McLaren Continue With Appeal

McLaren Continue With Appeal

Ron Dennis - 2007 Italian Grand PrixDespite stating that he doesn’t want to win the world championship due to penalties imposed on other drivers, Lewis Hamilton’s team are pressing ahead with their appeal over the lack of punishment handed to Williams and BMW after their fuel was suggested to be outside the regulated temperature range. The stewards decided soon after the Brazilian Grand Prix that there wasn’t enough conclusive evidence to impose a penalty on both teams, and as such Kimi Raikkonen was declared the 2007 World Champion. However, should the result be changed as a consequence of McLaren’s appeal, then Hamilton could be promoted up the points order, robbing Raikkonen of his much deserved title and furthering the damage to Formula One.

Back in September, after the hearing that saw McLaren excluded from the constructors championship, Ron Dennis said that he wanted closure on the controversies of 2007 and to move forward into a new year. On Monday, Martin Whitmarsh then stated that he felt the need to lodge an intention of appeal to the FIA because he felt the team would have been “criticised by fans and Formula One insiders alike for not supporting our drivers’ best interest.”

In the same statement, McLaren’s CEO went on to say that they weren’t trying to win the title by lodging an appeal, exclaiming that Kimi won the race fair and square and that Ferrari had done a good job at finishing first and second.

Our argument is with the stewards’ decision in relation to the cars of Rosberg, Kubica and Heidfeld. Hence our decision to lodge our intention to appeal. Martin Whitmarsh.

But from this quote it is clear that Whitmarsh doesn’t appear to mind that second Williams driver Kazuki Nakajima was also found to have irregular fuel. Nakajima finished the Brazilian event behind Hamilton in tenth place, thus any penalty imposed on the Japanese driver would not effect the final position of Hamilton. For one, I cannot understand how Whitmarsh can say his disagreement is with the decision made by the stewards, and then not mention the fact that four cars were under investigation.

The FIA have correctly stated that there were four cars potentially in the wrong in their statement made today. Admittedly, so have McLaren in their Tuesday statement. I’m sure the lawyers were very careful with the written word over the spoken.

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes appeal is against the decision of the Stewards of the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix, made at 21.35 hrs on October 21st 2007 (document number 41), that it was inappropriate to impose a penalty on cars 9, 10, 16 and 17. FIA Statement.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes wishes to stress, however, that it does not question the integrity of either the BMW or Williams teams. We know, without even enquiring, that neither team would have sought to achieve a performance advantage by such an irregularity and that the situation could only have arisen as the consequence of an operational error within the team on the day. McLaren Statement.

It seems the FIA have gone from bad to worse in 2007. The governing body of one the most technologically advanced sports in the world cannot accurately measure ambient temperature of a circuit and the temperature of fuel. For sure these things are sub-contracted out to specialist companies – that is understandable – but it is the FIA’s job to ensure that these companies can do their job with the up-most accuracy. To suggest that there is not enough evidence is ridiculous, almost as ridiculous as putting the word “significant” in the rule book.

Formula One, F1, FIA, McLaren, Williams, BMW


  • The FIA are well capable of measuring the temp – via FOM. However the measuments used by the teams differed, hence the stewards deciding not to punish the teams. However the TWG or the SWG agreed the offical temp should only be the FOM one. Which is why McLaren are appealing.

  • The only reason I can see for this appeal is that McLaren are scared they will be blamed for setting a precedent in the future.

    Say there is another incident in a couple of years, if there is no appeal now then teams may reasonably expect there to be no penalties applied in the future either (as was the case here) – if the rules aren’t changed anyway.

    McLaren can hardly say then that they didn’t appeal this current decision because it wouldn’t have been fair – they should appeal anything they think wrong, and not simply when they have a chance of a big outcome going their way.

    Also, if they hadn’t appealed then I dare say millions of Hamilton supporters would have blamed them for robbing him of a chance to win the title this year – by hook or by crook.

  • Hands up all those who think that the stewards’ decision was not affected by their awareness that their decision could affect the outcome of the world championship.

  • That would be a crappy way to win the world championship though but if ferrari did cheat they shouldn’t have it in the first place. Hamilton does deserve it, although I would have liked Alonso to win it (being a fan of his). i must say this one takes an unexpected twist.

  • Clive, my hand is up. I think it was affected because they so confused themselves as to how to go about measuring a breach of this regulation that they themselves genuinely have no idea whether the rule was broken or not.

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