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Last Updated: Friday, 16 November 2007, 19:43 GMT
McLaren lose Brazilian GP appeal
Kimi Raikkonen
Raikkonen has been confirmed as world champion
McLaren's Brazilian Grand Prix appeal has been rejected by the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

The decision confirmed Kimi Raikkonen as world champion, dashing Briton Lewis Hamilton's title hopes.

The FIA ruled the appeal - against the decision of the Brazilian GP stewards not to punish the BMW Sauber and Williams teams - was inadmissible.

McLaren had objected to Williams and BMW avoiding punishment for using fuel that was too cool in Brazil.

The decision finally brings to an end a very intense season, both on and off the track

Ferrari chief executive Jean Todt

The FIA's independent court of appeal, comprising four judges, met in London for a four-hour hearing on Thursday, but did not announce the decision until late on Friday.

If Williams' Nico Rosberg and BMW Sauber pair Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld had been disqualified, Hamilton could have moved up to fourth and gained enough points to overtake Raikkonen, who won the race and therefore the title.

Hamilton was seventh in Brazil behind Rosberg and both BMWs.

"As I have said all along, Kimi deserved to win the 2007 world drivers championship and neither I nor anyone at McLaren had any desire to take it off him in court," said the 22-year-old Hamilton.

McLaren's F1 chief executive officer Martin Whitmarsh added: "In the interests of rule clarification and rule consistency we lodged our appeal.

"We hope this fuel temperature issue does not remain unresolved in Formula One next year.

"But we look forward to working with the FIA and the teams on clarifying matters to avoid a similar situation occurring again."

Lawyers for McLaren had called for a reclassification of the championship, a move that angered Ferrari.

Williams and BMW Sauber argued McLaren's appeal was inadmissible because Hamilton's team had not been an interested party in the stewards' initial inquiry, and had not appealed against the race classification immediately after the event.

Ferrari accused McLaren of being "naked opportunists", after the English team's previous claims that the championship should not be decided in the courtroom.


McLaren barrister Ian Mill had pointed to 26 instances in Formula One history where there had been disqualifications and a championship reclassification.

"We offer no special plea on behalf of the team, but I ask you to do what normally happens," he said.

In September McLaren were fined $100m (48.9m) and stripped of their constructors' points in a spying controversy involving Ferrari.

The governing body ruled, however, that the McLaren drivers should keep their points because of an amnesty offered to them if they provided evidence, despite strong arguments against them remaining in the championship.

Mill turned that argument against McLaren's rivals.

"The driver may be entirely innocent... but he has the benefit of the infringing car," he said.

"It must be right that if the team is disqualified, the driver loses the points as well."

But Ferrari's Nigel Tozzi countered: "This is not the way a Formula One world championship should be won."

After the FIA's ruling Ferrari's chief executive Jean Todt said: "The decision finally brings to an end a very intense season, both on and off the track."

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