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McLaren Brazil appeal deemed inadmissible 16 Nov 2007

Fuel drums and BMW Sauber cars in scrutineering.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, 21 October 2007 Media read the Technical delegates report about the fuel irregularities for Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams, Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1 and Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, 21 October 2007

McLaren’s challenge to the decision of stewards at last month’s Brazilian Grand Prix not to penalize rival teams over alleged fuel irregularities has been thrown out by the FIA International Court of Appeal.

Williams and BMW Sauber were investigated following the Interlagos race after data suggested their cars had run with fuel cooler than the permitted temperature. However, stewards decided there was insufficient evidence to penalize the teams.

McLaren subsequently lodged an appeal against the decision, which was heard in London on Thursday. But, after lengthy deliberations, the Court decided that the appeal was inadmissible.

"In the interests of rule clarification and rule consistency we lodged our appeal,” explained McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh. “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."

The Court’s decision means the results of the Brazilian Grand Prix - and the 2007 world championship standings - remain unchanged.

The full FIA statement:

"The FIA International Court of Appeal met in London on Thursday, November 15, 2007, to examine an appeal lodged by the Motor Sports Association (MSA) on behalf of its licence-holder Vodafone McLaren Mercedes against the decision (document 41) of the Panel of the Stewards of the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix dated 21 October 2007 and counting towards the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship.

"Following a report from the Technical Delegate indicating that the temperature of fuel pumped into the cars N°9 - Nick Heidfeld, N°10 - Robert Kubica, N°16 - Nico Rosberg and N°17 - Kazuki Nakajima, was more than 10 degrees centigrade below ambient temperature, the Stewards of the Meeting met to consider whether a penalty should be imposed. 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.

"The International Court of Appeal was presided over by Mr Jan STOVICEK (Czech Republic), elected President, and composed of Mr John CASSIDY (United States), Mr Vassilis KOUSSIS (Greece) and Mr José MACEDO e CUNHA (Portugal).

"The full text of the International Court of Appeal’s decision is available, on request, from the secretariat of the FIA International Court of Appeal in Paris."