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McLaren must wait for 2008 car clearance

McLaren will have to wait until four weeks before the start of next season to find out whether or not their car has been approved for use by the FIA.

A meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in Monaco today was due to discuss whether or not any Ferrari intellectual property had been used on McLaren's 2008 challenger.

This came after a detailed examination recently of the designs for the MP4-23 at McLaren's Woking headquarters by FIA-appointed officials.

However, the WMSC felt that it would be better if both McLaren and Ferrari had some input into the findings of the report, so a new meeting has been pencilled in for February 14, 2008.

A statement issued by the FIA said: "In its decision of 13 September 2007, the WMSC instructed the FIA Technical Department to conduct an investigation of the preparatory work by McLaren on its 2008 car to determine whether that car incorporates any confidential Ferrari information.

"This investigation has been concluded and a detailed report submitted to the WMSC. The WMSC considers that McLaren, Ferrari and the other competitors in the FIA Formula One World Championship should be afforded the opportunity to make considered representations on the report at an extraordinary general meeting of the WMSC to be held on Thursday 14 February 2008 in Paris."

The delay in reaching a verdict comes after McLaren F1 Martin Whitmarsh CEO told Autosport that he hoped the matter could be dealt with swiftly so the team could focus on their 2008 campaign.

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