McLaren deny FIA picking on them

McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh has rejected suggestions that the FIA is picking on the British squad after the penalties the team have been subject to in the last two races

Lewis Hamilton was penalised at the Canadian Grand Prix after he crashed into the back of Kimi Raikkonen at the end of the pitlane. He lost ten places on the grid in France.

The British driver was again hit by a penalty when he had to serve a drive-through in today's French Grand Prix for overtaking a car by cutting through a chicane.

Teammate Heikki Kovalainen, meanwhile, lost five places on the grid in France for impeding a rival during yesterday's qualifying.

Despite the penalties, Whitmarsh made it clear that the team did not think the FIA was after them.

"I'm sure Ron didn't indicate that really," said Whitmarsh when asked about suggestions that Ron Dennis had indicated after the race that the FIA was picking on McLaren.

"He has the frustrations that happen immediately after the race. We had three penalties this weekend, we have got to accept it and move on."

Whitmarsh said the team had no choice but to accept Hamilton's penalty, although at the time they felt the Briton had done nothing wrong.

"I think we have got to accept that the stewards have got a quieter time than us, and they got more information, and they have got to make the decision that they think is right. We didn't see it like that, but we didn't have the information that they had."

He added: "There was a discussion. We noted that it had happened and we gave an opinion. The stewards had a different opinion."

Whitmarsh reckons that without the penalty Hamilton would have finished well in the points, despite having started from the middle of the pack.

"Without the extra drive-through I think he would have been into some solid points. I think it's easier to have the motivation and push and he would have been up in the thick of it.

"Heikki did a great job. He very narrowly avoided being on the podium, but Lewis could have been up somewhere near that."

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