Hungary appeal set to go ahead
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, September 17th 2007, 14:53 GMT|
McLaren's appeal against losing their constructors' championship points at the Hungarian Grand Prix appears to be going ahead this week, even though the team have been thrown out of the constructors' title chase.
The Woking-based outfit were docked the 15 points they would have scored at the Hungaroring after the race stewards believed they had not acted in the best interests of competition with the way they conducted the controversial qualifying session.
And although McLaren said at the weekend they were unsure about whether or not to press ahead with the Hungary appeal in light of their penalty for the spy affair, the FIA announced on Monday that the session was currently still scheduled to take place in Paris on Wednesday.
A statement issued by the sport's governing body, which detailed media accreditation processes, said: "At the qualifying session of the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix, the Panel of the Stewards of the meeting found that one of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ("McLaren") drivers had obstructed another in the pit lane.
"A penalty was imposed preventing McLaren from scoring points in the Constructors' Championship at that meeting. McLaren have lodged an appeal against the decision of the Stewards to the FIA International Court of Appeal.
"This appeal will be heard on Wednesday 19 September 2007.
"In the interests of transparency the hearing will be open to members of the press."
McLaren have not confirmed they are pressing ahead with the appeal, however, but they have also not informed the FIA that they wish to stop it.
Although appealing the Hungary verdict appears at first glance to be futile if the team are already out of the constructors' championship, the matter is quite complicated.
The $100 million (USD) fine handed down to the team will take into account the earnings the team would have got for their finishing position in the constructors' championship based on the points scored up to and including Monza.
The more points the team have, the better chance they have of staying ahead of Ferrari's finaly tally and therefore getting more money taken off their fine.
Team boss Ron Dennis said at the weekend: "The thing that we have to balance up is that if we accept that moving forward into an appeal on the findings of the World Council on Thursday, then the appeal process next week is relatively pointless," he said.
"But the financial settlement is structured in two parts...I am really looking at this moment, to try and identify those things that we feel comfortable about in order to achieve closure. If we can achieve closure, at this moment, that is my recommendation to the board and shareholders."