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McLaren appeal before FIA - to determine 2007 F1 champ

London - McLaren-Mercedes have asked the ruling motorsport body FIA to overturn the result of the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix which could make their driver Lewis Hamilton world champion more than three weeks after the end of the season.

The hearing in London lasted four hours and FIA said it would make the ruling by its International Court of Appeal public on Friday from its Paris headquarters. 

   McLaren-Mercedes are appealing against a ruling from race stewards at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix not to disqualify BMW-Sauber and Williams cars over alleged fuel temperature irregularities because there was not sufficient evidence.

 Kimi Raikkonen snatched the world title for Ferrari in that final race in Sao Paulo on October 21, by one point over Hamilton and the other McLaren driver Fernando Alonso.

 Hamilton finished seventh in Brazil, but if FIA disqualifies the two BMWs and one Williams which finished ahead of him he would earn enough points to take the title.

 McLaren lawyer Ian Mill told the four-man FIA panel not to think about their ruling deciding the championship.

 "I ask you to address this as though it was any team at any stage of the season," he said.

 Mill said that "whenever there's been a disqualification, there has been a re-classification - we ask you to do what normally happens."

   Mclaren have insisted that they are appealing as a matter of principle and in the interest of other teams as well to order to have clear rules for 2008.

 Hamilton has said he doesn't want to win the world title off the track.

 Ferrari lawyer Nigel Tozzi dismissed McLaren's arguments and suggested that the Anglo-German team had the drivers' title in mind after all.

 Tozzi said that McLaren gave the impression that they were "shameless hypocrites without any integrity."  

   Ferrari fear that Raikkonen could be stripped of the title but there appears to a widespread consensus in the scene that this will not happen.

 "I would be very surprised if Kimi loses out. "I heard that (FIA president) Max Mosley already said even if you disqualify some cars there's no need to change the classification," said former Ferrari star Michael Schumacher, the seven-time world champion.

 "But I think there's plenty of options after this year - if you start to change again the classification, it would be bad for Formula One because it had been finished fair and square on the track and there's no need to carry on looking at it."

   Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone told English daily The Times Wednesday: "I don't think Formula One fans would like a championship to be won because the temperature of the fuel, which can't be measured anyway, is possibly five degrees out."

   "They don't have to change the results of the race - it's an infringement of the regulations.

 "On the same weekend, McLaren used an extra set of tyres, which they shouldn't have used - that was an infringement - so if anything does happen at this Court of Appeal, maybe they'll treat it exactly the same as the tyres," Ecclestone said.

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