McLaren’s appeal verdict due on Friday

Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica, Interlagos, 2007 | Andrew Ferraro / LAT PhotographicThe decision on McLaren’s appeal against the results of the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix – that could hand the championship from Kimi Raikkonen to Lewis Hamilton – has been postponed until tomorrow.

Martin Whitmarsh said of the court hearings:

At today’s hearing all parties had the opportunity to present evidence and make arguments based on their respective perception of the facts. It now lies with the FIA International Court of Appeal to deliberate and issue a decision.

As I made clear prior to the appeal, the team was seeking to clarify the regulatory uncertainty that has arisen from a decision of the FIA Stewards at the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix and not to win the Driver’s World Championship.

Our lawyer’s argument that an appropriate penalty would be a disqualification of the cars is based on the fact that this is ordinarily what has occurred during the last 20 years in Formula One when there was a breach of a technical regulation during a race.

Consequently whilst this was the only appropriate argument from a legal point of view, it’s not our ultimate goal in respect of today’s hearing.

McLaren’s lawyer Ian Mill began the hearing by arguing that Hamilton should be awarded the title:

We offer no special plea on behalf of the team, but I ask you to do what normally happens. It’s clear the infringement of this rule did have a performance-enhancing effect.

If you put in cool fuel it increases the horse power.

The principle is clear: if there was a performance enhancement, there was a breach and there has to be a disqualification. I ask you to address this as though it was any team at any stage of the season.

It cannot make a difference it was the last race of the season, and that it will decide the championship. Invariably, whenever there has been a disqualification, there has been a reclassification.

He added:

The driver may be entirely innocent… but he has the benefit of the infringing car. It must be right that if the team is disqualified, the driver loses the points as well. In the other case, the drivers were offered immunity if they assisted the FIA.

Ferrari’s lawyer Nigel Tozzi attacked McLaren’s appeal:

This is not the way a Formula One world championship should be won. Mr [Lewis] Hamilton himself, potentially the only beneficiary, has said very clearly he does not want to win the championship this way.

Mr Norbert Haug, head of Mercedes motorsport, has again gone on the record and said McLaren are not appealing in order to claim the championship. Mr Martin Whitmarsh in an interview yesterday said ‘finding a way to award the world drivers’ championship to Lewis retrospectively, is not at all what this is about’.

It could be said McLaren are shameless hypocrites devoid of any integrity, or maybe what their representatives have said should be taken at face value.

If what they want is clarity, then by all means let them have that, but do not allow them to have the world championship this way.

It would be a serious injustice to Mr Raikkonen should the world title be taken away from him, a fact recognised by Mr Hamilton and Mr [Fernando] Alonso. As McLaren are fond of saying: ‘The championship should be decided on the track and not in the courtroom’

BMW’s lawyer Ian Meakin described the appeal as “naked opportunism”.

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41 comments on McLaren’s appeal verdict due on Friday

  1. Hey, Keith, what has been the most commented topic for this year on your lovely site?

    Need I ask?

  2. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th November 2007, 15:46

    Unsurprisingly it’s this one (I think!): Doubt remains over Raikkonen’s title as McLaren appeals

  3. Pretty much unsurprising, although what a range of opinions, hopefully hot topic next year will be great races filled with lots of talking points.
    No politics, no spying and no FIA Appeals of any kind.
    Does the FIA gather the teams at the start of the year and clarify the rule book, the way they used to hold driver breifings before each race?

  4. MacademiaNut said on 16th November 2007, 17:21

    So, are they going to announce the verdict at 11.59 PM? I would like to see them locked up in room and discussing, otherwise, why are they delaying the press release?

  5. Still nothing… how very odd.

    It’s tempting to speculate the delay is because they’ve concluded they ought to disqualify BMW/Williams and are now desperately trying to find a way of doing it without handing Hamilton the title.

    Either that, or Ron Dennis is holding someone’s head down the toilet until the verdict goes his way.

    One thing I do agree with McLaren on, though – this OUGHT to be decided without reference to what’s at stake in the WDC. They ought to decide in exactly the way they would have had this appeal followed the first race of the season.

  6. Robert McKay said on 16th November 2007, 18:34

    Is this some sort of publicity stunt? How long can it be dragged out? Surely this whole thing is not as cut and dried as Max and Bernie would have said.

  7. Maybe they’re hoping everyone would just forget about it.

    I know I would.

  8. BBC are saying that Mclaren lost appeal too

  9. Yee haaa justice !

    Its on FIA site too

  10. Robert McKay said on 16th November 2007, 20:01

    Justice for Kimi/Ferrari perhaps…but can we not reasonably expect now that all teams will turn up in Melbourne with fuel outside the regulations on the basis that “it’s a bit tricky to measure”? I didn’t expect the WDC to change. But I did expect BMW/Williams to get some sort of punishment.

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