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Last Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007, 14:15 GMT
McLaren face wait over 2008 car
Lewis Hamilton
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton is already testing ahead of the 2008 season
Lewis Hamilton's F1 title hopes for 2008 remain in limbo until February when McLaren will discover if their new car has been cleared to race.

If it is found to incorporate elements based on data leaked from Ferrari, the team could be punished further.

McLaren were fined 50m and lost their constructors' points at the original 'spygate' hearing in September.

A meeting of the World Motor Sport Council on Friday deferred any decision on McLaren's new car until 14 February.

At an extraordinary general meeting on that date, McLaren and their rivals can present their views on the International Automobile Federation (FIA) technical department's report on the car.

The F1 season starts in Australia on 16 March.

We wouldn't have another hearing.... unless there was good reason to do so

FIA president Max Mosley

"McLaren acknowledges the World Motor Sport Council's announcement to defer its decision regarding the team's 2008 car to an extraordinary general meeting to be held on Thursday 14th February 2008 in Paris," said a McLaren statement.

"From the very beginning McLaren has provided the FIA with full access and complete co-operation, and remains confident no confidential information has been incorporated within the team's 2007 and 2008 cars."

FIA president Max Mosley said after Friday's hearing in Monaco: "We had very much hoped that the investigation of McLaren would be an end of the matter, but it wasn't.

"We have received a report which makes it necessary to have another hearing.

"We wouldn't have another hearing, and go through all this again and bring people from all over the world, unless there was good reason to do so."

McLaren were originally punished for possessing a 780-page Ferrari technical document.


A team of independent legal and technical experts then visited the McLaren headquarters in Woking in November to scrutinise the team's design for next season's F1 car.

An FIA statement said: "This investigation has been concluded and a detailed report submitted to the WMSC.

"The WMSC considers that McLaren, Ferrari and the other competitors in the F1 World Championship should be afforded the opportunity to make representations on the report at an EGM on Thursday, 14 February, in Paris."

Mosley has suggested that any further sanctions could take the form of a "negative points allocation" at the start of next season,

On Thursday, rival team Renault escaped punishment despite being found guilty of breaching F1 regulations by having McLaren data in their possession.

The FIA opted to impose no penalty on the former world champions.

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