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BBC Motor Racing correspondent Jonathan Legard
"The decision will upset McLaren"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 4 April, 2000, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
Coulthard loses F1 appeal
David Coulthard (left) finished second on the podium
David Coulthard has lost his appeal against disqualification from last week's Brazilian Grand Prix.

The International Court of Appeal in Paris rejected McLaren's appeal against the stewards' decision to exclude Coulthard from second place - because of an illegal front wing on his car.

The decision completes a disastrous start to the season for McLaren, who have yet to score a point in two races.

It is the duty of each competitor to prove that his car complies with the regulations

FIA statement
In a statement, Grand Prix's ruling body, the FIA, said: "The appellant's argument concerning the layout and profile of the circuit is unfounded since all the competitors - including the appellant - had been subjected to the rigours of the circuit in question from the first practice session onwards.

"It is the duty of each competitor to prove that his car complies with the regulations in their entirety at all times during an event."

The ruling is sure to anger McLaren.

McLaren are yet to win a point after two races
In a similar case five months ago, the same FIA appeal panel reinstated Ferrari's 1-2 finish in the Malaysian Grand Prix after stewards ruled aerodynamic deflectors were out of compliance by one centimetre.

At the time, McLaren's managing director Ron Dennis harshly criticised the reversal, citing double standards.

The ruling leaves McLaren, F1's top team over the past two seasons, without a point in either the drivers' or constructors' standings after two races.

The decision also means that Jenson Button of Williams retaines his sixth place finish in Brazil, making the 20-year-old Briton the youngest driver in Formula One history to win a point.

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher won the opening two races and leads the drivers' standings with 20 points. Ferrari tops the constructors' standings with 26 points.

The F1 season continues with the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola in Italy this Sunday.

The court of appeals was comprised of FIA Chairman Philippe Roberti de Winghe and judges from the Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland and Spain.

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See also:

27 Mar 00 | Motorsport
McLaren call in the lawyers
23 Oct 99 | Formula 1
McLaren anger over F1 decision
23 Oct 99 | Formula 1
Ferrari wins F1 appeal
26 Mar 00 | Motorsport
Button makes his mark
27 Mar 00 | Motorsport
Coulthard blow boosts Button
Links to other Motorsport stories are at the foot of the page.