind. McLaren don’t give a damn about Hamilton saying he thinks it’s not fair, he could stand on his head screaming they should stop, the way McLaren operates will make them go through with this. I think McLaren has become a team completely bereft of morals it’s unbelievable, of course they have been formed into this by the pressure etc., but still it is quite a state to reach.

  75. If the car that had been found with suspect fuel temperatures was Raikkonen’s Ferrari, would anyone be saying McLaren shouldn’t appeal?

  76. Good question keith.

  77. If it was Ferrari I would be flipping out. Look Kimi won THE END but someone was obviously cheating. If the fuel temp makes no diffenence according to Micheal K then why is it addressed in the rule book. Micheal K you start by giving us details about how the rule applies to the whole car, but you end it by saying that the spirit of the rule was about “fuel coolers”. So it is evident that this rule is about fuel temps. Then the comment is that the fuel heats up anyway because of the heat of the car itself. So WHY would they need a rule. Come on, they need a rule because it is an advantage that the other cars don’t have. It adds about 10 horses to the engine. OK lets just all stop–KIMI IS THE 2007 FORMULA 1 CHAMPION. Lets just get on with 2008. I have been reading blogs all over the internet. The concensus is that Kimi stays Champion regardless. This is from bloggers I know are McLaren fans and from Ferrari haters as well.

  78. OK Keith they should appeal, but no one should take the championship from Kimi!!!! The decesion of penalty should be constructor points and/or a fine.

  79. (71)
    That is sophism.
    In the hypothetic case McLaren should appeal, cause the winner would not be worthy, but in the real case, I do think not, Hamilton says not, and the most of the people think the same.

  80. Clearly it isn’t – Raikkonen finished ahead of Hamilton just as Rosberg, Kubica and Heidfeld did. McLaren are just as entitled to protest three cars that finished in front of Hamilton as one car that finished in front of Hamilton, regardless of the championship situation.

    (Although of course in my example if Raikkonen were disqualified then Alonso would be champion).

  81. Kimi is the winner, the others not, Kimi can not pay the bill of the people that did not well.

    Hamilton did understand this very quickly, why you not?

  82. McLaren is entitled to their opinion and they very well can protest(wait, they did), about all the teams(remaining ones on the grid) & their legality. However, lets not jump to conclusion just yet. The stewards, however incompetent, would of-course would have had thought of ramifications before letting off the threesome. Now, i understand it is frustrating(for Lewis fans), but i do not buy into McLaren’s gambit of all things sporting and fairness.

    This when as is claimed by McLaren to be in sporting interest, is equivalent of hogwash. They should be honest to say that it is in their interests & their drivers. Which they came down to conclude after much deliberation, Mr Whitmarsh it was. I do not mind them appealing. However, i think all other teams also have an equal right to go to FIA and protest about Lewis & Fernando being allowed to drive in this years championship. They could go ahead and request for McLaren to be thrown out, from next years championship just as well, on the grounds of fairness and fair game. Well it’s a sport. McLaren are politicizing their loss of the championships, which, was due to their own fault.

    McLaren should protest, as they did, they have every right to. Just that i wonder why the others are not yet protesting about McLaren? It is in the best interests of sport, as far as ‘am concerned. Does anyone over here thinks it’s fair on the remaining teams, to be disadvantaged by one team(McLaren), which used some other teams data(Ferrari’s), to have a stonking fast car? I think not, and this will be enough grounds, for FIA/WMSC to strip McLaren of all their winnings, impose furthermore much stricter penalties on McLaren(perhaps, exclusion for a year or two from championship altogether)

    Drivers should protest to FIA, for unsafe driving behind the safety car. About a certain Lewis Hamilton in Fuji Grand Prix & couple of other races and get him punished too. Come on people, let it remain a sport. At least we should not harm the sport. Bernie, he already is trying enough! Let’s all remain calm and not let emotions rule over heads.

  83. I never said that cooler fuel temps weren’t an advantage, in fact I said that they were, so I suggest you read what I wrote, openwheelfan. The point I made was that most probably the temps that were in the accused cars couldn’t be lower than they were supposed to be in the first place.
    Should McLaren be appealing if it was Ferrari? No.
    Why not? Well, as I pointed out before I’m sure McLaren KNOW that they won’t achieve anything with this ruling other than potentially have a rule clarified. Who in their right mind thinks that now is the right time to start “discussing” these matters by indirectly questioning the new F1 Champion after the sport has been brought into disrepute by one of the most tumultuous seasons in F1 history? And who thinks that McLaren, the team that has been convicted without doubt of using another teams information, is the team who should be discussing rules at this point in time?
    The problem I have with this is the motivation behind McLaren’s act, they can give it all the spin they want to now by saying that this is about the principle etc., the real reason why they are doing it is to harm Ferrari and they are most probably still hoping this might give the Championship to them, regardless of what they say. The only realistic effect of this whole appeal issue is that it might clarify a rule, but at what cost? It has definitely damaged F1’s reputation even more and makes it look more and more like a kindergarten-level fight than a sporting contest.
    Who thinks the McLaren appeal has helped F1’s reputation?
    And don’t come with any “oh it’s so good that someone addresses the problems in the rulebook”-arguments, there are so many problems in there and like I said, now is not the time to start discussing these issues.

  84. Paul Sainsbury
    24th October 2007, 11:28

    The fact is, the cars were illegal so of course they should appeal.

  85. Micheal you forget that Mclaren also stand to gain constructors championship points. Even if they will have their position deleted, the prize money available from finishing first would form a substantial part of their $100M fine.

  86. Two points, oliver:

    1. For the purpose that you mention only the points that McLaren accrued until and including Monza are counted, so the last race doesn’t make any difference.

    2. If it did McLaren has 218 compared to Ferrari’s 204 points as it stands so again it doesn’t make any difference.

  87. On Friday during practice Lewis Hamiltons team broke rules by using 2 sets of
    inter-wet tires. The stewards left it go without penalty.
    At any other time it could of resulted in a 10 grid spot penalty, but with the
    championship hanging in the balance it was left alone. OK McClaren, give them the
    2 spots then take 10 away. Take it like a a man Ron Dennis, you were a large part
    of the loss, quit trying to blame it on everyone else.

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