FIA denies title celebration clampdown

The FIA has dismissed suggestions that McLaren were asked to restrain Lewis Hamilton from celebrating in China in the event of him winning the world championship

FIA denies title celebration clampdown

Hamilton held a 12-point lead over teammate Fernando Alonso going into the penultimate round of the season and looked on course to become the first rookie world champion at Shanghai before he ran off the track on badly worn tyres.

This weekend, the Interlagos paddock has been rife with rumours that McLaren were ordered over the radio during the race by the FIA to ensure Hamilton avoids any exuberant celebrations should he win the title.

Sources have suggested that the instructions included forbidding him from performing car 'donuts' if he won, and may even have gone as far as not hugging his father and team members at parc ferme prior to the podium celebrations.

Asked about these rumours in Brazil, McLaren team chief Ron Dennis confirmed the FIA had contacted the team at Shanghai but he did not divulge what instructions they were given.

"The FIA advised us to strictly apply to those regulations that were applicable after the finish of the Grand Prix," Dennis commented. "They gave us some examples of what they were not comfortable with. These were simple things that we should be mindful that they would consider inappropriate.

"I think the important thing is to stay within the regulations," Dennis added. "There are regulations that govern the post race procedures.

"We are in a heightened atmosphere of compliance, let's put it that way, and it is quite clear that we were told to please make sure we strictly adhere to the regulations.

"I am cool and relaxed about it, as many of the other things that come our way at the moment."

The Formula One Sporting Regulations forbid drivers from stopping on their in-lap after a race, for example, or collecting items such as flags from bystanders.

An FIA spokesman told autosport.com McLaren were not given any special instructions, however.

"Of course there are very clear parc ferme and podium procedures, which all the teams must respect," the spokesman said.

"But some of the rumours doing the rounds in the Sao Paulo Paddock regarding 'special' instructions for McLaren drivers could be at best described as far-fetched."

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