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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 July 2007, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Hamilton upbeat as hearing looms
Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton leads Fernando Alonso by 12 points
Lewis Hamilton believes McLaren will be exonerated at next week's hearing into the Formula One "spy" scandal.

The team goes in front of the World Motor Sports Council in Paris next Thursday to answer a charge pertaining to "fraudulent conduct".

It follows claims suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan received illegal information belonging to Ferrari.

Hamilton, 22, said: "I'm very confident it's going to go well, so it is not really playing on my mind at all."

Hamilton and McLaren face the prospect of having points docked or even thrown out of the championship if they are found guilty of breaking FIA rules.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has adamantly maintained his and his team's innocence in the whole affair since news broke of Coughlan's suspension on 3 July.

He has insisted 780 pages of Ferrari technical documents were "only in the possession of one currently suspended employee" - namely Coughlan.

However, it is alleged other members of McLaren were aware of the documents - including CEO Martin Whitmarsh.

I have such great belief in the team. I do feel McLaren are one of the most honest teams out there

Lewis Hamilton

Although Coughlan was apparently urged to destroy the files, it is a question of when the other team personnel knew he had them in his possession.

Despite fears Hamilton's 12-point lead over team-mate Fernando Alonso could potentially be wiped out if the FIA sees fit, the British driver insists he still supports his boss Dennis.

"I know the team are working hard on it," said Hamilton, who is struggling to overcome a 'flu bug in time for Sunday's European Grand Prix in Germany.

"I've only been with the team a year, but I have known Ron nine years and this is something he would never do.

"That's why I have such great belief in the team. I do feel they are one of the most honest teams out there.

"There are always teams trying to bend the rules in some way, but I honestly believe we are the most honest. For me, I believe we will be all right."

Former world champion Alonso added: "What will happen will happen.

"They (the WMSC) will decide whatever they think is the good thing, so as drivers we don't care."

Hamilton's main concern will be to get well for Sunday's race but he insists he should be able to drive at the Nurburgring.

606: DEBATE

He said: "I don't think it's going to be a problem. I've just caught a bit of 'flu, but it's OK. I'm really up for it.

"The worst of it was earlier on in the week. Trust me, I'm a lot better now than I was on Monday."

Hamilton drove a few laps of a small karting track just outside the Nurburgring in a promotional event on Wednesday, but he was still clearly struggling.

"I've got some good medicine, I'm with a good team, so I'm sure there will be no problems," he added.

SEE ALSO
Hamilton threatened over spy row
13 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Stepney hits back against Ferrari
16 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Coughlan to reveal all in spy row
11 Jul 07 |  Formula One
McLaren caught in Ferrari spy row
04 Jul 07 |  Formula One


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