The FIA has confirmed that the appeal of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) decision not to penalize McLaren after the team was found to be in breach of the sporting regulations will be heard in Paris on September 13th. FIA President Max Mosley...
The FIA has confirmed that the appeal of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) decision not to penalize McLaren after the team was found to be in breach of the sporting regulations will be heard in Paris on September 13th. FIA President Max Mosley agreed to refer the matter to the International Court of Appeal after a request from the Italian Automobile Club.
The hearing will be open to the press "in the interests of transparency", said an FIA statement. "All of the teams competing in the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship have been given the opportunity to make written submissions to the ICA and have been invited to attend the hearing to supplement their submissions with oral presentations."
Ferrari is convinced that McLaren made use of Ferrari information, that was found to be in the possession of McLaren designer Mike Coughlan, to gain advantage in this year's championship. But the WMSC ruled there was not enough proof of that to warrant a punishment, despite deciding that McLaren had breached regulations.
Ferrari did not accept that its rivals would incur no penalty and Luigi Macaluso, President of the Italian Automobile Club, stepped in to support the Scuderia's cause with the letter to Mosley. McLaren previously said that it was "disappointed" that the matter was being sent to appeal but remains confident that the team will be cleared.
As if things weren't bad enough for McLaren anyway, the controversy that erupted during and after qualifying at the Hungarian GP has further rocked the Woking squad. First 'golden boy' Lewis Hamilton refused repeated requests from team principal Ron Dennis to let teammate Fernando Alonso past in qualifying, then Alonso apparently deliberately blocked Hamilton in the pits.
The outcome was that Alonso lost pole position -- and handed it to Hamilton -- due to a grid demotion penalty once stewards investigated, and the team was disallowed the constructors' points it scored in the race. McLaren was mightily displeased and the relationship between it and Alonso and the Spaniard and Hamilton has reportedly hit rock bottom.
Inevitably there is speculation that Alonso will leave McLaren at the end of the season, if not sooner, but Dennis was quick to point out contractual obligations. "We have two drivers who are contracted for several years into the future," he said in Hungary. "We will respect our part of that bargain and that part of the situation -- we hope that the drivers respect theirs, because that's what a contract is about."