Bernie Ecclestone worried FIA will give title to Lewis Hamilton

Bernie Ecclestone, Indianapolis, 2007 | GEPA / Franz PammerOn the day before the FIA Court of Appeal meets in London to hear McLaren’s protest against the result of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Bernie Ecclestone has threatened to quit if Lewis Hamilton is handed the title:

I don?t think that the Formula One fans would like a championship to be won because the temperature of the fuel, which can?t be measured anyway, is possibly 5C out. If anybody thinks that?s the best thing for Formula 1, then I?d have a very serious thought about me retiring.

This lends weight to the suspicion that the outcome of the hearing is a foregone conclusion, and that McLaren has no chance of succeeding.

Although Ecclestone, as the head of Formula One Management, is not responsible for making the decision, his opinion will be considered highly influential. When the FIA found McLaren guilty of using Ferrari’s intellectual property it was the intervention of Ecclestone and other parties that ensured Hamilton and Fernando Alonso remained in the drivers’ championship.

Nonetheless, the fact that Ecclestone has chosen to voice the threat might suggest he is genuinely concerned the FIA might disqualify the BMWs and Williams cars from the Brazilian Grand Prix, elevating Hamilton to fifth place or higher, and giving him the points he needs to become champion.

Speaking to The Times, the newspaper he usually chooses to voice his opinions, Ecclestone said:

I don?t think anything?s going to happen if it goes through. In my opinion, they don?t have to change the results of the race ?ǣ it?s an infringement of the regulations. On the same weekend, McLaren used an extra set of tyres, which they shouldn?t have used ?ǣ that was an infringement – so maybe if anything does happen at this Court of Appeal, maybe they?ll treat it exactly the same as the tyres.

The venue of the hearing was switched to London instead of Paris due to an ongoing traffic strike in the French capital.

Read more about the Brazilian Grand Prix fuel controversy

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37 comments on Bernie Ecclestone worried FIA will give title to Lewis Hamilton

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  1. I’m a huge Hamilton fan and even I think the best man won.

    It was a little hard to take at first because it hadn’t been the best week for British sports men but in the end kimi won and rightly deserved the title.

    If the title is over turned and Mclaren does win in the court I think Hamilton will lose fans through no fault of his own.

    Mclaren should just let it go!!

  2. Robert McKay said on 14th November 2007, 10:00

    But that’s no reason to ignore potential misdemeanours other teams have committed. There are plenty of awkward things to measure in F1, and the FIA have always been scrupulous in adhering to the laws. It’s not Bernie’s job to make comments that basically seem to try and sway the outcome of any independent panels judgement. The rules have to be applied fairly, and to all. If Mclarens fuel had been 5C below the regulated temperature Max would be throwing the book at them.

    I’m not saying Raikkonen ought to lose his championship. But neither am I saying that he should be allowed to keep it just because Bernie says so. The winner should be as a result of all the rules having been applied firmly and fairly and without intervention by a man who has vested interests in the result.

  3. Bob Etat said on 14th November 2007, 10:16

    I think a likely outcome will be that if a ‘level handed’ punishment is to be applied (after wrong doing has been proven) Williams and BMW will lose their constructors points for the final race with the drivers results staying in place.

    What an awkward situation for Kimi, Lewis and the whole if F1 if the results are over turned.

    Fingers crossed for a sensible conclusion.

  4. I agree – the sensible option (following on from other decisions this year) would be to dock the constructors points and not the drivers.

    Which I don’t agree with – a team is a team after all, but if McLaren can be divided up into “team” and “drivers” then so can the rest.

  5. Robert McKay said on 14th November 2007, 10:50

    “I agree – the sensible option (following on from other decisions this year) would be to dock the constructors points and not the drivers.

    Which I don’t agree with – a team is a team after all, but if McLaren can be divided up into “team” and “drivers” then so can the rest.”

    Makes sense. Especially this year with the spygate punishment.

    But in the overall scheme of things, doesn’t really square with things like when the Williams and Toyota drivers were excluded from the Canadian GP a few years ago for having brake ducts a few millimetres too big: there was no distinction then between team and drivers.

