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Last Updated: Friday, 21 September 2007, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
McLaren rule out 'spygate' appeal
McLaren plan to strengthen their "internal compliance structures"
McLaren will not appeal against the spy scandal sanctions imposed by the World Motor Sport Council eight days ago.

McLaren were fined 49.2m and stripped of their Formula One constructors' points following a hearing in Paris.

"We believe the time has come to put this huge distraction behind us," said McLaren team boss Ron Dennis.

Dennis now wants to focus on winning this year's drivers' title, with Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso separated by two points with three races left.

"McLaren wants to win races and world championships," he added.

"We are fortunate to have, and continue to receive, unwavering support from our employees, sponsor partners and Formula 1 fans across the world."

Friday was the deadline for any appeal to be submitted to motorsport's governing body, FIA.

McLaren's decision means Ferrari have been confirmed as Formula One champions for a record 15th time.


Ferrari have 161 points, 71 ahead of second-placed BMW Sauber, with 54 remaining to be won.

The constructors' title is Ferrari's first of the post-Michael Schumacher era. They won six in a row between 1999 and 2004 when he was at his most dominant.

The 'spygate' case broke in July when a 780-page technical dossier on Ferrari cars was found at the home of McLaren's chief designer, Mike Coughlan.

He was suspended while Ferrari mechanic Nigel Stepney, who allegedly supplied the documents, was sacked.

But due to insufficient evidence McLaren avoided any penalty on that occasion, much to the fury of bitter rivals Ferrari.

However, new evidence later surfaced concerning an e-mail exchange between Alonso and test driver Pedro de la Rosa.

To our regret and embarrassment, the content of the previously unknown e-mails demonstrated possession not being limited to a single person

McLaren statement

Italian Police also discovered 35 telephone calls passed between Coughlan and Stepney between March 11 and July 3, along with 288 text messages in the same period.

"To our regret and embarrassment, the content of the previously unknown e-mails demonstrated possession not being limited to a single person, albeit unsanctioned in any way by the team," said a McLaren statement.

McLaren acknowledged that it had possession of confidential documents but insisted the information was not used to gain advantage on its cars.

"Moving forwards, and in consultation with our shareholders, we will now review and further strengthen our internal compliance structures and processes," McLaren added.

The threat of a sanction for next year still hangs over McLaren if their 2008 car, after a thorough investigation to be undertaken by an FIA technical team in December, is discovered unlawful.

Meanwhile, the criminal case against Stepney in Italy and the civil case against Coughlan in England remain ongoing.

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