Kimi Raikkonen’s title confirmed by appeal court

2007 F1 season

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2007, 2 | Ferrari mediaThe World Motor Sports Council has confirmed Kimi Raikkonen as 2007 world drivers’ champion after ruling on McLaren’s appeal against the results of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

It took almost two days for the court to deliver a verdict many considered a foregone conclusion.

The FIA decided McLaren’s case was ‘inadmissible’. The full explanation for the decision has not yet been published.

The FIA’s statement read:

Having heard the evidence they decided not to impose a penalty as they had sufficient doubt as to both the temperature of the fuel on board the car and to the true ambient temperature.

Having heard the explanations of both parties and having examined the various documents and other evidence, the Court decided that the appeal lodged by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is inadmissible.

Update: McLaren and Ferrari have reacted to the decision.

Ferrari’s Jean Todt said:

The decision of the ICA finally brings to an end a very intense season, both on and off the track. Today, a final and desperate attempt to change the result obtained on the track was rejected. Now, all our efforts are focused on preparing for next season.

McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh responded:

In the interests of rule clarification and rule consistency we lodged our appeal. We have not yet seen the text of the FIA International Court of Appeal decision and hope that clarification is provided.

It’s important to stress that the FIA Stewards’ inquiry at the Brazilian Grand Prix was not triggered by any action from McLaren, but by a report written and made public by the FIA Technical Delegate, which drew the FIA Stewards’ attention to what we regarded as a clear regulation breach on the part of BMW-Sauber and Williams.

Our appeal was merely a logical and procedural step in the process begun by the FIA Technical Delegate’s written report. We hope that this fuel temperature issue does not remain unresolved in Formula One next year, but we look forward to working with the FIA and the teams on clarifying matters to avoid a similar situation occurring again.

And Lewis Hamilton added:

As I have said all along, Kimi deserved to win the 2007 world drivers’ championship, and neither I nor anyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes had any desire to take it off him in court. That was not the purpose of the team’s appeal.

I am looking forward to the 2008 season and racing Kimi, and all my other rivals, on track and hopefully be able to go one better than the second place I achieved in this year’s World Drivers’ Championship.

Update 2: Williams issued a press release explaining their defence:

1. Article 6.5.4 of the FIA Technical Regulations states that no fuel onboard the car may be more than 10C below ambient temperature.

2. There is no specified source for the ambient temperature measurement, and there is no homologated and sealed sensor for measuring fuel temperature either in the fuel rigs or on-board the cars.

3. Meteo France, who provide official temperature measurements for the FIA and Formula One teams, recorded a maximum ambient temperature during the Brazilian GP of 33C.

4. The lowest temperatures recorded by Williams? precise on-board sensors in the fuel tank and in the fuel injection rail on either of its cars during the Grand Prix were 31C and 35C respectively.

5. Consequently, as the Stewards found, there was no breach of the regulations.

6. All of the preceding points are consistent with all of the clarifications and opinions related to fuel temperatures expressed in Team Managers? Meetings and other such forums. The views offered in these meetings fully support Williams? case as presented to the FIA ICA.

Photo: Ferrari

More on McLaren’s Brazilian Grand Prix appeal

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21 comments on Kimi Raikkonen’s title confirmed by appeal court

  1. Would anyone like to hazard a guess at Mclarens legal team bill?
    And just what would that money have got a smaller private team for the year?

    Maybe they had a loada money to write off for tax reasons, and these silly protests were a good way of doing that….

  2. MacademiaNut said on 17th November 2007, 15:48

    2007 is the lousiest year for F1. Let’s just put it back and move on!!

  3. George said on 18th November 2007, 1:33

    Does anyone here have an appreciation of why McLaren appealed? It’s got nothing to do with fuel or getting the title for Hamilton. It’s about spoiling Ferrari’s driver’s title the same as Ferrari spoiled McLaren’s year with Spygate.

    I’m thrilled with Kimi getting the title even tho it was driving for Ferrari, which I despise as the favored stepchild of Max, Bernie, and the FIA. I am also a lifelong McLaren fan, and Bruce must be spinning in his grave over this year’s team mess. Besides ridding the sport of Maxipad and Bernie, someone please dispose of Ron and allow McLaren a return to some level of dignity and pride.

  4. George said on 18th November 2007, 1:56

    And you can be sure that McLaren’s appeal maneuver will earn the rath of the FIA in their “examination” of the McLaren 2008 entry. Is there any doubt that the technical inspection will now yield Ferrari “Ideas”? Max has proven himself to be an unabashed vengeful sort when contradicted over anything. Jackie Stewart can attest to that last bit.

  5. Cooperman said on 18th November 2007, 18:00

    Just to argue everything above – you really can’t blame McLaren for trying. Why, when they get a fine of immense magnitude and exclusion from the 2007 championship for something that the FIA couldn’t prove, do Williams and BMW get let off for something that has already been proven by the FIA??

    One more for the ‘The FIA make no sense at all’ suggestion box. Seriously, for a governing body they run with seemingly no logic whatsoever.

  6. Ricardo said on 19th November 2007, 2:04

    Kimi is “the champion” for 2007, despite of the McLaren’s attorneys appeal maneuver or the many FIA desitions during the season.
    I am a fanatic of F1 sport.
    Hamilton is a great driver, whom do not need the excesive “help” by the team or the FIA (Hungary race, European race). Shame on him.
    McLaren is a great team too, but do they need to behave on that way?
    McLaren’s spygate, lie to everybody, to FIA, to the public. Until last week, two different speech (sport’s people and attorneys). Fair play?
    McLaren’s 2007 had everything to do a perfect season but it was the poorest year for them. Coment number 4: “they can write a book about how to not run a f1 team!”
    Do you believe McLaren gave both drivers same mechanical conditions for the last two races? I do not. Bad managent again. I agree with coment number 4, 9, 10. McLaren in one word, pathethic!
    One way out to forget the issue could be selling Mclaren to Mercedes on 2008 or 2009.
    Maranello team gave a great lesson on team work, so “long life to Kimi & Ferrari”

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