    The FIA’s fudge on the spygate ruling has got them into this mess – banning the team but not the drivers, when clearly at least one driver was in the know made no sense, and so everything since then has had to bear that in mind.

  6. how do we read this – well it’s the puppet master calling the shots again – bernie has for years dictated f1 policy – forget the fia – they are firmly in his pocket – so it will be that the points are removed for the teams involved – also they will insist that a temperature gauge/sensor would be installed in the ful tank to stop any errors in future – personally if bernie went no loss.
    The main thing is Lewis wants to win the title on the track not by default – and its only because of the earlier complaints that the appeal was raised – so I agree the fia has started the situation through earlier appeals.

  7. carlos said on 14th November 2007, 13:20

    I think it was Bernie himself who wanted Hamilton to win the championship, now it is just a bit of sense, if Hamilton would win the title in this way, it would be his own tomb in the sporting world.
    Nobody, nor him, wants such a champion.

    Mclaren has had too much problems this season, to finish claiming against the champion (even being right their appeal), it is not the best sporting way. If bmw and williams did something wrong, they should to pay, not Kimi.

  8. Politics has partly destroyed F1 this year. It was more controversial than 1989 Suzuka. Lewis wants to win the Title on the track not default. BMW and Williams should be punished not Kimi, think about the years he has missed out (2003,2005). Please respond to my comment.

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th November 2007, 14:05

    I don’t agree Hamilton wants to “win the title on the track not default.” He said earlier:

    It would be wrong. For me, I want to win it on the track. You want to do it in style, you want to win the race, you want to win battling it out for the lead or something in the race. Being promoted after some people have been thrown out is not the way I want to do it.

    Autosport – Hamilton doesn’t want a title won on appeal (external)

  10. Peter Punk said on 14th November 2007, 15:19

    I don’t want to see Lewis winning the championship in the court room. Maybe they can dock BMW and Williams points, or impose a financial penalty. Rules must be applied for everybody, not just for Mclaren, but it does not mean that I want the drivers disqualified. Kimi deserves the champioship, ’cause he got it in the right way. I hope that we get a fair outcome of all this!

  11. Carldec said on 14th November 2007, 21:11

    yeah, it would be a travesty is hamilton was handed the title this way,,,

    But wouldnt it be worth it if we could get Bernie to quit!

  12. Was not the ferrari using an illegal flexable floor in the
    first race of the season. meaning kimi -10 points.So the williams & bmw freezing fuel is a side ussue.however I stilol like to see kimi keep the chapionship because hw,s a racer.

  13. Number 38 said on 15th November 2007, 5:50

    This cool fuel business is much ado about nothing. 5*C cooler fuel may have allowed them to carry a half litre more fuel, that’s NOT a performance advantage that can be measured and one might add more fuel is a DIS-advantage on some occassions.
    Breaking the rules ? Doesn’t this prove there are too many rules already? Temperature of fuel was no concern when Fangio and Grahm Hill, et al, won Championships. But perhaps ‘carldec’ has the best response: “But wouldnt it be worth it if we could get Bernie to quit!” Next…..to overthrow MadMax !!!

  14. Number 38 said on 15th November 2007, 6:07

    I’d like to buy Robert McKay a pint at his favorite pub while we discuss: “the FIA have always been scrupulous in adhering to the laws.” Anyone else care to join us?

  15. mail123456 said on 15th November 2007, 6:11

    @Number 38:
    Q. What is this fuel rule all about and why is it important?

    Martin Whitmarsh – McLaren F1 CEO: It has been around for about 20 years in fact, so it is not new. Cooler fuel gives an advantage in terms of more power, greater reliability and quicker flow of fuel into the tank. The teams even carry fuel chillers around with them to races to achieve this.

    In order, however, to prevent extreme measures being adapted to cool fuel temperatures a limit was determined that the fuel in the rigs not being allowed to be more than 10 degrees C below the ambient temperature.

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